Friday, September 20, 2013

Repair A Cigarette Burn On Wood Furniture

Finding wood furniture at a garage sale can be a great way to save money on home decorating. But older wood furniture often comes marred by cigarette burns. Whether you're refurbishing a thrift-store find or hoping to hide the evidence of a secret smoking habit, follow these steps to repair cigarette burns on wood furniture.


Repairing a Surface Cigarette Burn

1. Clean the surface with a commercial wood cleaner (not a polish or spray) first. If the burn is very superficial, this might do the trick. If the discoloration persists, move on to Step 2.

2. Sand the charred area very lightly, using fine granite sandpaper or steel wool. This should remove most of the blackened area. Dab any remaining dark areas with a cotton swab dipped in chlorine bleach.

3. Color the damaged area with a furniture marker or decorator paint in a shade closest to the existing undamaged finish. To get the best match, start with a little lighter shade; you can always darken it gradually.

4. Refinish the damaged area with a coating similar to the surrounding wood.

Repairing a Deep Cigarette Burn

5. Scrape the blackened wood out of the burned area, working carefully with a utility knife or razor blade.

6. Sand the edges of the burned area with fine granite sandpaper. Dab the area with a cotton swab dipped in chlorine bleach to remove the last traces of blackening.

7. Use colored wax or a shellac stick in a shade slightly lighter than the existing surface of the wood to fill in the damaged area. To use wax, soften the stick with your hands until the wax feels like putty. Tear off a small piece and work it into the hole. To use shellac, hold the stick over a smokeless flame such as a kitchen propane torch or spirit lamp, with a putty knife in between the shellac stick and the heat source. The melted shellac will drip onto the putty knife, and you can use the knife to work it into the hole.

8. Fill the damaged area to a level slightly above the surrounding surface.

9. Let the wax cool, and shave off any excess to level the surface. If you are using a shellac stick, scrape off the excess before the shellac cools.

10. Seal a wax repair with a coat of clear polyurethane or spray acrylic. A shellac repair will only need sanding with fine granite sandpaper to finish it.

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