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Ding, Dong, the Dent is Dead! How to Remove Dents from Wooden Surfaces

Chereen.Langrill

A few years ago my husband and I packed up our things and moved over 300 miles south. During that move, I learned several things: How much I hate moving, how not to ship furniture, and how to remove dents from wooden surfaces! I’m sure that I’m not the only person who can’t afford to replace furniture with every ding and dent, so here’s how to give it new life!

Why it works: Dents occur when the wood is compressed. To raise the dent the wood needs oxygen, which allows the wood to absorb the moisture and rise.

Important: Before trying this process, test it first on an inconspicuous spot. Remember that this process may need to be repeated, depending on the depth of the dent.

How to Remove Dents from Wood Surfaces

Supply List

  • Iron
  • Paper Towel or Cloth
  • Water
  • Sandpaper
  • Straight Pin

To Remove Small or Medium Dents

  1. Use the water to wet the dent.
  2. Place a wet paper towel or cloth onto the dent.
  3. With the iron on high, apply the iron to the cloth and move in a circular motion making sure not to let the iron rest in one spot for too long and that there isn’t much steam being released.
  4. Continue for three to five minutes, checking on the spot every 30 seconds to one minute.
  5. If the dent rises but has an outline because of dirt, use the sandpaper to lightly sand the area and remove the outline. Be careful! Don’t press too hard or it is possible to remove the finish.

To Remove Large Dents

  1. Use the thinnest straight pin available and make tiny holes in the dent, only placing the needle up to one-fourth of its length into the surface. If this is done carefully there won’t be any holes visible after it rises.
  2. Moisten the dent, and place a wet paper towel or cloth onto the dent.
  3. With the iron set on the highest setting, apply the iron to the cloth and move in a circular motion, making sure not to let the iron rest in one spot for too long or to allow steam to release. Caution: Do not let the iron touch the wood surface without the paper towel under it.
  4. Continue this process for three to five minutes, checking on the spot every 30 seconds to one minute.
  5. If the dent rises but has an outline because of dirt, use the sandpaper to lightly sand the area and remove the outline. Be careful! Don’t press too hard or it is possible to remove the finish.

This method works on multiple wood surfaces. I’ve used it on our hardwood floors, a kitchen table, and other household furniture. It also works on surfaces like LACK (IKEA furniture).

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