TUTORIAL - Removing dents from wood surfaces

Have you had one of those "OH KNOW!" moments when you drop a heavy claw hammer on your lovely oak dining room table when using it as a workbench for a project?

Well I have! (Shhhh, don't tell anyone ok).

Luckily I knew how to remove dents from wood surfaces really quick! Phew.

A dent doesn't always mean you need to sand back 2 or 3mm of the surface to fix it. That would be a mission... not just from sanding (blurk), but also because it will need refinishing afters.

There is an easier way!!

Actually there's several easier ways, but I'll show you two very easy ones.

The dent in this photo is about 5mm across and about 1mm deep. Taking good photos for this tutorial was a pain, but you get the idea.
Anyhoo, to fix this we're going to swell the surface back up with a little moisture. After all, a dent is just all the fibres of the wood squishing together. We're going to fluff those babies back up. ;)

Method one: 

Click photos to enlarge

Find some cotton wool or tissue paper, soak it in water and roll into a small ball slightly bigger than the dent.

Place the wet ball over the dent and then cover with a piece of plastic over the top. I used a piece of rubber glove. This stops the ball from drying out too quickly.

Weigh the whole thing down and let it sit for half hour before checking. Keep repeating until the dent has raised.

Method two: 

For more stubborn dents you might need to get some heat onto it.  This is simpler and quicker than the method above. 

Simply wet a piece of cloth, fold it in half a couple of times and then place over the dent. Using a steam iron on its hottest setting rub the tip of the iron over the dent. The moist heat will raise the dent.

I used the second method to get this dent out and it raised it up completely flat. Yes! All I need to do now is clean the surface with some fine grade steel wool and apply a bit of wax back on. A good job well done.

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