How to fix a dent

Occasionally a piece of furniture you have a particular liking for gets a ding or dent in the surface.  Perhaps your enthusiastic child rams a toy truck forcefully into a timber leg or you accidentally drop an anvil onto your coffee table.

Here is simple method to remove a lot of bruised and compressed timber indentations and all you need is an iron, a rag and some water!

Below is a dent I put in a piece of timber with a hammer, as I didn't feel like doing this to my coffee table.

Dent (before steaming);-

Dent (before steaming)

Put the iron onto a linen setting (want it very hot), wet a rag with water and spread it out over the dent. Put the iron on the rag and steam the dent for a few seconds.  If the rag dries, wet it again and keep steaming for 20 or 30 seconds being careful not to burn the timber. You can check the progress of the dent removal and decide when to stop steaming.

Ironing dent

The dent should now be a lot less noticeable to see and feel.

Dent (after steaming);-

Dent (after steaming)

There are a couple of caveats when using this method;-

1. It works best for timber fibres that are compressed but not sheared by a sharp cut

2. You might want to test the steaming on an inconspicuous surface first to ensure it doesn't damage the finish (I'm not coming over to french polish your antique heirloom if it gets damaged!)

Happy repairing!





It will work on any age dent, new or old. You will find that some timbers spring back better than others though.



Is this method only useful if it’s a new dent, or will it work for old dents? e.g. buying a 2nd hand piece of furniture that has a dent

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