How to Repair a Deep Scratch on Painted Furniture

The painted top of my desk was scratched, so I needed to repair it.

The top of this desk was damaged while it was in my booth, so I brought it home for repairs. It had a deep scratch about 3 or 4 inches long gouged into the paint on the top. Luckily the damage didn't penetrate the wood underneath the paint, so that simplified the repair process.


The top of the desk rests on the pedestal drawers, so I removed the top and took it outside. I didn't want to repaint the French Linen border, so I concentrated on sanding the area inside the border where the paint was damaged.

The orbital sander is a beast and makes the job easier.

I sanded smooth the entire area within the border with heavier concentration on the scratched section. I concentrated on smoothing out the surface rather than actually removing all of the paint.

Repairs in progress.

I taped off the grey border with painter's tape.

Tape off sections not to be painted.
Tape off sections not to be painted.
To prevent the white paint from seeping under the tape and onto the grey border, I carefully painted a thin layer of paint at the edge of the tape and then let it dry completely before painting the rest of the surface. I lightly sanded the paint and then sealed it with clear wax.

Apply a thin coat of paint to prevent it from seeping under the tape.
Apply a thin coat of paint to prevent it from seeping under the tape.

Desk painted in French Linen and Old White.

Paint inside the border was repaired and repainted.

The damage to the paint is no longer visible.

Old White with French Linen border.

The side panels are painted in French Linen with trim painted in Old White.

Vintage key in desk.


Supply List for Repairs

Below are the supplies I used for this project (affiliate links).





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