Step 1: Prep the damaged area
1 of 1
Photo 1: Lightly sand
Lightly sand the scratches and the area
Dogs and cats still haven't figured
out how to open doors,
but that's never stopped them
from trying. Painted doors can be spackled
and repainted to hide the damage,
but natural wood doors can be more of a
problem. However, if the scratches aren't
too deep, you can usually mask the damage
with stain and varnish.
Sand the damaged area lightly
(Photo 1), feathering the sanding into
the surrounding undamaged area. Wipe
off all dust.
Step 2: Apply a gel stain
1 of 1
Photo 2: Apply stain
Brush the stain over the
sanded area with a dry
brush, mixing colors to match
the old finish.
If you don't have the original stain or
finish, find a matching stain at a paint
store. Gel stains (available at home centers
and paint stores) work best. Buy a
small piece of matching wood and
experiment with it first, or bring a photo
of the door to the paint store for help.
Start with a lighter stain—it can always
be darkened. You can also buy a few different
colors and blend them or streak
Wipe the scratched area with a rag
dipped in thinner to keep the stain from
looking blotchy. Put a small amount of
the gel stain on a rag, then dab a little on
a dry brush. Wipe excess stain on the rag.
Drag the brush lightly along one edge
and quickly wipe it dry to see how the
color looks. Leave the stain on longer,
apply additional coats or blend in other
colors to darken it (Photo 2).
If the stained area looks too dull after
it dries, lightly spray the area with clear
finish, feathering it into the surrounding