Keep your home office desk in pristine condition with a few touch-ups.

How to Repair Scratches on a Painted Black Desk

by Eric Jonas

Whether the family cat has been scratching at your desk or your youngster tried to decorate it with a fork, the scratches now marring your desk might not look pretty, but they aren't the end of the world. In fact, in just a few minutes, you can turn back the clock on those scratches and make it look like they were never there. And with a little extra elbow grease, you can even make the desk look brand new again with a glossy and polished sheen.

Paste Wax

Clean the scratched area of the desk. Use a lint-free cloth and wipe away any dust and debris.

Color in a very shallow scratch with a felt-tip marker designed for touching up furniture. Clean off any excess marker ink from around the scratch with a lint-free cloth, and then allow the ink to dry according to the manufacturer's instructions before using the desk (generally about 24 hours).

Put a little bit of black-tinted paste wax on a lint-free cloth if the scratch on the desk is deep, and use your finger to knead the wax a little to soften it.

Sand the scratched area of the desk with fine sandpaper if the scratch is deep, to smooth the surface. Apply the wax to the scratched surface of the desk and rub it in gently. Remove the excess wax with the cloth and buff the wax-covered area of the desk with another lint-free cloth to create an even sheen.

Epoxy Putty Stick

Clean the scratched area of the desk with a lint-free cloth to wipe away and dust and debris.

Break off a tiny piece from the epoxy putty stick and press it firmly into the scratch. Allow the epoxy to cure according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Sand the epoxy smooth with fine-grit sandpaper. Color over the epoxy with the felt-tip furniture marker and let it dry for 24 hours. Alternatively, paint over the epoxy with the same paint that was used on the desk.

Items you will need

  • Lint-free cloths
  • Black felt-tip furniture marker
  • Black-tinted paste wax
  • Epoxy putty filler
  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Black paint (optional)


  • If you have repaired several scratches on the desk with the paste wax, you might notice an uneven sheen on the desk's surface -- more sheen from the newly applied wax and less from the older black paint. You can correct the difference and create an even surface sheen by applying a little paste wax to the entire desk top. Just put a little more wax on a lint-free cloth, knead it to soften it and rub it into the desk in a circular or back-and-forth motion. Work quickly or in small areas at a time and buff the wax to an even sheen quickly.


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About the Author

Eric Jonas has been writing in small-business advertising and local community newsletters since 1998. Prior to his writing career, he became a licensed level II gas technician and continues to work in the field, also authoring educational newsletters for others in the business. Jonas is currently a graduate student with a Bachelor of Arts in English and rhetoric from McMaster University.

Photo Credits

  • Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images