Aging is a funny thing. It can make wine better, skin worse, and with cheese and relationships it is liable to do either. In each case, what makes the difference between a well and poorly aged item or person is not the amount of time that it spends aging, but the conditions it spends all that time in.
We all have furniture we love (if you don’t, stop reading immediately and go find some!), and while some of us may have the liberty of keeping our nicer, more special pieces in quiet, shaded reading corners, others simply don’t have the option. Kids, pets, visiting kids, visiting pets, sleepwalkers, and even sometimes your own accidents plague furniture, especially in smaller houses and apartments that make it impossible to nestle anything larger than an easter egg away anywhere. Yes, friends…furniture gets scratched.
Merit To An “Old Wives’ Tale”
If you should find, upon scooting your chair back out from under your grandfather’s great oak desk, dropping a pen, and stooping to pick it up again, that your cat has forgotten the difference between legs of denim and legs of hardwood, and decided to use the latter to sharpen its claws, don’t despair just yet.
Looking around the internet, you’ll find a lot of misinformation; some websites insist, for instance, that the world is as flat, which has pretty well been a notion of the past for five hundred years. It’s no surprise, then, that when I see an ‘instant remedy’ for scratches in finished wood, I’m skeptical enough to leave off clicking the links.
When The Trunk Isn’t The Only Part Of A Tree You Need… Walnuts!
In this case, it took someone else shoving the screen in front of me before I finally saw the video: it turns out that rubbing a walnut on a scratched hardwood surface removes almost all visible evidence of the damage!
Apparently, the oils in a walnut (the nut, not the shell), and the fine sediment that the nut itself breaks down to form a perfect substance to fill in the small, but heinously visible rifts in tables made from oak, elm, maple, walnut, cherry, or any other hardwood tree. The irregularities in the color of the nut, and in the fine layers of skin wrapped tightly around it, make a pretty good woodgrain pattern, too, so that it takes a keen eye to even notice that ever there was a scratch in the first place.
As someone who makes furniture with beautiful slabs of carefully sourced, transported, and cured wood, my personal ideal is of course a world, or at least a house, without any scratches. Even I slip up sometimes, though, and it’s those moments of “whoops!” that I really wish I could turn back the clock about twenty seconds.
Having a remedy like this one doesn’t mean I’m any less careful about where I kick my boots off or drop my eating utensils…it just means that not every mishap has to be a complete disaster.