Healing Dresser Damage

The “As Is” section at Ikea is one of my favourite stops. I’ve found a number of cheap items than end up making a great project, or just a great deal. For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s the section right before the loooong check out lines, either on the right or left side of the store. It houses all their damaged products at a reduced price.

My latest find was… wait for it… the Hemnes dresser I wanted!


A few of you may remember my mood board from last week and notice that it’s the same line, but not the same style. I measured my current dresser space in our bedroom, and it was just a touch too large for the space. Bummer. I had visions of a lovely little vanity style dresser, complete with space for my jewelry, make up and mirror! Unfortunately not meant to be.

After further reflection (and a visit to see the piece live at the store) I realized it just wouldn’t be a good investment for a rental. We go for apartment units, which are never going to be large in the city. To be space efficient, it made far more sense to get the extra storage by going vertically, not horizontally. In person, I also realized I preferred the dark wood stain as opposed to the white. It was just too reflective for me, and white already dominates the space.

However, I still wasn’t keen on the $250 price tag. Not that steep in great scheme of things, I know, but it’s still an Ikea product! I know it’s not going to stand the test of time.

Then, I found the exact one I wanted, at $180, in the As Is section! Yay! That’s over 25% savings people. Of course, there was a reason for this: it was scratched. On the top, on the drawers, on the sides… I wasn’t sure how it would look at home.

Facing the same dilemma? Keep these points in mind:

1. Stores are generally very well lit. Department stores, notably the As Is section in Ikea, uses fluorescent lights. The scratches will most likely be less noticeable at home, especially with the everything that ends up landing on your dresser (well this is at least the case with my dresser. I’m somehow constantly fighting my urge to drop things on surfaces when I get home).

2. Some marks may resemble a scratch, but in actuality is just a spill that you can wipe off at home. Check to see if you can rub some off before you buy.

3. Many scratches can be covered up with a stain marker!

See that photo up there? Our dresser didn’t always look that nice. Here’s our before photo, nicks and gouges and all.

Here’s what I used:


Minwax Wood Finish Stain Marker

This product can be used on oak and pine. Keep in mind, that I was able to use this on this particular Ikea piece because it was made from actual wood (pine). I’ve read previously that this product wasn’t nearly as successful with imitation. This one is from Home Depot, but I’ve seen it on Amazon too.

For Ikea’s “black-brown stain” (oh so descriptive), I chose the darkest option, Ebony. There were eighteen to choose from, so I’m sure you could find a colour similar to your piece of furniture.

1. Wipe down your furniture with a damp cloth. One nick I was most worried about was this one:


. It was in fact just remnants of a sticker, so it ended up looking like this:


2. Use the pen to literally just draw on the scratches. Wipe off the excess stain with a cloth. I used strokes that follow the grain blend with the rest of the wood.

That’s it. It only took me about twenty minutes! Love a quick and easy project. It was completely worth it. And at an easy $180 + $7 for the pen plus tax, it’s budget friendly too. Here are some (completely unedited) before and after shots.


DSC_0484   DSC_0514



You can vaguely see my drawn lines when you look closely, but from a regular distance? Totally gone!

Dresser BeforeDresser After

What about you? Have any success with a product like this? Any tips? Any other ideas fix a scratch? I’d love to hear from you!

I did not receive any compensation for this post, just wanted to share my find! These photos are completely unedited to show the improvement.