How To Use Ground Cinnamon To Erase Furniture Scratches

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Nothing can be quite as disheartening as noticing a nick in a piece of your wood furniture, whether it's a brand-new piece or a beloved antique. Household accidents can pile up, and the wear can start making your lovely wood furniture look weathered or dingy and not in a vintage, aesthetic way. Luckily, before you start digging through your junk drawer for the right shade of brown marker, there's an easy fix that's probably already in your pantry: cinnamon!

If you've got some wooden furniture that's in need of a little TLC, you can turn to your spice rack for a quick and fragrant solution. In the spirit of other all-natural wood treatments like an oil and vinegar solution or shelled walnuts, a simple sprinkling of ground cinnamon can help fill in dents, scratches, and scars on your wooden furniture. The earthy, warm brownish-orange hue of cinnamon will also bring back your furniture's original vibrant coloring.

Cinnamon's super powers

It seems like there's no end to cinnamon's capabilities. Its chemical structure can repel ants; its antimicrobial properties make it a great natural mouthwash, antifungal, and carpet cleaner, and obviously, the holidays wouldn't be the same without it. But the latest entry on cinnamon's resume is "furniture savior."

Taking advantage of cinnamon's restorative powers is simple: Just grab some ground cinnamon from the spice rack, sprinkle it liberally over the site of any scratches, and rub it in with your fingers or a paper towel. You'll quickly see its rich red-brown color darkening any scratches and scrapes. Wipe the excess away and repeat until satisfied with the final result.

There's an added bonus to this process for anyone with a feline friend. The scent of ground cinnamon is repellent to cats (but it isn't toxic to them!), in case you've been looking for the perfect subtle hint to let Fluffy know the dining room table isn't for lounging.

Keep cats at bay

Cinnamon's scent is also repellent to cats if you've been looking for a subtle hint to let Fluffy know the dining room table isn't for lounging. The strong, spicy scent that many people find warm and inviting is overpowering to the much finer-tuned feline senses, causing your average cat to give it a wide breadth. The best defense is a good offense, and cinnamon can be a game changer in the eternal struggle of man vs. cat, preventing scratches in the first place while also helping you mask existing damage.

Powdered cinnamon is non-toxic to cats (and dogs), so there's no danger to your furry loved ones, as much as they might complain. That being said, you should still avoid products with higher concentrations of cinnamon, like essential oil, which can cause complications like muscle weakness and lethargy, and even cause burning to a cat's skin, mouth, and eyes.

Likewise, if your cat seems like it has taken a liking to cinnamon, you'll want to bail and find another deterrent. While cinnamon isn't toxic to cats, it can be problematic if ingested in large doses. Cats lack the ability to metabolize cinnamon, and a compound in cinnamon called coumarin is a blood thinner that could "conceivably cause problems for your cats with clotting" in large doses, Debra Eldredge, a doctor of veterinary medicine, told Daily Paws.

Cinnamon can't solve everything

While cinnamon can render small scratches invisible, this aromatic spice does have its limits. A cinnamon treatment can cover a lot, but it's not going to undo damage or restore varnish. If there's a big enough gash in your wood, the darkening powers of cinnamon will only do so much to cloak the damage. Also, this trick works best on real wood furniture and isn't as effective on laminate or imitation wood.

If you're looking for a heavier-duty fix, there are plenty of products that will help you restore your furniture to its former glory. Wood markers and instant scratch remover sprays are available in a spectrum of colors, allowing you to get a perfect match on your specific piece. If you're dealing with a deeper cut or notch, a wood filler kit will let you blend the color while also filling and smoothing the damage.

That being said, it's a great trick to keep in mind for those small fixes. You might not always have access to a woodwork repair kit, but you can almost guarantee there will be at least a pinch of cinnamon in the house if and when you experience a furniture emergency. It's an easy and accessible option that can help your wood furniture avoid looking its age. Another bonus? It'll keep your house smelling amazing every time you tend to your furniture.