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Inexpensive Tricks to Erase the Wear and Tear on Your Home

Stop stressing over scratched furniture and squeaky stairs. These quick home improvements are cheap and effective.

Emma Kapotes/, iStock/rvlsoft

Hide furniture scratches

Whether your cat scratched your sofa’s legs senseless or your young child scuffed your coffee table with scissors, you’ll want to cover up the damage. How? Use a crayon. Find the shade that matches the wood finish, and soften it with a hair dryer. Color in the scratches with the softened crayon, and then buff the repaired area with a clean rag. Do these things that smart homeowners do once a year.

Emma Kapotes/, iStock/Pamela Moore

Reboot leather

Though scuff marks usually end up on a vinyl floor, they can show up on a leather couch or chair, too. Get rid of them by rubbing them with a pencil cap eraser. A regular pencil eraser will also work.

Emma Kapotes/, iStock/Devonyu

Take care of your wood floor

Don’t let your grandmother’s rocking chair ruin the finish on your wood floor. Just place a piece of adhesive tape along the bottom of each rocker, and your floor will be safe. These home improvement projects will double the value of your home.

Emma Kapotes/, iStock/jodi mcgee

Clean up a paint job

White moldings make any room look a little more elegant, but small marks and scrapes take away from that beauty. Return your room to its former glory by painting liquid correction fluid over any faults you find. To re-create the moldings’ glossy look, cover the correction fluid with clear nail polish. (And don’t forget that correction fluid works beautifully on small stains on walls and ceilings, too.)

Emma Kapotes/, iStock/Remmzo

Repair a scratched tub

Enamel bathtubs and other enamel surfaces can get scratched, no matter how carefully you care for them. The good news is that repairing a scratched tub is even easier than scratching it! Clean the affected area with a cotton ball moistened with rubbing alcohol, and let it dry. Simply brush on the correction fluid for a quick and easy fix. (Try these smart strategies to get rid of dust in your home.)

Emma Kapotes/, iStock/Mark Stahl

Refresh suede

Rub gently with an eraser not only to remove minor stains and marks from suede shoes and bags, but also to fluff up the suede fibers. This trick works on suede armchairs and couches as well.

Emma Kapotes/, iStock/Mark Sauerwein

Put a stop to squeaky stairs

Don’t let a noisy step keep you awake at night. Scrape some pencil lead into the seam where the flat part of the step and the riser (the back of the step) meet. The squeak will disappear. The pencil lead will eventually seep out of the joint, so be sure to reapply it when necessary.

Emma Kapotes/, iStock/ranplett

Make carpet look new

Don’t despair if you find a hole burned in your carpet. Just cut the burned fibers out with scissors, then put rubber cement into the hole with a toothpick. Cover the ends of matching carpet fibers (that you’ve cut from a remnant or a hidden area of carpet) with rubber cement, and put them in the hole. Draw the tufts upright with a pin, then, when the patch is dry, blend the tufts into the carpet using the pin.

Emma Kapotes/, iStock/jane

Clean up crayon marks

If your pint-sized Picasso got carried away and colored the (washable) wallpaper with crayon, don’t worry that he’s created a permanent masterpiece. Cover the offending marks with rubber cement, wait until it dries completely, then roll off the rubbery glue (and your budding young artist’s work).