How to Touch Up Wood Kitchen Cabinets

Occasionally, wood kitchen cabinet surfaces require touch-up from usual wear and tear or accidental damage. Replacing or refacing your kitchen cabinets may be outside your budget. Refinishing them can take days and expensive materials. Try touching up minor flaws in your wood cabinets. You'll stay within your budget and finish within hours instead of days.

Kitchen interior
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Step 1

Wipe cabinets clean with a damp cloth to reveal surface imperfections. Make sure the areas that need touch-up are clean and dry before moving on to the next step.

Step 2

Cover surface scratches using a stain marker matching the stain of your cabinets. If you know your cabinets' manufacturer, you may be able to order a matching stain marker from the company. If not, purchase more than one color and test the markers on an inconspicuous portion of the cabinet to find the best match.

Step 3

Spray polyurethane onto the stained scratch according to instructions on the spray bottle.

Step 4

Rub deeper scratches or small dents gently with the abrasive cleaning pad to buff away jagged edges.

Step 5

Apply wood putty stick in matching finish color to fill the scratch or dent. Wipe away excess. Wood putty will never harden completely, so use stained or stainable wood filler instead if the area will ever need sanding, drilling or nailing.

Step 6

Spray the touched-up spot with polyurethane according to manufacturer's instructions.

Andrea Lott Haney

Andrea Lott Haney writes articles and training materials for food industry publications. Having studied foodservice sanitation, nutrition and menu planning at Purdue University, Lott Haney has more than 10 years of experience as a catering and event planner for luxury hotels and currently tours the Midwest as a corporate customer service trainer and consultant.