Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Fixing a Scratch on a Stained Wood Kitchen Cabinet

A scratch on your kitchen cabinet can become a big eyesore to you, especially when you think about how much time and money went into those cabinets. Even when manufacturers make a strong cabinet with a durable top-coat, scratches may still occur after years of heavy use.

How to prevent scratches

No one in their right mind would intentionally scratch their cabinets (unless of course that’s the look they were going for), but accidents do happen. Take extra care of your cabinets each day by being mindful of what can hurt them. When wiping down your cabinets avoid using rough sponges/towels or scouring pads; and steer clear of abrasive cleaners, powder cleaners, or furniture cleaners that remove wax buildup.

If a scratch presents itself

If you do see a scratch, don’t panic. If you have our Cabinet & Counter Protection Plan, simply call the toll free number and they will fix the scratch to your complete satisfaction. If you don’t, there are ways to make it disappear. Of course, one option is to have a professional sand down the entire door and re-finish it (or replace the door altogether), but that becomes a big project; and chances are, it’s not necessary.

Most cabinet manufacturers offer touch-up kits that match your cabinet’s stain. Your kit may contain a touch-up pen, a fill stick/pencil, putty or similar tools. If your cabinets didn’t come with a kit, they should be available for purchase.

For minor scratches and scrapes that affect the color, make sure the area is clean and dry, and follow the directions on your pen (if it is a fluid pen, this usually requires shaking the pen with the cap on for a minute to ensure the color is mixed properly). Use a piece of cardboard, or another similar surface to prepare and test your pen before using it directly on the cabinet wood. This will ensure you don’t apply too much, or the wrong color by mistake. When you’re ready, apply the matching color to the worn edges or scratches. You can use a clean rag to remove excess fluid and blend the color.

For gouges, nail holes, nicks or deeper scratches you may choose to use a fill stick or putty to fill in the area if the touch-up pen didn’t disguise it enough for your tastes. Apply the putty or the filler material provided and make sure you remove any excess residue with a clean cloth or a plastic card (be careful not to scratch the surrounding area). The putty, if lighter than the finish, may require you to mark it with a touch-up marker to make it match closer.

What if I can’t get a touch up kit?

You can find a helpful video showing how to repair scratches to your stained wood cabinets here:Video: How To Repair a Scratch on a Stained Wood Kitchen Cabinet

It is important to find out the exact color your cabinets were finished in, or have the color matched by a professional. For scratches that cut into the wood, dip a gentle paintbrush into the matching stain and cover just the affected area, wiping away excess with a gentle cloth.

If only the top coat is affected and it bothers you enough, find out what type of top coat was used on your cabinet (usually this will be a catalyzed lacquer or a conversion varnish), sand down the area lightly, and apply the same top-coat carefully. If you’re not confident with your skills, we urge you to seek the help of a professional, so you don’t cause more damage in your attempt to fix up your cabinet.

Minor touch-ups to cabinet scratches may not always make them look perfect, but when done properly, they can mask the damage so well that no one else will even know it is there.

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