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Touching Up a Wall Cabinet Scratch

by Greg Keefer

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A scratch on your finished wall cabinet looms far out of proportion to its small size. As beautiful as your cabinet may be you'll see the scratch every time you look at it. Without a doubt, the scratch is in the most obvious spot on the cabinet.

Repairing Wall Cabinet Scratches

Here's what you can do to restore your wall cabinet to its former glory.

  • Plan your approach. Too many do-it-yourselfers plunge ahead and do more damage than scratch repair. Assemble what you'll need and give yourself a lot of time.
  • Surface scratches. If the scratch isn't deep enough to have fully penetrated the protective surface, you may be able to rub it out. Use mineral spirits as a lubricant and light sandpaper to remove the scratch. Take care to avoid going down through the finish and into the wood to avoid having to touch up the color. If you're successful in removing the scratch, use fine steel wool to rub out the abrasion and a polish or paste wax to restore the finish.
  • Deep scratches. Use a toothpick or dental pick to put a thin line of finish onto the scratch if it can't easily be rubbed out. Lay additional finish on undamaged wood only. Build up the finish with several layers leaving ample time to dry between applications. When the finish has dried and is slightly higher than the rest of the surface use a fine sandpaper to touch up the area. Follow up with steel wool and a lubricant.

There's no need to lose sleep over a small scratch on a wall cabinet. A little finesse and patience will restore your cabinet to an uninterrupted sheen.

About the Author

Greg Keefer has been a do-it-yourselfer with lots of experience in how to do things right and how to do them wrong. He enjoys sharing his experience with the hope of helping others to

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