How to Remove Scratches and Dents from Wooden Countertops

Wooden countertops are stylish and can be very useful in your kitchen. They are a good alternative to quartz, stone or plastic, especially if you want a warmer atmosphere. Wood is very resistant and it absorbs shocks better than other materials. With time, you may scratch the surface of the counter. If only the surface is affected, you can wipe the area with liquid polish. In time, scratches can reach deeper into the wood surface. Scratches and dents gather dirt and grime deteriorating the appearance of your wooden countertop and making it less sanitary. You can easily remove scratches and dents from your wooden countertop using common materials.

Materials Needed:

  • Nonabrasive cloth
  • Ice cubes
  • Bowl
  • Lemon juice
  • Olive oil
  • Oil finish
  • Cotton swabs
  • Iodine
  • Denatured alcohol
  • Sand paper
  • Plastic wood
  • Wood polish or wax

Step 1 – Clean the Countertop

Clean the entire surface and wipe it dry with a clean cloth. Inspect the area to identify all scratches and dents. Check to see which scratches affect the finish and which go deeper into the wood.

Step 2 – Eliminate Dents

Take ice cubes and place them on the dents you identified. Let the ice cubes melt. Water penetrates the wood giving it its original size and shape, thus removing the dents. Wipe away the excess water.

Step 3 – Remove Surface Scratches

Use a bowl to make a mixture of 50% lemon juice and 50% olive oil. Identify the scratches which only affect the finish and use a piece of clean cloth to rub the solution in the direction of the scratch. Apply commercial oil finish on the surface according to the manufacturer’s specifications. The oil finish protects the wooden surface.

For darker wood, like mahogany, put iodine on a cotton swab and apply it on the scratch until it disappears. If you are working with maple, cherry or other light-color woods, use a mixture of equal parts iodine and denatured alcohol and follow the same procedure.

If you only have surface scratches, you won’t need to sand the area. However, if you are dealing with deeper scratches, skip this step and sand the countertop.

Step 4 – Sand the Surface

In case the scratches and dents go deeper into the wood, you have to sand the entire surface until you obtain an even surface.

If the scratches are still visible after sanding, use plastic wood to fill the dents. Choose plastic wood which matches the color of your wooden countertop. In case you want to make the filling yourself, you can mix wood glue with sawdust. Wait for the filling to dry and use sandpaper to smoothen the surface.

Step 5 – Polish the Countertop

Polish or wax the area when you are done correcting the scratches and dents. Remember that your wooden countertop requires periodical maintenance. You should protect the working area by applying mineral oils or other protective treatments. Unless you adequately protect a wooden counter top they can also be damaged by water. Keep the surface dry and wipe spills as soon as possible.