How to Fill in Gouges in Kitchen Cabinets

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Your kitchen cabinets are usually the first thing visitors notice when entering your kitchen. Unattractive gouges might be second, if you still have not gotten around to filling them in. With plenty of colored putties and fillers on the market, you should be able to smooth out and hide gouges yourself, with minimal effort. Your goal is to make kitchen cabinet gouges as smooth and inconspicuous as possible. Do not expect all repairs to be invisible up close, but with luck, gouges will be the last thing your visitors, and you, notice. Whether you have painted or wood-finish cabinets, filling gouges takes only a few minutes of your time and is relatively inexpensive.

Things You'll Need

  • Soft bristle brush
  • Wood filler or colored putty
  • Putty knife
  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Colored putty sticks
  • Soft cloth
  • Dish soap or furniture polish

How to Fill in Gouges in Kitchen Cabinets

  • Use a soft brush to sweep away any loose splinters or dust from gouges. Wash in and around the gouges to thoroughly to remove any dust, grease or splatters. Allow to dry completely.

  • Use your putty knife to fill gouges with wood filler, if you have painted kitchen cabinets.

  • Smooth wood filler with your putty knife until it is raised slightly above flush with your cabinet surface. Allow filler to dry according to product directions. If putty is shriveled and shrunk, apply another thin layer to smooth imperfections and let dry.

  • Sand lightly with fine-grit sandpaper. Dust off and touch up paint.

  • Purchase colored putty sticks from your local home improvement store to repair gouges on wood finish kitchen cabinets. Select one putty stick that appears to exactly match your kitchen cabinet's finish. Select an additional putty stick in a slightly lighter shade and one more in a slightly darker shade.

  • Dust and wipe in and around the gouges with furniture polish to clean.

  • If your putty stick color choice does not exactly match your kitchen cabinets, shave off thin slivers from each different putty stick. Mix the colors together by kneading them between your fingers. Mix in more shavings until you have an exact match.

  • Pull off a small piece of putty and push it firmly into the gouge to fill. Scrape excess putty away with your putty knife.

  • Use a soft cloth to polish the surface and wipe excess putty off your cabinet surface.

Tips & Warnings

  • If colored putty dries and you see an outline of the gouge, touch it up with a matching wax crayon.
  • Touch up with a polyurethane finish, if needed, to match your kitchen cabinets.
  • Use epoxy putty instead of wood filler for repairing large gouges. Similar to auto body filler, epoxy putty can add extra structural support to weak surfaces.
  • Keep moisture and humidity levels down in your kitchen to keep your cabinets in prime condition.

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References

  • Photo Credit modern kitchen with cabinets image by redking from Fotolia.com
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