How to Get Dents Out of Finished Wood

Whether you drop something on it, bump it with something metal, or the kids run into it with their toys . . . bam, your wood is dented. It could be your new kitchen cabinets, a nice piece of furniture, wood trim around the house, or your kitchen table. Even when we are shipping kitchen cabinets around the country, sometimes one of the doors might show up with a dent. But it is not the end of the world. Most dents and dings in wood are easily fixed without having to replace it.

Since wood is a natural, porous material, it will respond to moisture. In fact, all a dent actually is, is the porous fibers in the wood getting condensed from something heavier coming in contact with it. So the quickest, and easiest solution is to just apply moisture to the dented area. While there are several different versions of this method online, I have found this one to be the most effective and easiest to do. 

Now before we get started, I have to clarify…  if you have a dent in the wood on a painted surface, you will have to remove the paint first in order to get to the bare wood (so that it can accept the moisture).. just sand down the area to the bare wood and then repaint afterwards.

How to Fix Dents in Kitchen Cabinets
& Anything Else Made from Wood

  • Sand down the area to remove paint and finishes from the wood
  • With a small needle or pin and poke the depressed/dented area repeatedly
  • Apply several drops of water to the area and cover with a damp rag. We recommend that you add hot water to the damp rag
  • Take an iron, and using the cotton setting, iron over the rag that is on dent or indentation. The water absorbed into the wood will expand the crushed wood fibers
  • If you really want to concentrate the heat, place an upside down bottle cap over the dent and then apply the iron. The heat conducted through the cap will focus the heat
  • If the dent doesn’t raise on the first try, repeat until the wood regains its shape
Fixing dents in wood
Tips for getting out dents in wood

Our cabinet customers are often able to avoid the claims process by trying this technique first. It saves the time of waiting for replacement parts so you can move on with your project.

For more tips and tricks like this, follow us Facebook @rtakitchencabinetstore

One thought on “How to Get Dents Out of Finished Wood

  1. This really works. The iron must be hot; cotton/linen setting is essential. Be careful not to damage the finish with heat.

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