How to Remove Marks From Old Cabinet Hardware

Julie Christensen

Replacing old cabinet hardware can completely update kitchen, bathroom and utility room cupboards. Once you've unscrewed the hardware and removed it, you may find rust or oil stains, as well as dents or holes. Repairing them is simple enough if you plan to repaint or refinish the cabinets. Otherwise, use extra care so you don't damage or remove the existing paint or finish.

Cleaning Old Marks

Replacing outdated hardware freshens cabinets.

Step 1

Mix 2 tbsp. gum turpentine, 4 tbsp. boiled linseed oil and 1 gallon hot water in a bucket. Use water hot enough to require rubber gloves.

Step 2

Apply the cleaning solution to the damaged areas, rubbing to remove oils, rust and stains.

Step 3

Rub lightly with steel wool, taking care not to remove the finish. Wipe the surface with a damp cloth.

Patching Holes

Step 1

Heat a butter knife or spatula by placing it in boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove the utensil from the water and wipe dry.

Step 2

Place the hot knife on the tip of the wax stick to melt it. Return the knife to the hot water to reheat it when needed.

Step 3

Hold the wax stick over the gouged wood so the melted wax fills the damaged area. Allow the wax to mound slightly over the top of the hole. Melt additional wax with the hot knife if necessary.

Step 4

Work the melted wax into the hole with the hot knife, smoothing out the top so it is even with the surrounding cabinet. Trim with a razor blade. Dry the wax overnight.

Step 5

Paint a thin coating of shellac over the wax. The shellac protects the wax and allows new finishes to smoothly adhere to the surface.