When remodeling kitchen cabinets you may have chosen the stunning look of dark cherry or natural cherry kitchen cabinets. Part of the beauty of cherry wood cabinets in your kitchen is that they darken over time giving the true look of old fashioned cabinets. If you remodeled your entire kitchen you may have paired dark cherry cabinets with granite countertops or natural cherry cabinets with tiled counters. 


Unfortunately cherry wood cabinets, both dark and natural colors of this fine wood can be easily dinged and scratched up with normal use. Rather than refacing kitchen cabinets which can be costly and time consuming, you can fix scratches easily on your own and keep the focus on the natural beauty of these cabinets.

 Drilling Holes in Corian CountersCredit: By Korman (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

You can fix scratches on cherry cabinets in one of two ways. You can either use shoe polish or you can use darkened iodine. 


If using shoe polish:


Clean off the cabinets with a damp cleaning cloth and allow them to air dry. Get some dark red shoe polish or cordovan colored shoe polish. Both of these colors will blend well with the natural cherry cabinet colors. 


Put a small bit of the polish on the tip of a soft and clean cloth. Carefully fill in the scratch with the polish. Keep applying until the scratch or gash is fully filled in. 


Move around and over the filled in scratch in a circular motion with cloth. This will blend in the polish into the cherry wood cabinet surface and fill in the scratches.


Wait for the polish to fully dry and reapply if needed. Apply using the same method to other scratches. 


If using darkened iodine:


Wipe down the cabinets with a damp and clean cloth and allow it to fully dry before proceeding.


Take a cotton swab and dip one end into the bottle of darkened iodine. Gently tap the tip against the bottle edge to drip off excess iodine. 

How to remove scratches from stainless steelCredit: By Riverview Homes, Inc. (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons


Apply the iodine by moving the tip of the cotton swab in and over the scratch. Allow the iodine to dry and reapply as needed until the scratch is filled. It may take multiple applications. If you want you can also use a fine painter’s brush (as thin as possible) to apply the iodine as the cotton swab can occasionally leave behind residue or cotton strands. 


Keep in mind that as the cabinets naturally age the color of them may change. This means you may need to reapply the polish or iodine or choose a different shade of color to better match the cabinets, in some cases even when the scratches were previously filled.



Remember to be careful not to spill or apply the polish or iodine on other surfaces like granite with cherry cabinets, appliances, and other surfaces.


Don’t paint over your natural cherry or dark cherry cabinets as this takes away from their natural fine coloring and design. 


When finished the scratches will be unnoticeable on the cherry cabinets.