Hiding Screw Holes in Kitchen Cabinets
Stained finishes make for tougher fixes
I want to change the hinges on my cabinets to the concealed type. But how do I cover the screw holes left by the old hinges? —Beverley Morrison, Paradise, Newfoundland
The fix depends on whether your cabinets are painted or stained. If painted, simply fill each hole with a small dab of polyester wood filler, like the ones made by Bondo and Minwax. You mix a little hardener into the putty and in about 25 minutes it sets hard enough to sand. Then just prime and paint to complete the repair.
Disguising holes in cabinets with a stained finish is more of a challenge. You'll want to use a colored wax pencil, like the Blend-Fil pencils made by Minwax. Find one that matches the shade of your existing finish and rub the pencil's tip back and forth over the hole to fill it with wax. Wipe off the residue around the hole with a clean cloth.
If no pencil's color is a close enough match, try blending a few. Start by filling the hole with a slightly lighter shade, then go over it with a darker pencil. That's all there is to it; wax can't be top-coated with a clear finish.
—This Old House general contractor Tom Silva