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How to get knife marks out of a kitchen counter

Updated February 21, 2017

Kitchen countertops are available in many materials including ceramic tile, wood, stainless steel, plastic laminates and composite materials. Cutting food on the countertops leaves behind marks, some shallow and some deeper. The depth of the knife mark depends on the surface material and the sharpness of the knife. Softer, less resilient countertops will leave a deeper cut while harder materials will leave a surface scratch. The methods for repairing the countertop vary based on the countertop material.

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  1. Match the countertop colour to a laminate repair paste. Laminate repair pastes are available in many colours. Many packages will state the countertop brand name and colour allowing you to have a very close, if not exactly matching colour.

  2. Dip a clean, soft cloth into the paste and rub it into the scratch to fill it.

  3. Buff the repair with a clean, soft cloth.

  4. Pour 1 tbsp of baking soda into a small bowl. Slowly add water while stirring to create a paste with the consistency of toothpaste.

  5. Apply the paste to the knife marks with a damp rag.

  6. Rub the scratches in a circular motion until they disappear.

  7. Flush the surface thoroughly with plain water and dry.

  8. Apply a commercial abrasive powder made for stainless steel to the knife marks.

  9. Rub the scratches with a nylon scrubbing pad. Follow the direction of the grain to blend the repair with the stainless steel surface.

  10. Rinse well with plain water and dry completely. Buff the surface with soft cloth.

  11. Wet the scratches with plain water.

  12. Rub the scratches out with 1,200-grit sandpaper.

  13. Wipe up sanding dust and rub the repair with a micromesh sanding pad.

  14. Wet a nylon scrubbing pad with plain water.

  15. Rub the scratches in a circular motion until they are no longer visible.

  16. Dry the countertop and buff with a soft cloth.

  17. Insert 220-grit sandpaper in a sanding block. Follow the wood grain and sand the knife marks with 220-grit sandpaper until they are flush with the countertop.

  18. Insert 400-grit sandpaper into a sanding block. Follow the wood grain and sand the surface to smooth.

  19. Pick up sanding dust with a tack cloth.

  20. Rub #0000 steel wool over the knife marks to soften the edges of the scratches.

  21. Apply a stone colour enhancer to the knife marks.

  22. Buff the surface to remove excess enhancer.

  23. Tip

    Use cutting boards rather than cutting directly on countertops. Consider hiring a professional stone restoration company to remove knife marks on granite and marble countertops. Apply the appropriate sealer to countertops after completing the repair.

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Things You'll Need

  • Laminate repair paste
  • Rags
  • Baking soda
  • Bowl
  • Abrasive stainless steel powder
  • Nylon scrubbing pad
  • 1,200-grit sandpaper
  • Micro-mesh sanding pad
  • 220-grit sandpaper
  • Sanding block
  • 400-grit sandpaper
  • Tack cloth
  • #0000 steel wool
  • Stone colour enhancer

About the Author

Sal Marco began writing professionally in 2009. He has written many online home improvement articles based on his more than 20 years of experience in the home improvement and building industries. He has worked as both part of a team and as a site supervisor. Marco has a Bachelor of Science in management science from Kean University.

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