I have a UV-finished butcher block countertop that has several dents in it. As I know, it is simple to remove dents on unfinished surface using iron on wet wood, but UV-finish makes it complicated (if even possible), as water wouldn't penetrate into the wood. So, my main question is whether it is possible to remove dents on the UV-finished wooden surface, and how to do that?

As a side question I would ask whether that is reasonable to do. This is a new countertop that I bought at Home Depot. Actually that is a third one, as the other two had dents and even were cracked, so HD replaced them (I have had two replacements already). I could continue this serie of replacements, but the countertops are packed so badly that I'm loosing hope to get the one undamaged. If I would get an idea how to fix the dents by myself, I would prefer to get a discount and make a fix by myself; if it is overly difficult, I would proceed with the replacement.

P.S. In case the details are needed, the wood is saman, the countertop is an island one (6 ft x 39 inches).

Update: here is a link to the HD product: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Hampton-Bay-6-ft-L-x-39-in-D-Finished-Saman-Solid-Wood-Butcher-Block-Island-Countertop-With-Live-Edge-saman-6ft/319222221

  • What is "UV-finished"?
    – FreeMan
    Oct 12, 2023 at 18:04
  • There is no meaningful description of the item, just "UV paint countertop". A thin layer of lacquer, probably epoxy-based. I have no details. Oct 13, 2023 at 3:36
  • Linking to the product at the HD website might help give us a better idea of what that means. OTOH, it may leave us just as confused...
    – FreeMan
    Oct 13, 2023 at 12:20
  • Thank you, I've added the link. Oct 13, 2023 at 13:10

2 Answers 2


Generally it's not possible to remove dents from wood with any sort of decent finish on it, if the finish is in A, good condition and B, applied at any sort of thickness. This is irrespective of whether the dents are minor or not.

"UV-finished" doesn't mean anything concrete, as this could be used to describe four or more different finish types that just have UV inhibitors added. Although commercially this list is likely to be only two, there are still multiple sub-types.

But in all cases the main thing is, is it a film finish applied fully — is there a thin layer of something hard and clear that visibly coats the wood, creating a smooth artificial surface? If so, then there's no reasonable way to remove dents by the usual means of steaming them out, because as you say water can't get through to the wood.

And anyway, even IF effective1 steaming isn't the only step in the process, and there are further issues:

  • steam penetration can (frequently does) cause localised staining;
  • the heat required can damage or undermine any finish present;
  • some evening out or further smoothing of the wood surface is always needed if you want a repair that could reasonably be called invisible.

As a side question I would ask whether that is reasonable to do.

Questions should focus on just one aspect of a problem, and anyway this is highly subjective (which doesn't make for a good SE Question), but I'll tackle it briefly.

The issues listed above don't at all mean one couldn't work with what you have. But, even in the best of cases (bare wood) it requires a lot more than just steaming every dent and then you're done; and of course here you'd need to remove the finish and then refinish at the end.

To me this doesn't seem reasonable unless you're getting a huge discount on the counter2.

1 Do note it is rarely 100% effective across multiple dents across a large surface due to variability in the wood, variations in dent cause or type, and of course their depth.

2 Assuming they were willing to heavily discount the countertop, you still need to ask yourself: is it worth your time, can you deal with the effort and mess (and potentially the smell/VOCs), do you have the skills and experience going in to ensure a good result, and last but by no means least can you then wait a long time before the counter can be used unrestricted? I think it only requires the answer to just one of these to be "Nope." for this not to be viable.


From the "Use and Care manual" link at the HD site, it says,

If you plan to cut or need to refinish your countertop, use a spray lacqure (sic) for an even finish. Please see finish manufacture's instructions for finish application.
Emphasis added

I would believe, therefore, that the "UV finish" is some sort of a lacquer finish and that you should look into lacquer repair techniques to repair your damage.

  • "lacqure" is a spelling mistake and has nothing to do with "British" spelling. Oct 15, 2023 at 14:57
  • Forgive me, @DavidPostill. I know the British add a lot of "u" to words we Americans don't and they reverse the "er" to "re" in many places. Or, maybe, we Americans dropped the "u" and reversed the "re"... I didn't bother to look up the spelling to see if it was legit.
    – FreeMan
    Oct 15, 2023 at 16:23
  • It's a combination of French "lacre" and English "lac" and has been spelled as "laquer" since the 16th century :) Oct 15, 2023 at 16:31

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