Touching Up Furniture

by Alan Noel
Professional Wood Finisher

I often get calls from customers to come to their homes to touch up their pieces in place if possible.

There is a huge array of touch-up materials available for this purpose. However the vast majority of these are designed specifically for experienced touch-up technicians or the experienced finisher.

By far, the easiest and quickest way to accomplish a lot of everyday wear and tear touch-ups is to use touch-up pens that are specially formulated for this task. They are available in different colors that will match most of the common furniture designs and colorations of the past and present.

Sometimes they can be a little tricky to use. Here are seven tips:

1. Buy several colors. They can be used on top of one another for even more colors.

2. Always try to find an inconspicuous area to practice on like the inside of a leg or back of a door.

3. If in doubt about which color to use, start with a lighter color first. Then move on to a darker color.

4. Keep a cloth in one hand to IMMEDIATELY wipe of the excess marker from the surrounding area. Otherwise the marker will "bite" into the finish after just a few seconds.

5. Speed is essential. Move as fast as you can, or have someone help with the wipe-off.

6. Always remember that when used on a scratch that has completely penetrated the finish, the marker will make the touch-up area much darker. Start these areas with a lighter color.

7. Some markers (but not all) are formulated so they can be wiped off of a finished surface with mineral spirits after drying. It is a good idea to test your markers for this before use. It could save you a lot of headache!

Visiting Atlanta? Attend one of Alan's upcoming highly informative Highland Woodworking wood finishing seminars:

Quick Finishes , June 17, 2009

Antique Restoration Workshop , July 18-19, 2009

French Polishing Workshop , July 29, 2009

Alan can be reached directly via email c/o Alan Noel Furniture Refinishing at .

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