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Touch Up Powders

wood finishing

by Alan Noel
Professional Wood Finisher


behlen powders

When it comes to touching up small areas during the finishing process or touching up small dents and dings after the fact, touch up powders are an integral part of any good finisher/touch up artist's tools of the trade. These pigments are usually mixed into very thin shellac which acts as a binder that will be sealed in during the finishing process.

Since woods are all earth tones, pigments in the colors of raw/burnt umber, raw/burnt sienna, medium yellow, venetian red, black and white are a great place to begin. Here are eight tips for using touch up powders:

  1. Burnt umber is a reddish brown and is very close to mahagony.
  2. Raw umber is a greenish brown and is very close to walnut.
  3. Burnt sienna is a lighter reddish brown and is close to cherry.
  4. Raw sienna is a lighter greenish brown and is found in walnut and poplar.
  5. Medium yellow is a lighter rusty yellow and is close to maple and pine.
  6. Venetian red is a brick red and is close to yellow (heart) pine and is also found in cherry.
  7. Black and white are used in very small amounts to alter the above colors.
  8. When color matching, a little practice on glass laying over the project will help to speed up the process.


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


August 4  Spray Finishing

August 11  Antiques Show & Tell

August 25 & 26  Antique Restoration

September 8  Antiques Show & Tell

September 19  French Polish Workshop

September 22  Spray Finishing




Visit Highland Woodworking's Online
Wood Finishing Supplies Department




Alan can be reached directly via email c/o Alan Noel Furniture Refinishing at anoelfurniturere@bellsouth.net.


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