Fill woodwork holes
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Press matching colored putty into
nail holes with the tip of your finger
after staining and varnishing. Then
smooth it off and polish the area with
a dry rag. For added durability and to
help hide the filler, apply a new coat of
compatible finish over the filled woodwork.
Exception: Don’t use water-based
varnish over colored putty.
Most people are surprised to learn that professional painters use
soft colored putty to fill nail holes in
stained woodwork. This eliminates
the nearly impossible job of staining
wood filler to match the surrounding
wood. Several colors are available. To
get an exact match, you may have to
blend two colors. You can even use
two or three colors on the same piece
of wood to match areas of light and
dark wood grain exactly. Colored
putty is available at paint stores, hardware
stores and home centers for
about $2 per container.
Hide scratches with a stain marker
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Make scratches and blemishes disappear with a stain marker. Start with a slightly lighter color and apply more stain to deepen the shade.
Don’t expect this simple tip to hide deep scratches, gouges
or damaged finishes from a sharp-eyed critic. But for a
quick spruce-up, colored markers are just the ticket. Stain
markers like the one shown are available at home centers
and paint stores, but plain old felt-tip markers work great
too. You’ll be surprised how easily you can hide glaring
scratches and dings from the casual observer.