Fill Small Cracks
If you find nail holes or tiny cracks after applying the final finish, fill them with colored wax fill sticks, wax repair sticks or fill pencils, found at home centers and paint stores.
The directions tell you to rub the stick over the defect. But Kevin recommends breaking off a chunk and warming it up in your hands. Then shape it to fit the flaw and press it in with a smooth tool. He uses a 3/8-in. dowel with an angle on the end. For cracks, make a thin wafer, slide it into the crack and then work the wax in both directions to fill the crack. Buff with a soft cloth.
Get Rid of Dents
You can often get rid of small dents by wetting them. The moisture swells the crushed wood fibers back to their original shape. (You can't fix cuts or gouges this way, though.)
Moisture must penetrate the wood for this to work. Finishes prevent water from penetrating, so Kevin suggests making a bunch of tiny slits with a razor blade to allow the water to penetrate. Use the corner of the blade, and keep the blade parallel to the grain direction. Next, fill the dent with water and wait until it dries. If the dent is less deep but still visible, you can repeat the process. As with most of the repairs we talk about here, the repaired surface may need a coat of wipe-on finish to look its best.
Renew the Luster with Wipe-On Finish
To apply wipe-on finish, first put some on a clean rag. Apply it in a swirling motion like you would with car wax. Then wipe off excess finish, going in the direction of the grain. Let the finish dry overnight and you'll be ready to proudly display your furniture restoration project after you've learned how to refinish a table.