Forget brushes when it comes to varnishing a ton of trim or big, flat areas like tabletops and cabinets. Use a 4-in. disposable roller and a nonstick, lipped baking sheet. Pour some varnish into the tray and use it just like a paint rolling tray. Keep adding varnish as you need it, but try to plan so you end up with an empty tray. When you’re through, toss the roller sleeve and let the wet varnish dry in the pan. When it dries, just peel the varnish film right out of the pan. Thanks to Aaron McKeever for this tip.
Title Your Finishing Cans
If you have 10 years’ worth of rectangular solvent and finish cans on your shelf, and it’s hard to grab the mineral spirits can without first pulling out the acetone, the walnut stain and the denatured alcohol cans. Try this great solution. Set all the cans side by side and spray them with white appliance paint. When the paint’s dry, write the names with a permanent marker or paint pen on the painted spines like a book title. Now you’ll instantly nab the can you need and say thanks to Bruce Ristow for such a speedy read.
Furniture Ding Fixers for Free
Fix dings and scratches on wood surfaces without spending a penny. You already have a palette of colors in your closet, desk drawer or makeup kit. Shoe polish, eyebrow pencils, markers, watercolors, fingernail polish and iodine thinned to the right shade with denatured alcohol are just a few of the possibilities. Before applying color to the marred area, try it on the part of the furniture that’s the least visible. You can even create a “test” scratch in a hidden spot. When you determine the right color, rub it into the scratch, then wipe off the residue from the adjacent surface. Many thanks to Nina Jacobson for revealing our true colors.
Check out other furniture fixes that don’t include throwing a matchbook under a wobbly chair.