6 Tips For Recoloring Nics, Scratches & Discoloration on Furniture

6 Tips For Recoloring Nics, Scratches & Discoloration on Furniture

Tiffany Finley
Mar 1, 2011

We are passionate about durable, long-lasting furniture here at Re-Nest. So whether you have inherited some pieces that have a few nics and scratches or the wear and tear is all your own, re-coloring your furniture can come in handy. Painting furniture can give it a whole new look, but if you love those natural wood tones, read on to learn how to recolor your furniture to keep it looking like new.

I found this re-coloring guide after sorting through my Grandma's furniture receipts from a few decades ago. To think she still has these pieces (not to mention their receipts and care manuals!) goes to show the difference in generations. I love old pieces, so keeping her unique finds looking good I decided to take some tips from the furniture experts of another time.

According to my Grandma, furniture re-coloring is perfect for accidental marks like scratches or stains. These are both her tips and advice from her furniture care guide from the olden days.

Wood Stains If you stained the piece to begin with, or can find a stain that closely matches the piece's current color, just apply a tiny amount with an artist's brush or cotton swap to the spot. Blot away any excess stain and buff.

Wax Sticks A handy cheap solution, hardware stores still sell wax sticks! They are just like crayons. Choose the one that best matches your piece and gently rub it over the blemish. Then buff gently. If the color is a bit too dark, partially remove the wax with mineral spirits until the color matches.

Shoe Polish So shoe polish isn't always the most eco-friendly solution, but you may have it handy and there are some more ethical and eco shoe polishes out there. Apply the shoe polish with a toothpick or cotton swab. If the color gets too dark, remove some of it with mineral spirits just like the wax crayon. A few words from the wise. First, only use this for high luster finishes, since shoe polish gets shiny. Here is a quick color guide: Use brown for walnut, cordovan for mahogany, tan for oak, and neutral for natural woods.

Artist's Oil Paints First, make sure the paint is oil-based, not water-based. Next, find the right color and apply with a cotton swab or toothpick. Wipe the blemish dry with a soft cloth.

Felt Tip Touch-Up Pens Perhaps my favorite quick fix are these handy felt-tip pens. They look just like a magic marker and can be found at paint stores, hardware stores and some furniture stores. Match the color pen to your furniture and color in the spot. Finish it off with a good polish.

After sprucing up the piece with re-coloring, the furniture elders suggest a good polish and buff of the piece to help the re-coloration blend in and to keep everything looking nice, new and most importantly still in use.

Any other great tips for re-coloring furniture? We have heard rumors of nail polish for chips and denatured alcohol for water stains.

(Images: Efi CostaRica, Ehow, Painting, GQ, Kingdom Restorations, Seen on TV)

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