No matter how nice you are to your cabinets, floors and furniture there is going to come a time when you cause some damage that needs to be repaired.
The first thing you need to keep in mind when repairing damage is… no matter how well you do the job your in-laws will walk into your home and directly to the repaired object and stair at it throughout their visit.
Another consideration is whether the repair would turn out better if you replaced the item. If you are working on some kitchen cabinets and seriously damage the face of a door then you may do better getting a new one at your supply house.
Filling small scratches or gouges
If the damage is relatively light and on an area with low traffic or use you can get away with using a stain matched crayon type product. These colored sticks work into the scratch and can be matched to the color of the item you are repairing.
The smaller the repair the better the result.
If you need to match a color many stick fillers can be blended together.
If you need to apply a finish over top of the filler stick make sure that it is stain ready and not a wax material that will repel finishes.
If you need to fill a hole or level out a dent then you can use a filler paste.
Filler paste should not be used to fill holes deeper then 1/4 inch or wider then about a half inch read the directions on the container.
There are many different tinted fillers on the market now that can be mixed together to get an exact match in color.
If you are repairing an expensive item or filling in nail set holes on a large piece you should make sure that the stain you use over the filler will match the color of the finished stained piece.
This means you may want to use a darker or lighter filler depending on how the filler will absorb the stain and not match the filler to the original unfinished color of the natural wood.
You can purchase wood filler in small 4 ounce cans or as large as a gallon for big jobs.
Never return dry or unused filler to the container.
Always keep the container sealed even when working with it. Simply get enough to do your work and place it on a plastic pallet and reseal the can so the chemicals will not evaporate.
Water based fillers
Some manufacturers are beginning to introduce water based fillers. They are mainly used in floor restoration or larger repairs where the product is troweled on, allowed to dry and then sanded off.