Category Archives: Quick Fixes & Touch Ups

A Vintage Gift for Any Golfer

April is Minwax National Woodworking Month®! To celebrate, Minwax® expert Bruce Johnson has put together some of his favorite tips & tricks for using Minwax® products. Don’t forget to download the Minwax National Woodworking Month® mail-in rebate form, you could save up to $17 on select Minwax® products. 

I love digging through thrift shops, especially when I’m looking for a gift for a special friend or relative, such as my brother-in-law, who loves to golf. When I spotted this vintage wooden shaft 8-iron for just $15, I knew I had a bargain.

The golf club had some issues, including some spots of rust. I did not want to make it look brand new, so I just used a pad of fine steel wool dipped in Minwax® Paste Finishing Wax to remove the loose rust and provide a protective barrier to prevent any more rust from forming.

I used the same Minwax® Paste Finishing Wax on a soft cloth to also revive and restore the original finish on the wooden shaft. After letting it partially dry, I buffed off the excess wax, leaving a satin sheen afterwards.

And now the once forgotten Spalding 8-iron has become a treasured part of my brother-in-law’s “man cave” down in his basement.

Until next time,

Never stop looking!


Tips for Restoring & Protecting Furniture

No matter how careful we are, it always seems to happen:  a nick or a scratch suddenly appears on our furniture. We don’t have time for a complete refinishing, and getting out a can of stain just for a touch-up is inconvenient, so what’s a quick and easy solution?

This is when Minwax® Wood Finish™ Stain Markers are great to have around. These handy tubes of stain have a felt tip for easy application, so you just pick the color that matches your furniture, apply the stain, and wipe off any excess. It’s that easy.

In just a few minutes the stain is dry and the nick or scratch has nearly disappeared. Got time for one more tip?

The best way to preserve and protect an antique finish is with a coat of Minwax® Paste Finishing Wax, in either natural or special dark. Rub on, let it begin to dry, then buff with a soft cloth to a semi-gloss sheen – and you won’t have to worry about guests setting a glass on your family heirlooms.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!




A Cure for Rotted Wood

Many people often confuse Minwax’s Wood Putty, a soft, tinted material used to fill nail holes, with Minwax® High Performance Wood Filler which is used less often, but plays an important role in repairing rotted wood, such as what I found in this pine table which has sat on my deck since 1998.

High Performance Wood Filler consists of two substances:  the filler in the can and the hardener in the tube. Following the directions on the can, I mixed the two together…

… then packed it into the void where the rotted wood had fallen out.

After it had dried and hardened, I used a coarse file to remove most of the excess Wood Filler, then followed with #120-grit sandpaper to level the Wood Filler with the surface of the surrounding wood.

Quick Tip:  To make my patch look more realistic, I used a hobby knife to cut grain lines into the smooth, hardened Wood Filler.

I then applied a fresh coat of Sherwin-Willliams WoodScapes exterior house stain to my deck table, and, as you can see – or not see – the Wood Filler made the rotted section (front right) nearly disappear.

Until next time,

Measure twice, saw once!


How to Fix a Water-Stained Bench

We had a heavy downpour last week, which caused the skylight in our bedroom to leak. The water sat overnight on an oak bench I had built more than twenty years ago and finished with shellac. As you can see, the shellac had little resistance to the water.

In cases like this, the only solution is to sand off the old finish. For this I used my palm sander and #180-grit sandpaper. Since I was only refinishing the top of the bench, I protected the end boards from the sander with blue masking tape.

After vacuuming off the dust, I reached for a can of Minwax® Wood Finish™ in “Gunstock”. It can be applied with either a brush or a cloth, but all excess stain has to be wiped off before it dries, as the stain belongs in the wood, not on top if the wood.

Instead of shellac, this time I used the satin sheen of Minwax® Fast-Drying Polyurethane. The satin sheen gives it an antique look, but it still has the polyurethane protection my bench needs.

Just a faint reminder of the water stain remains, as I purposely only did a light sanding to preserve the aged look of the oak bench. I could have removed all of the stain with a belt sander and bleach, but that would have also erased the “character” of my bench.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!