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How to Touch Up an Espresso Finish on Wood

Melissa Busse

Espresso finishes are frequently used on many types of wooden objects, including picture frames, cabinetry and flooring. No matter how careful you may be, sometimes wooden items can become scratched. Although espresso makes an eye-catching finish, its dark tone allows scratches to show more easily than lighter shades.

You can easily repair scratches in espresso finishes.

If the espresso finish on your wooden item has only a minor scratch or nick, you should be able to easily touch it up yourself.

Scratch Repair

  1. Buff the damaged area of the wooden item with the Scotch-Brite pad, following the grain of the wood. Then, buff the areas of wood surrounding the scratch lightly, using the Scotch-Brite pad.

  2. Shake the touch-up pen vigorously. Press the tip of the pen onto a piece of paper or cardboard until the tip becomes saturated with color and flows evenly.

  3. Apply the touch-up pen to the scratch using even, light strokes. Use your fingertip to blend the color evenly into the scratch. Allow the wood to dry one to two minutes before handling.

Nick and Gouge Repair

  1. Rub the filler pencil into the area of the scratch, slightly overfilling the scratched area.

  2. Remove excess filler from the scratched area by scraping your putty knife across the surface. Wipe across the entire area using your soft cloth to remove any remaining filler.

  3. Draw grain marks on the scratched area, if desired, using the touch-up pen. This is only necessary if the wood is tightly grained and the filler seems noticeable.

  4. Tip

    To make the filler pencil easier to use, heat the tip of it over a flame. The warmer pencil will be softer and should flow more easily. You may decide to apply a clear coat of polyurethane to the scratched area to seal in the color and even out the sheen of the wood.