I'm ready to finish (clear or stained - don't know yet) some mahogany shelves. The carpenter did a great job over-sanding to level joints and solid trim to the plywood, and of course burnt through the veneer. I need a quick and easy way to fix at least the color in these areas. They aren't big, but they are visible. Nothing crazy, please.
From contributor B:
Been there and done that. Well, to put it simply, you're in a tough spot. Touching up veneer is difficult for even the best finishers. About the only thing you can do is try to touch it up with either multiple coats of some Blendal powders dissolved (and thinned) in your choice of finish using a fine artist's brush or touchup pens from Mohawk/Behlen (use a razor blade to put a pointier tip on the end). You won't get it perfect. The trick is to just not have your eye drawn to the sand through. Darker is always better.
Powdered dyes (you pick the supplier - Kremer, Sonopia, etc.). You will need: lamp black, red, blue, purple, green yellow, warm yellow, white, raw umber and burnt umber. A few tablespoons of each will last you years. Store them in a fly fishing assortment box. One bottle of shellac and a bottle of alcohol. Hit your local art supply store for a few fine long bristle brushes and cut a few 3x3 scraps of cardboard and you are all set. A few drops of shellac and a few drops of alcohol mixed with color should do. Grain in the lightest background grain color and seal with sanding sealer. Next, mix black and one of the browns to get the grain color, then seal and sand. Finally, mix a transparent overtone, seal and final. Like anything else, it will take practice, but it is very doable and will save you and your customers tons of money. If you do not care to start, then find a local furniture touchup person and pay them extra to hang over their shoulder.
Mohawk sells a Blendal kit. A great kit for any finisher. It works with any type of finish.
As for the store bought stuff, I still have most of the touchup powders that came with my master kit from Mohawk 40 years ago. They made lots of money off me by pre-bottling and mixing pretty colors that never match anything I am working on. Once I used all the basic colors, the rest just sit in the box. Once I realized that for what they charge for a 2 oz bottle, I could buy a full pound of powder, I can mix any color or tone I want to. The trade is hard enough without using what someone else makes for you. Still have not opened that Derxsel Mahogany bottle. A few shading pencils from the local art supply store for a buck each also work well.