Is It Worth Learning Touch-Up Techniques?

Is it worth taking a class on touching up finishes? Some say yes, and some say absolutely. November 28, 2014

I’m a custom cabinetmaker who does his own finishing. I know I'm not the only person who has sanded through veneer or put a cross-grain scratch or the dreaded gouge in part of a piece with countless hours invested. I have an opportunity with a re-finishing company/business friend to learn touch up and repairs using aerosols, burn in sticks, wax sticks, epoxy sticks, bondo and graining pencils. Is this a lost art and would you consider this to be an invaluable experience?

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor N:
I'd take him up on it in a heartbeat but I'm a full time finisher. Even if you're not there has to be some valuable info that will no doubt save you loads of time on some future mishap.

From contributor T:
Definitely take the touch up class. Remember, a good touch up can disguise an imperfection and only you should know where the touch up was done.

From contributor F:
I can't imagine it would ever hurt to have more knowledge, even if you don't end up using it? However I think you'll find a use for it down the road as there's always an “oops” moment every now and then. I am slowly becoming better at painting in problem areas, but still far from where I'd like to be.

From contributor O:
I sent an employee to a three day touch up seminar. The money spent on wages and expenses came back ten-fold.

From the original questioner:
Thanks everyone. I feel blessed to be friends with such a person and his willingness to share his expertise.

From Contributor R:
It sounds like a great offer from a good friend. I am a painter/finisher for 40 years now and continually use many of the materials and techniques used a long time ago. Card scrapers, shellac, waxes, dyes, shopmade grain fillers and putty, varnish wiped, shellac sticks, crayons and etc.

From contributor M:
I have found it more difficult to apply traditional touch up methods for WB finishing. I do 100% WB and I can tell you the touch up end has a long way to go. I have yet to find a single finishing putty that you can spray WB over and have it adhere. Same with wax crayons. Because stain markers are solvent-based they tend to glare under a WB topcoat.

From Contributor F:
Jonathan, seal in your conventional touch ups using Mohawk's Finish Up (wipe on waterbase touch up coating) as a barrier coat. If you need another step, an additional barrier coat then use Mohawk's aerosol precat over the Finish Up wipe on. Then, continue your shop finishing as normal.