I am looking into buying a kit for furniture repair. It will be used to repair scratches and dings in cabinetry and new furniture that arrives damaged. I know that Mohawk makes one, are there others who offer similar kits? Also, what would be a good set of items to initially stock it with?
From contributor D:
These are most of the companies:
Behlen is a cousin of Mohawk and they have too limited an assortment of colors or materials for me to whoop it up. A touch up kit for your needs should include burn in sticks, both low sheen (Mohawk calls these PlaneSticks) and regular burn in sticks. Konig's sticks are different types of wax, some soft and some very hard.
You also need a method of burning in these sticks: butane-based burn in knives, plug in burn in knives, and last, knives which you heat by torch or burn in stove. You need some sandpapers to level the burn ins (Konig burn ins are leveled by a special cabinet scraper that's bendable and only touches/shaves the fill and not any surrounding area). The sandpapers can be lubricated with anything including water, saliva, paint thinner, and naptha. I prefer a wax-off cleaner to lubricate. You need cloth or rags. There is nothing as good as Mohawk's proprietary trace cloth.
You need to be able to spot seal your burn in. I prefer to use aerosol vinyl sealer. Mohawk calls their VS "precat sealer" and sadly and stupidly doesn't label the aerosol as what it is. You also need epoxy sticks. These are also called "TootsieRoll epoxy". They are two part fillers all-in-one. A polyester filler is also useful (Bondo). Get a clear polyester filler from a granite/marble supply house.
Then there's color replacement. Mohawk's Blendal Stick is beeswax based coloring medium that requires topcoating. It has unique abilities to blend in and hide color defects. The secret to its success is that the color is smeared. If you can replicate smearing with a brush and colored finishes I salute you because as long as I've been using Blendal powders (pigments that you mix in a finish for in-painting) I can't make them look smeared.
You still need powdered pigments (for in-painting) and sabel artist brushes. Your finish medium can be lacquer, padding lacquer, shellac, waterbase (difficult to predict final color until you develop lots of experience and go by memory of the dried result and not wet product about to be applied).
You need graining pens. These are fine line markers. You also need touch up markers. Both pigmented and dye-based markers are helpful to have. Gone are the days of Mohawk's CM-1 markers, but I think that Masters Magic still has pigmented markers. Mohawk's ProMark are dye based which don't always help on a raw edge.
There's so much more. I'll sum up with what you need to do is get catalogs from the companies I listed. Read those catalogs. Look at each individual offering and think long and hard if you might need the product, for what and if the product will make your life more fun. I've used them all. What works for me might not be as profitable for you. That's why you have to do your own assessments and evaluations.