use nail polish to fix chipped finish as an example of Free or Low-Cost Fix-ups tips
Photo: William Wright
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Easy Finish Repair

PRO: Michael Dresdner, wood-finishing expert, Puyallup, Wash.

SECRET: Head to the medicine cabinet, not the workshop, when a clear finish on a wood surface is chipped. As long as the underlying stain color is intact, you can usually fill the ding with a few drops of clear nail polish, says Dresdner. After the polish dries, sand the repair flush with 600-grit paper. To restore the sheen on satin finishes, rub with 0000 steel wool and paste wax; for gloss, use a soft cloth and car polish, such as Turtle Wax Polishing Compound and Scratch Remover.
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