I do a lot of furniture repair and touch up. Touch up can be difficult at times. Professional touch up supplies can be really expensive. However, I use a mix of items from markers and watercolors to stain and paint. My one must have is toner spray. It is inexpensive and flexible and allows you to blend your touch up into the original finish. Toner sprays are readily available on line. They can include a satin to gloss finish as well. I have purchased them from Mohawk Finishing , Rockler and others. My primary go to toner colors are Tavern Pine and Cordovan Mahogany. For this example I will use:
Craft Paint ( every time I go to Hobby Lobby I pick up any new shades of brown I can find)
Your finger (the best paint tool sometimes)
Step 1: Add Some Paint!
The chair had several worn spots missing finish. The finish was fairly opaque. I picked a couple of dark brown craft paints as well as black. I love craft paints for this kind of work because they don't have an odor and dry within minutes ready to top coat. They are water based so if you don't like the results you can wipe it away with a damp cloth and start over.
In this case a brush wasn't needed. I used my fingertip and dabbed it into two shades of paint at once and stippled the paint at random onto the bare spot. Use a light touch so as not to glob too much paint on.
Step 2: Add Toner Spray
The paint will dry flat. If the color is good, you can top coat with an aerosol finish. I sometimes use Deft laquer spray. It comes in satin, gloss etc. and dries quickly.
In this case I used toner spray. It adds just a touch of color with the finish and helps blend the repair and original finish together. Toner spray dries super fast and can be top coated with a matching lacquer spray for more durability. Mask the area if needed. I sometimes hold a piece of scrap up. On this piece i sprayed away from the chair. I just needed a hint of finish to cover the fresh paint. When using toner make sure you have plenty of ventilation.
Toner spray is a handy tool. A can costs anywhere from $8 bucks up. They last forever and can be used in lots of applications. I hope this was helpful!
I look forward to your comments and suggestions!