I've been fixing up a dresser for our guest room. It was looking a little sad. Drawers were falling apart, the top was popping off, and it had nicks all over it. We thought about painting it but in the end we liked the color of the stain and it matches another dresser and an antique chair which we would never paint. At first I thought I would just fix the drawers and add glue/nail the top back down.
After I finished nailing the top I had a light bulb moment! I have a stain stick up in the organ bench I had used to fix some scratches on the organ. A stain stick looks like a permanent marker but instead of ink is has stain in it. You can buy them in different stain colors and it's really like doing a mini stain project. It uses the same three steps to staining as you would use with a can of stain - sand (which was done by whatever nicked the wood), stain, wipe.
|The nicked up wood|
|Applying the stain|
|The wet stain marks before I wiped it off|
I was really surprised by how well this worked! It was much easier than sanding the entire dresser down to restain. There's still a time to completely refinish a piece of furniture, but when you just need to fix a scratch or some nicks, this is the way to go. My stain stick is by Minwax (I like Minwax a lot) but I'm sure other brands sell something similar.
If you can draw with a marker, you can use a stain pen!