I bought a solid wood, cherry finish library table at an auction recently. The surface of the library table was in excellent condition, but the edges of the table had a lot of nicks in the cherry finish that severely detracted from the beauty of the furniture, especially on the back of the table. I didn't want to refinish the entire table just for nicks on the edges, but I didn't want to hide the table under a tablecloth either because the inlaid wood surface is just gorgeous. I have a small marking pen to touch up the pecan finish of my cupboards, so I looked for something similar in cherry to touch up the library table.
I found the Minwax Wood Finish Stain Markerin cherry at Michael's arts and crafts store for $7.50. The stain marker is easy to use. I shook the marker to stir up the stain, and then pressed the tip of the marker on a piece of scrap wood a few times to make the oil-based stain flow. Then I colored in all of the ugly yellowish nicks in the finish that I could find on that library table. The cherry stain of the Minwax marker is a slightly lighter brown than the color of the table finish. I had to dab over the same nicks a few times before I was satisfied with the blend, and some nicks just wouldn't take the stain.
I included before and after photos of two of the ugliest nick areas on the table, one on the front edge of the table and one on the back edge. The Minwax stain marker worked best on tiny nicks, which practically disappeared after two coats. The larger nicks didn't disappear, but the color blending was enough that I have to look for the nicks to notice them. The clear coat polyurethane finish won't take the stain at all, but the raw wood areas took the stain just fine.
Overall, I'm happy with the results of the Minwax stain marker, and I would highly recommend trying this first before refinishing an entire piece of furniture. If I don't point out the nicks to people with a camera close-up, the nicks on the table are not that noticeable anymore. The Minwax Wood Finish Stain Marker comes in a range of colors, including cherry, red oak, red mahogany, dark walnut, ebony, early american brown, and golden oak. The stain can be cleaned up with mineral spirits, but there are no brushes to clean with a Minwax marker, and no stain drippings to worry about either. If the marker tip dries out or hardens after extended storage, the marker tip can be removed and soaked in mineral spirits overnight. I like that I can keep this stain marker flowing for several years because I'm sure I'll add my own share of nicks to this table over time.