quick fix for wood trim
I just bought a house with lots of wood trim. And there are lots of scratches and dings in the trim I'd like to fix. Overall, the wood looks pretty good so I don't want to get into stripping and refinishing. I just want to clean up the scratches to freshen the look.
I'm familiar with most of the layman wood repair products like wax pencils, brown felt tip pens, and so on. But I'd prefer a more permanent fix. Also I don't relish the idea of having to do each separate stratch one at a time. It's a big house. And there are a variety of scratch types...some deep in high traffic areas that have exposed bare wood, some minor that have removed the shiny surface, areas damaged by carpet installers all along the carpet line, etc.
What I'd really like is a staining or refinish product that will match the color I have now that allows me to wipe it over the current finish. Then something simple to wipe on to shine up the surface. Or something to do both at once.
I thought I might try an ordinary stain, but I'm not sure how the thinners in the stain will affect the finish. I don't want to soften or cloud the finish that's on there now. Again, I just want to hide the wear and tear. And I don't want temporary fixes like oils that will need to be reapplied.
The house is about 15 years old. The wood is probably pine or more likely poplar. The finish color is medium toned. I don't know if the finish is a one-step or a proper stain with a finish over it. The doors may be a multi-step factory finish and the trim could be a one-step. One thing I do know is that there are places exposed to the sun where the finish on the trim has yellowed and alligatored, so that may give someone a clue.
1) What is the most likely finish that's on the trim now?
2) Is there some simple way to cover the nicks and scratches, like a stain I could wipe on without damaging the current finish?
3) What is a good way to polish up all the wood after I've colored the scratches so that everything blends together?