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Month: May 2016

TIP: Finishing a Cedar Chest

You shouldn’t finish the inside of a cedar chest. Leave it totally unfinished. The reasons are, first, you don’t want to seal in the cedar aroma that protects against moths, and second, the cedar fumes will destroy (soften to the point of stickiness) most finishes. If...

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Understanding Solvents: Part III (Laquer Thinner)

Lacquer thinner is the solvent and thinner used with all types of lacquer, including nitrocellulose, CAB-acrylic and catalyzed. It’s the most interesting of the finish solvents because it’s composed of half-a-dozen or so individual solvents. Manufacturers vary these...

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Understanding Solvents: Part II

Solvents are difficult to understand because they all look alike in the can. One way to make sense of them is simply to learn what each does (see Understanding Solvents, Part I). A more sophisticated and very helpful method for understanding solvents is to organize...

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Understanding Solvents: Part I

Solvents make stains and finishes work. You will never feel really comfortable with finishing until you have an understanding of solvents. Following is an overview of each of the most commonly available solvents. For a deeper understanding that better relates all the...

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TIP: Remove Crayon and Candle Wax

Mineral spirits, naphtha and turpentine dissolve wax and don’t damage any finish when used sparingly. So remove wax crayon marks by wiping over them with a cloth dampened with one of these solvents. Candle drips are usually too thick to be removed easily with one of...

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TIP: Glaze to Add Depth

Glazing is the process of adding and manipulating pigmented color between coats of finish. By definition, glazing is always done over a sealed surface, never directly on the wood. When color is applied directly to wood, it is called staining. Though you can use a...

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TIP: Glaze to Add Depth

Glazing is the process of adding and manipulating pigmented color between coats of finish. By definition, glazing is always done over a sealed surface, never directly on the wood. When color is applied directly to wood, it is called staining. Though you can use a...

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TIP: Gel Stain on Pine

Pine is the most notorious wood for blotching. Special products are sold for reducing blotching on pine, but they are only modestly effective—even when used properly. By far, the most effective method of eliminating blotching when staining pine is to use a gel stain....

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