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Month: June 2016

TIP: “Equalizing” Sapwood

TIP: “Equalizing” Sapwood

To achieve an even coloring with darker colored woods, it’s always best to use only heartwood to begin with. But this isn’t always possible. So you may want to “equalize” the coloring of the sapwood and heartwood. One method is to bleach the wood using two-part bleach...

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TIP: Grain Reversal in Stained Pine

TIP: Grain Reversal in Stained Pine

Pine is often stained to make it resemble a higher quality wood such as walnut, cherry or mahogany. You need to be aware, however, that the staining reverses the grain color, making what was the lighter-colored grain now the darker-colored grain. This happens because...

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TIP: Correcting Stains from Rain Water Spots

TIP: Correcting Stains from Rain Water Spots

If you transport unfinished wood or an unfinished wooden object through rain or sprinkling, the water drops will raise the grain, and wood stains will show up darker over these spots. The cause is the rough raised grain retaining more of the stain. The accompanying...

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TIP: Thin Coats vs. Thick, Which Is Better and Why?

It’s common to hear the instruction that it’s better to apply several thin coats than one thick one. Why is this so? Or is it? What’s involved is drying time, nothing more. Thinner coats of all finishes dry faster than thicker coats. The difference is great enough...

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TIP: Patina

TIP: Patina

Patina is primarily the mellowing and color change that occurs in wood over time due to oxidation from exposure to air and bleaching from exposure to light. Secondarily, patina is the dings, scratches, rubs, etc., that give old furniture character. The...

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TIP: Temperature and Drying Rate

TIP: Temperature and Drying Rate

As winter approaches, it’s important to remember that all finishes dry slower in lower temperatures. Runs, sags and pressmarks are all more likely to occur. To avoid runs and sags, watch the finish in a reflected light as you’re applying it. The reflection allows you...

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TIP: Tack Cloths and their Use

TIP: Tack Cloths and their Use

Inexpensive tack cloths (tack rags) are available from most suppliers of paints and finishes. They are sticky rags meant for picking up dust, often sanding dust, from a surface just before applying a coat of finish. Here are some tips for using them. Limit their use...

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TIP: Stain or Paint Panels First

TIP: Stain or Paint Panels First

Wood panels set in frames tend to shrink over time, exposing an unfinished stripe at one or both sides. Even paint won’t keep this from happening, as demonstrated in the accompanying picture. The only effective way to keep panels from showing the stripe is to stain or...

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TIP: Use Dye to Match New Parts

TIP: Use Dye to Match New Parts

A common situation in furniture restoration is matching a newly made part to the color of the rest of the object. Water-soluble dyes are much more effective for doing this than commercial store-bought stains. The water-soluble dyes I’m referring to are those made by...

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