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Month: June 2016

Aging and Antiquing Wood Part 2

Last month we featured an article by extraordinary woodworker, Charles Neil, showing how to create antique finishes. Below is the second part of the article. Before reading the article, take a look at Charles’s latest project, a gorgeous coffee table made from “junk...

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TIP: Differences between shellac and lacquer

The principle differences between nitrocellulose lacquer and shellac are ease of application and their ability to block off problems in the wood. Both finishes are evaporative finishes, meaning that they dry entirely by solvent evaporation; there is no crosslinking as...

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TIP: Stains can change color over time

Many, probably most, store-bought stains are made with both dye and pigment. If wood stained with these stains is exposed to sunlight or fluorescent light for a while, the dye color will fade away, but the pigment color will remain. The effect is that the stained wood...

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Stripping with Solvent

With shellac and lacquer finishes, which are the finishes used on almost all old furniture and woodwork, you can use their solvent for stripping instead of a paint-and-varnish remover. Depending on the object being stripped, I often find this method easier in the...

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Finishes for Wood Floors

The two key considerations in choosing a wood-floor finish are resistance to scratches and the large surface to be covered. To stand up to abuse, you need a very durable finish, and to avoid filling the room with overspray that will settle and stick to the finish, you...

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Combining Water-Based and Oil-Based Products

Combining Water-Based and Oil-Based Products

Water and oil don’t mix, but water-based and oil-based finishing products can be combined as long as the previous coat is dry. Water dries considerably faster than oil so you can apply an oil-based finishing product over a water-based product within a couple of hours....

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TIP: Make Cherry Look Old

TIP: Make Cherry Look Old

One of the great unknowns commonly pursued by woodworkers is how to make new cherry look old without any blotching. Here’s a discussion. The rust-red coloring in old cherry develops over many decades from oxidation accelerated by UV light­­—and possibly also by an...

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TIP: Dealing with Bubbles in a Finish

TIP: Dealing with Bubbles in a Finish

Bubbles in a finish are more likely from brushing than from spraying, though it’s possible to get bubbles in a sprayed finish if you have the air pressure turned up real high. Bubbles are caused by the turbulence created by the brush gliding over the surface much more...

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TIP: Stain gets wood too dark

There are two broad categories of stain: dye that is dissolved in a liquid, and dye and/or pigment combined with a binder. The first are usually called “dye” stains and are sold either as powders for you to do the dissolving, or are already dissolved in a liquid...

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