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Expert's Corner — coat

Enhance the Appearance of Wood With Stains

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Enhance the Appearance of Wood With Stains

While there are some woodworkers who might cringe at the thought of staining wood, there are good reasons why you might want to do so. Some lighter colored woods, such as poplar, alder, beech, and birch do tend to look somewhat bland, and can benefit from a dash of color. Who hasn't bought a load of wood, only to find, after milling, a disappointing variation in the color - staining can even out the tone of the wood. When building new furniture or cabinetry to match existing pieces, staining might be the only way to blend the two. And, with...

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TIP: Avoiding Orange Peel

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Orange peel is an irregular or bumpy surface in a sprayed finish caused by spraying a liquid that is too viscous, or thick, with too little air pressure, or by moving the spray gun too fast or holding it too far from the surface. When defined in this manner, the methods for avoiding orange peel are obvious. To reduce or eliminate orange peel, thin the finish or increase air pressure (or both). If you’re using a turbine rather than compressor, you can’t increase air pressure. So thin the finish. Also, arrange lights so you can see how the spray wets...

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Here's the Woodworkers List of Vocabulary Words, with definitions.

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As with any technical field, understanding the terminology of finishing is critical. It’s also critical that we all mean the same thing with the terms we use. With that in mind, here are some of the most common finishing terms, in alphabetical order, and their definitions. Bleach is a chemical that removes stains and, sometimes, the natural color from wood. The three types of bleach are chlorine (sodium hypochlorite), which removes dye color without changing the color of the wood; oxalic acid, which removes rust marks and lye stains without changing the color of the wood; and two-part bleach (sodium hydroxide...

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TIP: How to Spray a Uniform Thickness

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To spray a uniform thickness on a wide surface such as a tabletop, hold the spray gun perpendicular to the work (lock your wrist so you don’t rock the gun back and forth) and overlap each spraying stroke by 50 percent. Begin with the spray pattern half on and half off the front edge of the surface and then overlap each additional stroke by half until the last, which should be half on and half off the surface. So you are actually applying a double thickness and calling it one “coat,” but it’s the best way to get an even...

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Finishing Terms Defined by Bob Flexner: What is Pickling?

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Finishing Terms Defined by Bob Flexner: What is Pickling?

In wood finishing the term “pickling” is generally used to mean adding a white coloring to the wood. (“Liming” is sometimes used to mean the same thing.) There are two broad methods of pickling. One is to wipe on and wipe off a white stain. The other involves sealing the wood with a first coat of finish, then wiping on and wiping off a stain. There is a big difference in the appearance you get. In the sample shown, a white stain was applied directly to the lower half of the panel and wiped off. The same white stain was applied over a sealer...

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