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Expert's Corner — coats

Spray Finishing in a Small Shop - You Bet!

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Spray Finishing in a Small Shop - You Bet!

If you work in a small shop you might think that spraying is out of the question. However, that's not the case. A knock-down spray booth will enable you to spray waterborne finishes easily and safely. Use a Waterborne Finish Waterborne finishes are ideal for the home shop because they don't give off as much volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as solvent-based finishes, so they're safer for your health. As well, they're practically odourless, easy to clean up, and they don't produce explosive vapours - so any fans or other ventilation equipment that you use in the vicinity of the spray...

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TIP: Two coats, minimum

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TIP: Two coats, minimum

It almost always takes at least two coats of any finish to develop the sheen a finish is designed to produce: gloss, satin, flat, or whatever. The first coat seals the wood. The second coat develops the sheen. The exception to the two-coat rule would be if you apply the first coat really thick. This can usually be done only on horizontal surfaces. The reason two coats are usually necessary is that a lot of the first coat soaks into the wood, so there isn’t enough build to produce the sheen. If you’re applying highly thinned coats, as shown with...

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TIP: Filling Pores with Sanding Sealer

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It’s generally better to use a dedicated paste wood filler (pore filler) to fill pores than the finish itself, or sanding sealer, because finishes continue shrinking. This will cause the pores to noticeably open up a little after a few weeks or months. But you can use the finish for filling, especially if it’s water-based because water-based finishes sand fairly easily and don’t shrink as much as varnish and lacquer. Apply several coats, sand them back using a flat block to back your sandpaper, and continue doing this until the pores are filled. Varnish and lacquer are more difficult to...

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Judged the Best - Winners in Finishing from the San Diego County Fair

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Judged the Best - Winners in Finishing from the San Diego County Fair

Each year, John Darroch, President and CEO of Apollo Sprayers and TheFinishingStore.com, judges the awards for the Excellence in Finishing at the prestigious Design in Wood (or @designinwood) show at the San Diego County Fair. Winners receive gift certificates from TheFinishingStore.com This combined competition and exhibit is a collaboration between the San Diego Fine Woodworkers Association and the San Diego County Fair. Woodworkers from all over the world compete for honors in the largest show of its kind anywhere (according to Fine Woodworking magazine). Exquisite furniture, musical instruments, carvings, clocks, children's toys and more — many museum quality — are included. Many...

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TIP: Thinning Polyurethane with Naphtha

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Naphtha dries (evaporates) much faster than mineral spirits (paint thinner). This leads many to believe that thinning polyurethane with naphtha will make it dry faster. This is not entirely the case. Like all varnishes, oil-based polyurethane dries in two steps. The first is evaporation of the thinner. The second, and much longer step, is by the crosslinking brought about by the introduction of oxygen from the air. When you apply polyurethane, you notice that it stays wet on the surface for a short time as the thinner evaporates. Then the finish goes into a tacky or sticky stage for an...

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