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Expert's Corner — color

Aging and Antiquing Wood Part 2

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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 wood.” It looks so far from being “junk” and is really a stunning piece of sculpture. We love the “bird’s nest” below the table. Charles loves to experiment with finishes, and use his knowledge to play with techniques, wood and coatings. We can all learn from his ideas. Here are some great tips from a great finisher: This...

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TIP: Stains can change color over time

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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 changes color. In the accompanying picture the red dye in this “cherry” stain has faded on the top half (I covered the bottom half) after only a few days in direct sunlight, leaving the color significantly different. It’s definitely no longer cherry color. The fading occurs much more rapidly in direct sunlight than...

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TIP: Make Cherry Look Old

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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 original application of linseed oil that has darkened. You can get part way to this coloring by exposing cherry to sunlight, but only part way. You can also get part way by applying boiled linseed oil, and the wood will darken more as it ages. But to get all the way, you have to use a dye...

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TIP: Water-Based Finish on White Woods

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TIP: Water-Based Finish on White Woods

There are a number of considerations when choosing the type of finish you want to use. These include durability, ease of clean-up, odor, etc. But one consideration doesn’t seem to be fully appreciated, and that is the color the finish imparts to the wood. The accompanying picture shows water-based finish on a pine floor. The pine will darken some as it ages, but for a number of years the water-based finish will give the floor a unique and attractive look. This same look can be achieved with all white woods such as maple and birch. And these woods won’t darken.Most...

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What To Do When Stain Dries Too Fast

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What To Do When Stain Dries Too Fast

Unlike oil stains, water-based stains and lacquer stains dry very fast. On large or complex surfaces you may have trouble getting the excess stain wiped off before it dries. If this happens, you’ll be left with streaks like those shown in the accompanying picture. If you have this situation, try to correct it by quickly wiping the surface with more of the same stain. The fresh stain will reliquify the streaks unless the stain has dried too much. Then work faster to remove the excess or work on smaller areas at a time. If the stain dries hard, you may...

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