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Expert's Corner — coloring

“Equalizing” Sapwood

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Finishing Tip by Bob FlexnerBut it’s usually better to equalize the sapwood to the color of the heartwood.One method is to bleach the wood using two-part bleach (sodium hydroxide and hydrogen peroxide). This will remove the coloring from the heartwood, so you can then stain the wood back to the color you want.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. The easier way to do this, if you intend to stain...

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TIP: Boiled Linseed Oil vs. 100% Tung Oil as a Finish

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There are two widely available drying oils on the market that can be used as wood finishes: boiled linseed oil and 100% tung oil. Both dry to a non-sticky, very thin film after several days when all the excess is wiped off. Here’s a comparison of the two oils. Boiled linseed oil has driers added to make it dry much faster than raw linseed oil, which can take weeks or months to dry. The drying is adequate only when the excess is wiped off after each application. Tung oil doesn't contain driers. It takes two or three days to dry...

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TIP: Stirring Stain

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TIP: Stirring Stain

Don’t be fooled by the color of a stain just after you remove the lid, especially with water-based stains. With these stains the combination of binder and solvent may be off-white, which is not at all what you are expecting. The pigment will have settled entirely to the bottom of the can, and it may have hardened enough so that shaking the can doesn’t bring it all into suspension. It’s always best to stir the stain with a stirring stick. When you remove all the pigment off the bottom of the can and into suspension, the color of the liquid...

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