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Expert's Corner — cross-linking

Tip: When Finishes Craze from Body Sweat

crazing cross-linking finish the finishing store woodfinishing woodworking

All finishes craze—that is, develop small cracks—as they age, especially if they are exposed to a lot of sunlight. But there’s another type of crazing, and it can happen much faster. This is crazing caused by body sweat. You commonly see crazing of this type around cabinet-door pulls and drawer handles, and on chair backs, arms and seats. The picture shown is a close-up from the crest rail of a chair. This crazing is caused by the acids in body sweat slowly breaking down the finish. The finish softens and becomes dirty as dirt sticks to it. In severe cases...

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