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Expert's Corner — finish

The Twist of Variables

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The Twist of Variables

If you engage in the act of finishing at any kind of level, even if just a few meaningful times a year, then you definitely understand that the proof is in the pudding when it comes to creating good finishes. When you get really good at finishing, it almost doesn’t matter whether you are spraying, rolling, brushing, or any combination thereof, the application method is just the medium – the thing standing between you and the result you are after in the finish. The goal is to be able to use whatever means at hand to get the desired result....

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Secret of Sheen – the Second Coat Is Most Important

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Secret of Sheen – the Second Coat Is Most Important

Secret of Sheen – the Second Coat Is Most Important Most important in this instruction is that you have to sand the first coat smooth to obtain the full effect. If you don’t sand this coat smooth, the roughness will telegraph through the second coat and reduce the depth and lower the sheen.The second coat of finish you apply to a project, after you have sanded the first coat smooth, is the most important coat because it provides the depth and sheen. Sometimes you can improve the depth with additional coats, but nothing equals the difference obtained from the first...

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Finishing the Deckrail

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Finishing the Deckrail

For those with decks that have spindle rail systems…you would probably rather have root canal than brush those spindles out with stain. (See the above before photo.) Here is another case where a quick scuff and vac gets your ready to roll out the HVLP and save yourself a weekend or two. Deck stain products are low viscosity (thin) and spray very easily through a good turbine system. They are also available in waterborne formulations these days. Even if you are committed to oil stain, the cleanup will take a few more minutes, but think of the pile of hours...

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How to Choose a Finish: Part I

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How to Choose a Finish: Part I

The first step in finishing a project (beyond preparing the wood, of course) is to choose the finish you want to use. In fact, it's wise to make this choice even before starting on the project because it may influence the wood you choose. There are seven broad categories of finishes to choose from: Oil and blends of oil and varnish (often called "Danish" oil) Varnish, which includes polyurethane varnish, spar varnish, wiping varnish (varnish thinned about half with mineral spirits) and gel varnish Shellac, which can be clear or amber and with its natural wax included or removed Lacquer,...

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Caring for Natural Bristle Brushes used with Water Based Paints

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Caring for Natural Bristle Brushes used with Water Based Paints

1. Always wash a new brush before you use it.  I use Dawn Liquid Detergent in the shop, but you can use most any detergent that doesn’t contain bleach.  Bleach will dry out your bristles, just like your hair. I squeeze the detergent into the palm of my hand and then carefully mash my brush bristles into the soap. Rinse with cool water. This will help remove any loose bristles before you begin to paint.  This step will prevent those pesky hairs from ending up on your canvas, chair, or trim.  Once you have washed your brush smack it on the...

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