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Expert's Corner — finish

Happier Product

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Happier Product

I’ve always said, it’s not the elephants that’ll kill you, it’s the mosquitoes. The little things that quietly sneak up on your finish, that you don’t realize until it’s too late. We all focus heavily on spraying technique as paramount to achieving high level sprayed finishes. While technique is important, product control begins before you even pull the trigger. Here are a couple of tips to help eliminate product based variables. This is about product handling. Sometimes, finishers take for granted what the product itself needs in order to be happy in the process. Product happiness directly relates to spray gun...

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TIP: Penetrating Finish

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The term “penetrating finish” is one of the most misleading in the vocabulary of finishing because all finishes penetrate. The term is generally used to describe just oil finishes, which dry slowly so they may penetrate a little deeper than faster-drying finishes. But depth of penetration doesn’t have anything to do with protection for the wood, and it’s here that the term becomes misleading because many people think it does, and some manufacturers claim it does. The common descriptive phrase is that the finish “protects the wood from the inside.” But the quality of a finish that creates better protection...

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How do we win in the game of fine finishing?

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How do we win in the game of fine finishing?

My biggest inspiration is my 8 year old son. He has taught me to teach him that it's not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game. And if you play the game well, you win often. By  Scott Burt How do we win in the game of fine finishing? This is a discipline where we tend to drive ourselves to pretty high standards – little room for error.We start with good habits for efficiency, eliminating all that is irrelevant to the goal - a zen like ritualism in approach. Actually, we don’t start there. That is...

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TIP: Restoring Life to Dry Wood

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TIP: Restoring Life to Dry Wood

The wood in old furniture and woodwork often takes on a dry appearance, and people want to know what to do to restore life to the wood. Because of widespread misinformation from furniture polish manufacturers that wood contains natural oils that need to be replaced by furniture polishes, many people think they need to apply oil to the wood. But the problem is rarely in the wood (and only woods from the tropics contain a natural oily resin anyway). It’s the old finish that has deteriorated and become cracked and crazed that makes the wood appear dry. Light no longer...

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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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