Cart 0

Expert's Corner — finishers

Thin All You Want

coat finishers finishes finishing flexner polyurethane the finishing store thinner woodworkers

You often see cans of solvent finishes such as varnish, polyurethane and lacquer with instructions not to thin them. Manufacturers include these instructions in order to comply with VOC laws in some areas of the country. Adding thinner could take the finish out of compliance with the local or state laws, and manufacturers might be breaking the law if they advocated thinning. But you can’t do any harm to these finishes by adding thinner. In fact, you can add all the thinner you want, even 99 percent, without causing any harm. You’ll just get a thinner build with each coat,...

Read more →


This is Not Rocket Science

bob Danish Oil & Wiping Varnish Dried on Glass finish finisher finishers finishes finishing flexner flour oil polyurethane the finishing store tung woodworkers

This is Not Rocket Science

Back in the 1970s and 80s, it was common to see explanations of the difference between Danish oil and wiping varnish described as that between oil and resin-fortified oil. I couldn’t make sense of this explanation because the term “resin” is so vague. It commonly refers to fossilized tree saps such as rosin, copal and amber, and sometimes to synthetic alkyd and polyurethane. So, is one of these resins just added to the oil to “fortify” it, or is something else done? A further confusion is that linseed oil and tung oil are, themselves, sometimes classified as resins. So, is...

Read more →


How to Remove Latex Paint Spatter

coat finish finisher finishers finishes finishing latex Removing Latex Paint Spatter the finishing store woodworkers

How to Remove Latex Paint Spatter

If you’ve ever used a paint roller to apply latex paint to walls and not covered your furniture and other items well enough, you may have noticed that the roller shed tiny drops of paint that dried wherever they landed. Close inspection reveals tiny paint specks everywhere. In most cases, you can remove these specks without damaging the existing finish by wiping with the solvent xylene (xylol). This solvent is the active ingredient in widely available products sold for this purpose. Common brands are Oops! and Goof Off. Xylene won’t damage lacquers or varnishes unless the surface is kept wet...

Read more →


Viscosity, Finish Thickness, and the Magic of the Wet Mil Gauge

finish finisher finishers finishes finishing humidity temperature the finishing store visibility woodworkers

Pro finishing shops maintain tight controls. Temperature, humidity, finish viscosity, air pressure, fluid volume, spray patterns – it’s a lot of factors that have to work together to produce the perfect finish, and measurement and control are the only ways to ensure a top quality result. We tend to be a little more loosey-goosey in home shops. Controlling temperature can be a challenge in itself; as for humidity, we’re pretty much at the mercy of the elements. And while we may have to accept what Nature does, there are many elements of spray finishing that we can – and should...

Read more →


Wax Polish for Added Shine

finishers finishes finishing flexner peeling protection the finishing store water wax waxing woodworkers

Wax Polish for Added Shine

If you are applying paste wax as a polish on top of a finish, you will always get a little better result with two coats. Let the first coat dry for at least a couple of hours, or overnight, before applying the second. You would think that one coat should be sufficient, and it is if all you want is scratch resistance and a little added shine. But my experience is that two coats, well buffed off with a dry cloth, always looks a little better and more even. If you want to dull the surface simultaneously with the wax...

Read more →