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Expert's Corner — finishers

ANTIQUES ROADSHOW AND THE DESTRUCTION OF OLD FURNITURE

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ANTIQUES ROADSHOW AND THE DESTRUCTION OF OLD FURNITURE

Finishes deteriorate as they age. First they dull, then they begin to craze and crack. Over a very long time, finishes deteriorate because of contact with oxygen, called “oxidation.” But bright UV light (especially sunlight and fluorescent light) accelerates the deterioration so much that you can reasonably think of the deterioration as caused by light alone. At some point in the life of better quality furniture (if it is to survive), the finish will likely have to be removed and replaced to renew the protection for the wood. Without a finish in good shape, furniture exposed to moisture or extreme...

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Water White Finish

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Water White Finish

The term “water white” when used in the context of a finish means a finish that is totally devoid of amber coloring in liquid form. The finish looks like water in the can. In practice, the term is used to describe a type of lacquer, and sometimes a conversion varnish. But you should be aware that water-white doesn’t necessarily mean non-yellowing. It depends on the resins used in the finish. The only totally non-yellowing lacquer is CAB-acrylic. CAB is the acronym for cellulose acetate butyrate. Water-white also doesn’t mean “white in the can.” Water-based finishes, which didn’t exist when the...

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Spraying Paint

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All spray guns will spray paint. A spray gun is merely a delivery device—like a brush. There are a few things you should be aware of, however, especially if you intend to spray latex paint with a spray gun you use normally to spray clear finishes. To get a reasonable amount of paint to come through the spray gun you will probably need to use a larger fluid nozzle and needle than you use with clear finishes and an air cap designed to atomize the thicker liquid adequately. You may also need a larger amount of air than you would...

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Finishing Term: “Off The Gun” Finish

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“Off-the-gun” finish is a widely used phrase among finishers. It means the finish hasn’t been rubbed out. It’s the simplest kind of sprayed finish—spray it on and leave it as is. I’ve seen the phrase used to mean a poor finish, but this is not a correct usage. An off-the-gun finish doesn’t have to be a poor finish. In fact, it can be quite a good finish, and professional finishers often brag about their off-the-gun finishes. It all comes down to keeping everything clean, and adjusting the spray gun and the finish to reduce the orange peel to nothing, or...

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Primers and Sealers

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I’ve said this many times, but it deserves repeating because so much confusion still exists. Primers and sealers perform entirely different functions. Primers are necessary for paint because paint won’t bond well to rough, porous wood. Paint contains a high percentage of pigment (in order to hide well) and only enough binder (the same as finish) to glue the pigment particles to each other and to an underlying smooth surface. Because even well sanded wood is still porous, and thus not smooth, more binder is required to achieve a good bond. Paint primer contains a higher binder-to-pigment ratio than does...

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