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Expert's Corner — finishers

TIP: Crackle Lacquer

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TIP: Crackle Lacquer

Crackle lacquer is a manufactured lacquer product with so much solid material, usually silica, added that there isn’t enough binder (lacquer) remaining to glue all the solid particles together. This results in the lacquer cracking when it dries and shrinks. The usual way of applying a crackle-lacquer finish is to first apply a colored background, usually a pigmented lacquer coat. Then spray a coat of colored crackle lacquer, which cracks revealing the color underneath. Simply by moving your spray gun faster and slower and at greater and lesser distances from the workpiece, you can create a pleasing effect. You can control...

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TIP: Cherry Blotching

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TIP: Cherry Blotching

One of the most often asked questions among woodworkers concerns methods of avoiding blotching in cherry. The questions are encouraged by countless articles in magazines purporting to reveal the “secret” method. Inevitably, these articles are disappointing because there is no way to keep cherry from blotching except to conceal the problem by adding color to the finish—in effect, making a thin paint. This is what most furniture manufacturers do when finishing cherry, with the result that the wood is muddied and doesn’t look much like cherry. In fact, the only way to totally avoid blotching with a stain or clear...

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Rejuvenating Old Finishes: Three Tips in One

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Rejuvenating Old Finishes: Three Tips in One

Think of wood finishes as plastics. Depending on how broadly you define “plastic,” this is exactly what they are. And just like all plastics, finishes deteriorate over time—faster in bright light and heat. First the finish dulls; then it begins crazing and cracking. As the deterioration gets worse, the finish loses its primary function of slowing moisture (liquid and vapor) exchange. Excessive moisture exchange leads to veneer cracking, joints and veneer separating, splits in wood and warping. A deteriorated finish also looks bad. Old furniture with deteriorated finishes usually end up in city landfills. This is the reason the message...

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Exploring the New Generation of Water-Based Finishes

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“If a true water-based finish line is produced correctly, every ingredient used in the manufacturing will be dispersible in plain water.” Water-based finishes have been around for many years. Much like the latex house paints of years gone by, they have been undergoing constant changes and improvements. Several years ago, any self-respecting painting contractor would only use the old oil-based paints with linseed oil primers. But, in today's commercial house painting industry, almost no one is using these oil-based products. Painting contractors have switched to the highly improved water-based products. Indeed, water-based products have largely taken over that market. In...

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