Cart 0

Expert's Corner — finishing

Finishing Nightmares

Charles Neil filling finish finishing shiny the finishing store turpine wax woodfinishing woodworking

Ironically I just finished making a DVD by the same title, but that is not what this is about. I get a lot of emails from folks who have tried to get a good finish by following poor advice, but usually it is the result of poor products, they just don’t know it. There is an old cliché, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” and nowhere does this prove truer than in finishing. I got an email from a guy who was trying to get a fully filled, high gloss finish on a red oak...

Read more →


How to Prep for a Flawless Painted Finish

blemish components compound cracks dap filling finish finishing imperfections latex result the finishing store woodfinishing

While we may think that applying a film finish such as lacquer or polyurethane over natural wood can be a challenge, here’s a much tougher one: achieving a flawless painted finish. Blemishes in a clear film finish are disguised by the color and grain pattern of the wood. There’s no such hiding place with paint. Light playing across a painted surface only draws attention to any surface defects – and any pattern of wood grain showing through paint now becomes a defect instead of a feature.As with most things, there’s good news and bad news about this. The good news:...

Read more →


TIP: Caring for Crazed Finishes

crazed finish finisher finishes finishing flexner furniture furniture-care liquid paste resistance scratches shine slick the finishing store wax

TIP: Caring for Crazed Finishes

Old crazed finishes are very fragile. You can reduce potential damage to these finishes with slick furniture polish or paste wax. But as you can see in the picture, liquid furniture polish (left) highlights the crazing and makes it look worse, while paste wax (right) adds a little shine and scratch resistance without highlighting the crazing. So paste wax is the better furniture-care product for crazed surfaces. (There is a small area in the middle with nothing on it.)

Read more →


Polyurethane Won’t Dry

acetone finishers finishes finishing flexner heat lamp polyurethane removal solvent the finishing store thinner woodworkers

If you experience oil-based polyurethane not drying well, it’s not likely that it’s bad polyurethane. It’s more likely that the wood you’re finishing contains a natural oil or you have applied an oil to the wood and the oil hasn’t dried. In both cases we’re talking only about the first coat of polyurethane. After the first coat has dried, there shouldn’t be any further drying problems. Most exotic woods (woods from jungle areas), with the exception of mahogany, contain a natural resin that is very oily. You can feel the oiliness. The mineral-spirits solvent in the polyurethane is also the...

Read more →


Brushing Water-Based Finish Over Water Soluble Dye

finishers finishes finishing flexner the finishing store Water Soluble Dye Streaking woodworkers

Brushing Water-Based Finish Over Water Soluble Dye

If you are brushing a water-based finish over a water-soluble dye, you should be aware that the finish can dissolve the dye and the brush will pick it up and cause streaks. To keep this from happening, seal the wood first with another finish that doesn’t contain water—for example, shellac, varnish or lacquer. Another solution is to spray the first coat of water-based finish. If you don’t have a spray gun, you can usually find aerosol water-based finishes in home centers and paint stores. As long as the object isn’t large, the aerosol should work well.

Read more →