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Expert's Corner — oil-based

TIP: Lacquer Over Glaze

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As long as you are using a spray gun for application and lacquer for your finish, you don’t have to let an oil-based glaze dry overnight before applying the finish. You can do it fairly quickly, without problems. The trick is to mist some thinned lacquer onto the glaze after the thinner in the glaze has evaporated (the glaze dulls) but before the oil or varnish binder begins oxidizing and becomes tacky. Unless the glaze is thick, in which case this trick might not work, the lacquer incorporates the uncured glaze and bonds to the coat underneath. After the mist...

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Finishing in Hot or Humid Weather

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It seems that one of the topics I get a tremendous amount of emails about is when folks are having issues due to the heat and humidity. A huge number of woodworkers spray their finishes outside and in doing so, are at the mercy of uncontrolled temperatures. Spraying in these conditions can be risky business. Most finishes simply do not like to be force dried. When spraying in direct sunlight the surface of the finish will skim over leaving the underlying finish still soft. The finish can then blister; this is most predominant in solvent base finishes. The surface dries...

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TIP: Finishing Over Pine Knots

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The resin in pine knots contains solvents that will bleed into and through most paints and finishes. This can cause the paint or finish to remain sticky, and it can cause the orange color to bleed through as shown in the accompanying picture of white latex paint applied over pine. There are two types of products on the market that will block this resin: white pigmented primers and clear shellac. The most well known white primers are Kilz and BIN. The best clear shellac to use is Zinsser SealCoat because it has very little color and a longer shelf life...

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TIP: Oil and Spontaneous Combustion

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Drying oils, especially linseed oil, are the only finishing materials that spontaneously combust. Solvents don’t spontaneously combust, paint strippers (including paint or finish residue) don’t spontaneously combust, and no type of varnish spontaneously combusts. It’s not totally clear whether 100% tung oil can spontaneously combust, so treat it like it does. As linseed oil dries, it generates heat as a byproduct. If you wad up linseed-oil rags or pile them on top of each other, the heat generated in the middle can’t dissipate. It builds up until it reaches the flash point of the cloth and it bursts into flame....

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