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Expert's Corner — resin

TIP: Restoring Life to Dry Wood

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TIP: Restoring Life to Dry Wood

The wood in old furniture and woodwork often takes on a dry appearance, and people want to know what to do to restore life to the wood. Because of widespread misinformation from furniture polish manufacturers that wood contains natural oils that need to be replaced by furniture polishes, many people think they need to apply oil to the wood. But the problem is rarely in the wood (and only woods from the tropics contain a natural oily resin anyway). It’s the old finish that has deteriorated and become cracked and crazed that makes the wood appear dry. Light no longer...

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Why Shellac Is My Go To Finish for Fine Furniture

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"I prefer to spray my shellac. Spraying shellac results in an even smoother finish which greatly reduces the amount of sanding during finish work." Rodney Dangerfield’s famous comedic catchphrase was, “I don’t get no respect.” In the world of furniture finishes, shellac gets no respect. That lack of respect is unwarranted. In fact, shellac is my “go to” finish on fine furniture. It should be yours as well. The lack of respect for shellac may be due to the fact that it, a natural resin, is made from a bug’s secretions – not bug droppings, as some think. A lac...

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The (Almost) Perfect Finish

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Water-based finishes have improved quite a bit over the past few years – to the point where they make an excellent finish for just about every woodworker. In particular, they offer a lot of advantages for DIYers and hobbyist woodworkers, especially those working in small shops. You can use a water-borne finish in place of just about any other film finish (varnish, polyurethane, lacquer) on just about any wood surface (furniture, cabinetry, trim work, and flooring). While it can be sprayed on, it's likely that most DIYers and hobbyists will brush it on, which is what I do. What is...

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