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Expert's Corner — resistance

TIP: Tung Oil and Varnish Sold as Tung Oil

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Finishing is hard enough even without the mislabeling that is so prevalent on the part of many manufacturers. The mislabeling makes it difficult for us to know what we are buying and using. The accompanying picture shows dried puddles of two commonly available products both labeled “tung oil.” These two products could hardly be more different. The tung oil on the left is real tung oil, the oil produced from pressing the nuts from tung trees, which are native to China. A puddle of the oil dries wrinkled, and it never really hardens. You can always scrape it off with...

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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.)

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