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Expert's Corner — solvent

When to Clean Your Spray Gun

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When to Clean Your Spray Gun

Here’s a frequently asked question. Do you really need to clean your spray gun every  single time you use it? Do you  need to clean it when you go to lunch? What if you are  putting it away for a week? Which coatings mean clean “right  away?” Here’s the scoop:  always clean your gun immediately if you are spraying a quick set up coating such as a  two  part urethane or epoxy paint. Clean it even if you are going to lunch. If you are  using a pigmented coating and are  finished with that color, clean the spray gun. If...

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Select The Right Brush and Use the Right Technique To Get The Best Possible Finish

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There are two critical elements that make for a great finish - selecting the right brush, and using the right technique. Practice counts as well. You don't expect to cut perfect dovetails the first time round, nor should you expect to achieve a perfect finish without practicing your finishing technique. I frequently choose brushing because I have a small shop and brush clean-up is fairly quick. Most of my finishing is done with shellac or varnish. Occasionally I'll use a water-based finish for light-coloured woods when I want a super clear finish. However, I've never used lacquer, so my comments...

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TIP: Use Wood Conditioner to Reduce Blotching in Softwoods

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TIP: Use Wood Conditioner to Reduce Blotching in Softwoods

Products sold as wood conditioner are washcoats usually made from varnish, though I have seen at least one that is an oil/varnish blend. A washcoat is a finish thinned to five-to-ten percent solids with the appropriate thinner. (Finishes are generally supplied with 20-to-30 percent solids.) In industry, the finish used is usually lacquer thinned with lacquer thinner. Wood conditioners can be fairly effective on softwoods like the pine shown in the accompanying picture. They aren’t as effective on hardwoods such as cherry. The purpose of the thinned-finish conditioner is to partially seal the wood, which means to partially stop up...

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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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TIP: Finishing over waxed wood

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It’s not all that common, but sometimes you come across furniture, cabinets or woodwork that has a wax finish, and nothing else. There may be cases where you want to coat over with a more water- and scratch-resistant finish. How do you do this without having to go to the trouble of stripping the surface? The first step is to remove most of the wax. Do this by washing with a mineral-spirits, naphtha or acetone solvent. Wash, don’t just wipe. That is, soak a cloth or paper towel with the solvent and wet the wood well. Then dry it quickly...

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