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Expert's Corner — surface

What To Do When Stain Dries Too Fast

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What To Do When Stain Dries Too Fast

Unlike oil stains, water-based stains and lacquer stains dry very fast. On large or complex surfaces you may have trouble getting the excess stain wiped off before it dries. If this happens, you’ll be left with streaks like those shown in the accompanying picture. If you have this situation, try to correct it by quickly wiping the surface with more of the same stain. The fresh stain will reliquify the streaks unless the stain has dried too much. Then work faster to remove the excess or work on smaller areas at a time. If the stain dries hard, you may...

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TIP: Linseed Oil Gets Darker in the Dark

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Linseed oil (both raw and boiled) darkens in the absence of light. That is, it darkens in the opposite conditions than those affecting most finishes and woods. These usually darken when exposed to light, especially high UV sunlight or fluorescent light. Take a look at the accompanying photo of two cans of linseed oil in the process of going through their darkening stages. The can on the left shows fresh overspill, the slightly yellow color you expect from linseed oil when you are using it. The can on the right has been stored in a dark cabinet for several years,...

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TIP: Benzene and Benzine

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Benzene and benzine are not the same thing. Though they are often confused or used interchangeably in books and magazines, they are very different. Benzene is carcinogenic and was removed from the consumer market 40 years ago. Before then it was often used as a paint and varnish remover. Benzine is another name for naphtha in the US, though the term is rarely used in this manner anymore. It’s also a common name for gasoline in England. Naphtha (benzine) is a faster evaporating, less oily (“drier”) form of mineral spirits. It’s not dangerous if used in moderation. Here’s an easy...

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TIP: Removing Wine Stains from Unfinished Wood

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Here are two methods for removing stains caused by spilled red wine on unfinished wood—for example, on a butcher-block countertop. 1.    Mix some Oxi-Clean with water to make a paste and put it on the affected area. Check after a few minutes to be sure it’s doing something. If so, leave it for a short time until the wine stain is removed.2.    Scrub the wood with a scouring powder, such as Ajax, that contains a little chlorine bleach. If either of these methods leaves a lighter spot on the wood, apply the cleaning solution to the entire surface so it...

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Fixing Flubs with an Artist’s Flair

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Finishing is the process of transferring liquid out of its container and onto a project using a brush, rag or spray gun. Sounds simple, but doing so flawlessly can be easier said than done, as many of us discover. Fortunately, fixing our errors isn’t overly complicated. Moreover, it’s often fun, as you get to stretch your artistic wings with some custom coloring and detailing. But it’s better to avoid problems in the first place – specifically those related to wood preparation – so let’s start there. Many woodworkers believe that wood from the home center’s rack or fresh from their...

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