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Expert's Corner — Unstirred Stain

TIP: Plastic Spreader Trick When Rubbing a Finish

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TIP: Plastic Spreader Trick When Rubbing a Finish

When leveling a finish with sandpaper and a lubricant, you can get a quick view of where you are in the process by using a plastic spreader to remove the sludge from an area. As long as the finish you applied has a gloss sheen, dips and pores where you haven’t sanded enough show up well. The plastic-spreader trick is a lot quicker than washing off all the sludge with a rag and mineral spirits, or a rag and water, and you don’t have to let the solvent or water dry to see what’s happening. The shiny areas show up...

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TIP: Stirring Stain

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TIP: Stirring Stain

Don’t be fooled by the color of a stain just after you remove the lid, especially with water-based stains. With these stains the combination of binder and solvent may be off-white, which is not at all what you are expecting. The pigment will have settled entirely to the bottom of the can, and it may have hardened enough so that shaking the can doesn’t bring it all into suspension. It’s always best to stir the stain with a stirring stick. When you remove all the pigment off the bottom of the can and into suspension, the color of the liquid...

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