Cart 0

Expert's Corner — woodfinishing

DEALING WITH THE CHERRY BLOTCHING PROBLEM

bare blotches coat dye finished glaze shellac stain thinned washcoat wet woodfinishing woods woodworking

DEALING WITH THE CHERRY BLOTCHING PROBLEM

Cherry was long thought of as the poor man’s mahogany and was used as a substitute for mahogany. But as quality mahogany has become harder to get, cherry has become increasing popular and is now widely thought of as a quality wood in its own right. Though cherry has a beautiful color and is easy to work, it is difficult to finish nicely because of its tendency to blotch. Blotching is uneven coloring caused especially by stains, but also by just a clear finish, that leaves some areas darker than others. Everyone wants to know how to avoid blotching in...

Read more →


TIP: UV Varnishes Only Give So-So Protection

damage damages finish finishing flexner object panel slow sunlight the finishing store ultra-violet light uv uv-resistant varnishes woodfinishing woods woodworking z-spar

TIP: UV Varnishes Only Give So-So Protection

Normally, I use the accompanying photo to show that mass-marketed varnishes sold in home centers and most paint stores for exterior finishing don’t contain any more UV resistance than common interior varnishes. But the panel also shows that even the much more expensive varnishes sold in marinas still aren’t perfect at resisting UV light. I stained the panel with red dye (because red dye fades faster than most other colors) and coated the panel with five coats of four different varnishes. From left to right, a popular boat varnish from a marina, two common varnishes sold in home centers for...

Read more →


Protect Your Inlay

alterrations chemicals color colorants craters drinking dye glen glue huey inlays microscopic spread the finishing store wood woodfinishing woods woodworking

Protect Your Inlay

One of my earliest furniture projects was a Sheraton Field bed that I built when I was 14 years old. Later, another version of that same bed was built. This time, however, I inlaid small birdseye panels into the square sections of the mahogany posts – an idea that caught my eye while surfing museum books. From nearly the beginning of my furniture building career, my favorite finish has used aniline dye to color my project with top coats of shellac and/or lacquer. As I contemplated how to finish the bed, I was concerned that all the work put into...

Read more →


TIP: Murphy's Oil Soap

finish flexner furniture furniture-care impact lemon marketing mineral natural oil polish product replacing scent soap spirits the finishing store TIP: Murphy's Oil Soap water woodfinishing

During my career refinishing furniture, Murphy’s Oil Soap has morphed from a regionally-available natural soap made with potassium hydroxide (similar to lye) and vegetable oil to a nationally-available furniture-care product. I watched this transformation happen and find the story fascinating. I find it fascinating because furniture and woodwork don’t get dirty very often and washing them with soap and water when they aren’t dirty can only cause problems. Water gets under a finish through cracks and splits and causes the finish to peel. Everyone knows this at some level (just look at the peeling paint on building exteriors) so how...

Read more →


TIP: Linseed Oil Gets Darker in the Dark

apply coat cure darkening darker durable finish flexner highlighting Linseed Oil surface surfaces the finishing store woodfinishing

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,...

Read more →