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finishes

How to Choose a Finish: Part II

How to Choose a Finish: Part II

For an overview of choosing a finish please refer to “How to Choose a Finish: Part I.” To better understand finishes and their differences, it’s very helpful to put them into categories by the way they cure. You may think the resins—polyurethane, alkyd, acrylic,...

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Spray Finishing in a Small Shop – You Bet!

Spray Finishing in a Small Shop – You Bet!

If you work in a small shop you might think that spraying is out of the question. However, that's not the case. A knock-down spray booth will enable you to spray waterborne finishes easily and safely. Use a Waterborne Finish Waterborne finishes are ideal for the home...

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Using Reflected Light to Advantage

Using Reflected Light to Advantage

You should never have runs or sags in your dried finish. The trick to avoiding them is to spot them before the finish dries and remove them with a brush. The way to see runs and sags developing is to look at the surface in a reflected light, as shown in the...

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Finishing Tips by Bob Flexner: Sanding

Finishing Tips by Bob Flexner: Sanding

When sanding wood in preparation for a stain or finish, you need to remove all the problems in the  wood – mill marks, tear outs, gouges, etc. – with the coarsest grit sandpaper you’re using before  moving on to finer grits (to remove the coarse-grit scratches). This...

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TIP: Penetrating Finish

The term “penetrating finish” is one of the most misleading in the vocabulary of finishing because all finishes penetrate. The term is generally used to describe just oil finishes, which dry slowly so they may penetrate a little deeper than faster-drying finishes. But...

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Ghosting

Ghosting

Ghosting occurs when you sand or rub through one layer of finish into the one below,  as shown in the accompanying picture. You can recognize ghosting when the problem area you’re trying to remove keeps getting bigger rather than smaller—like sanding through veneer....

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Finishing is not Always Easy

Finishing is not Always Easy

First off, we all talk about doing it the same way every time. Creating finishes is like watching snowflakes fall. No two are identical. Even if two pieces are identical and being finished simultaneously in the spray zone, they are never identical because they are...

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The (Almost) Perfect Finish

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...

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TIP: Pour Over to a Separate Container

TIP: Pour Over to a Separate Container

Unless you plan on using all the finish in the original container, you should pour the amount you expect to use into a separate container – for example, a clean jar or coffee can. It’s good to do this so you don’t introduce dust or other contaminants into the finish...

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TIP: Rubbing Lubricant Comparison

Many different lubricants are recommended for rubbing out finishes with an abrasive. Here’s how they differ. The more waxy or oily the lubricant the better it reduces scratching and sandpaper clogging but the slower it cuts. The more watery the lubricant the more...

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