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furniture

Waterborne Finishes – Pro and Con

My beginning was in automotive finishing and it remained my career for the next twenty years, then I switched to woodworking and finishing. As with most finishers, I began with the old nitrocellulose lacquers and while they were very friendly to use, they were less...

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How to Choose a Finish: Part I

How to Choose a Finish: Part I

The first step in finishing a project (beyond preparing the wood, of course) is to choose the finish you want to use. In fact, it's wise to make this choice even before starting on the project because it may influence the wood you choose. There are seven broad...

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Why Shellac Is My Go To Finish for Fine Furniture

"I prefer to spray my shellac. Spraying shellac results in an even smoother finish which greatly reduces the amount of sanding during finish work." Rodney Dangerfield’s famous comedic catchphrase was, “I don’t get no respect.” In the world of furniture finishes,...

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TIP: Refinishing and Value

Many people are confused about whether or not to refinish old furniture whose finish is in bad shape. They don’t really like living with the furniture, but they’ve heard (usually directly or indirectly from the Antiques Roadshow) that refinishing destroys value, and...

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TIP: Finishing over waxed wood

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...

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TIP: Patina

TIP: Patina

Patina is primarily the mellowing and color change that occurs in wood over time due to oxidation from exposure to air and bleaching from exposure to light. Secondarily, patina is the dings, scratches, rubs, etc., that give old furniture character. The...

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TIP: Make Cherry Look Old

TIP: Make Cherry Look Old

One of the great unknowns commonly pursued by woodworkers is how to make new cherry look old without any blotching. Here’s a discussion. The rust-red coloring in old cherry develops over many decades from oxidation accelerated by UV light­­—and possibly also by an...

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Wax for Table-Saw Tops

If you want to make the tabletops on your stationary machinery (table saw, band saw, jointer, etc.) slicker so boards slide easier, use paste wax, not furniture polish. And choose a paste wax sold for furniture or floors rather than for cars. The reasons for both...

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