Article Index Flexner on Finishing

1511-2-01_Oil and Varnish

Flexner on Finishing: Understanding Wood Finishing

Here are four things you need to know. by Bob Flexner p.54 Finishing is not hard to understand. As I’ve pointed out in previous articles, it’s made confusing by manufacturers who don’t understand their own products, so they make up names and claims they think will help sell their wares. The manufacturers who are...


Flexner on Finishing: Catalyzed Finishes

Apply a professional, quick-drying and durable finish at home. by Bob Flexner page 58 You may have heard of catalyzed finishes: pre-catalyzed lacquer, post-catalyzed lacquer and catalyzed or “conversion” varnish. These finishes are commonly used in industry and in cabinet and professional refinishing shops. But there’s no reason you can’t use them also. The...

1411_PWM_1_Veneer damage

Flexner on Finishing: Furniture Deterioration

Cracking, crazing and physical wear have specific causes and remedies. by Bob Flexner pages 59-60 Everyone who buys, sells, works on or collects old furniture, or who has some in their house, has to be concerned with deterioration. It’s staring them in the face every time they look at the furniture. Totally stopping the...


Matching Colors

Use the method that allows you to keep trying until you get it right. by Bob Flexner pages 60, 62 One of the most challenging tasks in wood finishing is matching the color of an existing object, color swatch or photo in a magazine. Most people try to accomplish this with just a stain,...


Application Problems

Solutions to a baker’s dozen of common finishing difficulties.

by Bob Flexner pages 58-60

It’s easy enough to provide instructions for applying finishes. But in the real world, things go wrong; problems occur that you have to deal with. With the combined goals of defining the problems, providing ways to avoid them, then fixing them after they occur,...


Flexner on Finishing: Acetone in the Woodshop

This solvent’s versatility makes it ideal in many situations. by Bob Flexner pages 62-3 If you’ve been shopping at paint stores or in the paint department of home centers for the last decade or so, you may have noticed the increased prominence of acetone among the solvents. There is a reason for this. Acetone is among the very...


Flexner on Finishing: Fish Eye & Silicone

The truth behind craters and ridges. by Bob Flexner pages 62-3 If your finishing career has been limited to finishing projects you have made, you may never have experienced fish eye. But if you have done much refinishing, especially of furniture, you have surely seen fish eye. Fish eye is the finish crawling up to form moon-like craters...


Flexner on Finishing: Revive or Restore?

Discover how (and when) to give old, deteriorated finishes new life. By Bob Flexner Pages 62-63 As finishes age, they deteriorate. First they dull, then they begin showing small cracks (called “crazing”). The culprit of this degradation is oxygen, which attacks the finish very slowly. Crazing is accelerated so much by ultraviolet light and heat, however, that...


Flexner on Finishing: How to Choose a Finish

Your decision is simplified by the process of elimination. By Bob Flexner Pages 60-62 At some point as you progress in woodworking, you begin to realize that there are many finishes to choose among; you probably ask yourself if you are using the best finish for your project. Choosing is not as hard as it seems because...