finishing

Mixing finishes. Almost any finishing product can be applied over any other as long as the “other” is dry and the product you’re brushing doesn’t dissolve and smear the existing. I applied a water-soluble dye to this mahogany. Then I applied a thin shellac “washcoat” as a barrier so the water-based paste wood filler I used wouldn’t dissolve and smear the dye. After the filler dried, I brushed polyurethane. I alternated water-based, alcohol-based and mineral-spirits-based without any problems because each previous product was dry.

Five Furniture Finishing Tips

  Wood finishing doesn’t have to be complicated or mysterious. That’s not to say that even experienced finishers don’t run into problems from time to time; everybody does. But there are ways to make the outcome a lot more predictable and therefore less frustrating. Here are five ways to get good finishing results with...

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The Way Wood Works: Birch

The Way Wood Works: Birch This affordable wood is great for both high-end and utilitarian cabinetry. By Tim Johnson Birch is a hot item at the lumberyard these days, and birch veneer is the all-time most popular hardwood plywood.This isn’t a fad.Despite changes in taste and fashion, birch has been in demand for furniture...

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Greene & Greene Finish

I received an e-mail from a reader the other day, asking about finishes for Greene & Greene furniture. It’s one of those areas where we have some good clues about what was used, but we can’t be certain. There were some variations in color from house to house, as well as variations in wood....

Flexer Aug 12

Flexner on Finishing: Finishes: They are A-changin’

Reformulations may compel you to adjust your finishing process. By Bob Flexner Pages 64-66 Many years ago a friend explained to me the difference between woodworking tools and finishes. Woodworking tools, he said, are physics. You can see them. You can see that a band saw isn’t a table saw even though it has a table. But finishes...

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Shellac Tiger Flakes from Tools for Working Wood

For me, shellac is a lot like grits. When prepared correctly from quality materials, the results are stunning. But if you buy your grits or shellac already made up, or they are old, or they aren’t top quality, you are going to wonder why people rave about the stuff. I’ve never had satisfactory results...

Chemical Ebonizing

Chemical Ebonizing ?A sure-fire recipe for turning any wood deep black. By Richard Tendick Remember the old slogan, “better living through chemistry”? When it comes to turning wood black—a process called ebonizing—I prefer the chemical approach, which uses solutions made from vinegar, steel wool and tannic acid. Watching them transform an ordinary wood, such...

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An (Inadvertent) Breaking of the ‘Rules’

The first tenet of “I Can Do That” is that all projects we build for it must be doable with the modest (but decent) set of beginner tools we’ve identified, and for which we’ve provided instruction in the free “manual” (that can be dowloaded for free on the “I Can Do That” page). Sure,...

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The Trouble with VOC-compliant Finishes

When it comes to finish, I want something that is easy to apply, offers a little protection and doesn’t require spray equipment. And once I find a finish I like, I tend to be pretty loyal. I used Minwax’s Antique Oil Finish almost exclusively before a friend turned me on to Waterlox Original Sealer/Finish...

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20 Finishing Tips

20 Finishing Tips Purchase the complete version of this woodworking technique story from AWBookstore.com. Make dewaxed shellac Take the wax out of shellac and you have a great sealer that’s compatible with most other finishes. It’s best to get this “dewaxed” shellac as dry flakes that you mix with denatured alcohol. Usually you have...