Flexner on Finishing

Now, all one company

Update on Sherwin-Williams buying Valspar

In my March 22 posting I passed on the report that Sherwin-Williams is buying Valspar for $11 billion creating one huge supplier of many brands of finishing products we use. But not so fast. Now the Federal Trade Commission is beginning to investigate on antitrust grounds. Unfortunately, at least in my opinion, this administration...

Notice in this picture how easy it is to see the developing runs in a reflected light and how difficult it is to see them elsewhere

How to Avoid Runs & Sags

One of the biggest problems woodworkers have is runs and sags drying in their finishes, especially with slower drying finishes such as varnish (including polyurethane and wiping varnish) and water-based finish. They can also happen in shellac, though it dries faster. The remedy is simple. You should never have runs or sags drying in...

Boiled linseed oil and tung oil

Comparing Linseed Oil & Tung Oil

The two commonly available pure oil finishes that can be used on furniture and woodwork with decent results because they cure – that is, turn from a liquid to a soft solid – are linseed oil and tung oil. There are important differences between these two oils. Raw linseed oil cures much too slowly...

solvnets

Using Solvents to Date Furniture

Editors note: Bob Flexner’s blog will move to the Flexner on Finishing Blog at the end of April. You can find it here. A few years ago I was called to a long-time client’s house to look at a problem on their newly purchased eighteenth-century Chippendale dining set. I was excited. How often do I...

One method of removing white water marks (rings) is to wipe over with a lightly alcohol-dampened cloth. You’ll have more control if you fold the cloth into a pad, like a French-polish pad. Use only enough alcohol so you leave an evaporating trail resembling a comets tail as you wipe.

How to Remove Watermarks

A wet drinking glass can make an ugly white  or dark ring on your furniture. Here’s how to fix the damage. by Bob Flexner Watermarks occur on furniture with finishes that have aged. These marks, also called water rings when they’re round in shape, rarely occur in newly applied film-building finishes, even those such...

Top closed. With the hinged top folded closed,
the piece serves as a chest of drawers. Notice
my veneer repair in the lower left-hand corner
of the top.

The Thick & Thin of Veneer Repair

Veneer is just thin wood – so don’t be afraid of it. by Bob Flexner from the November 2009 issue, #179 I love repairing old furniture – the older the better. I find repairing more challenging and satisfying than making new because someone else, or time and age, has set the parameters within which...

Wiping Varnish – What is it?

Wiping varnish is simply any brand of oil-based alkyd (regular) varnish or oil-based polyurethane varnish in any sheen (gloss or satin) thinned about half with mineral spirits (paint thinner). Rules for Application ■  Wipe or brush on the wood and ■  Wipe off all the excess; or ■  Brush off some or most of...

flexner

Flexner on Finishing: Refinishing Furniture

Repair, strip and refinish to restore old pieces. By Bob Flexner Pages: 58-60 From the August 2011 issue #191 Buy this issue now Refinishing is a topic worthy of an entire book. In fact, restoring furniture includes all of woodworking and finishing because all skills may be called into play. In lieu of a book, here...

Finishing for Beginners

Finishing for First-Timers

If you’ve never put brush to bare wood (or you’d like a refresher), learn how to greatly improve your chances of success. By Bob Flexner It’s one thing to describe finishing steps to an experienced finisher. It’s quite another to teach someone who has never applied stain or finish to anything. Describing finishing so...