Flexner On Finishing

Peeling Paint on Exterior Doors

A reader had a problem with the paint on his front doors, which he thought might be caused by exposure to strong sunlight for many hours each day. Fortunately, he sent pictures, which told me a different story. From the pictures, it seemed more likely that the damage was caused by moisture. UV sunlight...

Update on Finish Company Consolidations

I’ve reported previously on Sherwin-Williams buying Valspar and PPG’s attempt to buy AkzoNobel, which would combine the two largest coatings suppliers in the world. To complete the purchase of Valspar by Sherwin-Williams, Valspar was required to spin off its wood coatings division to Axalta, which it did. (I had never heard of Axalta before,...

Paste Wax – Make it Harder & Glossier

The first big investigation I ever did for an article in a woodworking magazine was on paste waxes. I collected 13 different brands and tried to figure out the differences. I also read as much as I could find on wax. This was all brought back to me when I got into the long...

Paste Wax for Table Saws & Machinery

In my recent postings, I’ve been writing about silicone oil and fish eye. So a few days ago I was having a deep discussion with a friend about paste wax, and it reminded me of the time I was in a friend’s shop and noticed him spraying Pledge on the top of his table...

Even More on Silicone Oil & a Finishing Lesson

I’ve told you the three main ways to deal with silicone contamination in my May 10 post: clean the wood well with solvent or an alkali soap before applying the finish; seal the wood with shellac; and/or add silicone oil (fish-eye flow out, fish-eye eliminator, Smoothie) to the finish. There’s a fourth way I...

‘Water-white’ – What That Means in Finishing

You may have come across the term “water-white” for describing finishes. It’s a little confusing. It means a finish that is totally devoid of amber coloring in liquid form. The finish looks like water in the can. It doesn’t look white. In practice, the term is used to describe a type of lacquer, and...

stripper

Alternative Paint Strippers

by Bob Flexner Safer strippers are having a ‘green’ revival. Methods for removing old paint and finish from furniture have gone through at least four distinct periods. Before solvents became widely available, coatings were removed by scraping, often with glass used like we use scrapers, and sometimes by sanding, after sandpaper became available. (Heat...

Brown Paper Bag Trick

A smooth feel is critical when judging the quality of a finish. It’s natural for people to run their hand over a finish, feel dust nibs and say, “This is not a great finish.” The problem is, there’s almost always a little dust that has settled on, and stuck to, the last coat of...

Wipe, Don’t Brush Stain

Wiping is the efficient way to apply stain. The purpose of this article is to emphasize what I’ve said in passing many times: It’s much more efficient to wipe stain onto wood with a rag than to brush it. Wiping is fast, almost as fast as spraying (without the downside of having to clean...