Flexner On Finishing

‘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...

Wiping Varnish

In the November 2011 issue, Bob Flexner submitted this excerpt from his book "Wood Finishing 101," along with the article on wiping varnish. It is a useful document that you can post in your shop. To download the PDF, click on the link below. –Ajax Alexandre PWM_WipingVarnish

Finishing Wood 101: Good Visuals

I was lucky enough to be Bob Flexner’s editor for ‘Wood Finishing 101’. Throughout the process he and I both came back to the value of the images that would be in the book. Showing step-by-step, with pictures, how to apply a finish was the important part. Bob has always been a stickler for...

Prevent, Remove and the Disguise Glue Splotches

There’s no finishing problem more frustrating than glue splotches. You spend countless hours cutting, shaping, smoothing and joining pieces of wood only to have your work discolored where glue from squeeze-out or dirty hands seals the wood so your stain and finish can’t penetrate. The wood under the splotch doesn’t change color while all...