Flexner on Finishing

Illustrating Metamerism with a Digital Camera

I can remember very frustrating times in my shop when I worked like crazy on a refinished piece of furniture to match the color on a sample piece of furniture, only to take the refinished piece to the client’s house and find that it didn’t match. But it matched perfectly in...

Witness Lines: A New Name for an Old Problem

A woodworker asked me recently, “What the heck is a witness line?” Well, this opens up an interesting discussion. One of my pet peeves since I began teaching finishing, has been people creating new terminology when quite adequate terminology already exists. There’s no better example than “witness lines,” which is a...

Finish Choices for a Wood Deck

It’s that time of year and you may be thinking about how to take care of your wood deck. Here’s the easy way to approach it, at least for decks made of rot-resistant woods such as redwood, cedar, pressure-treated, or one of several jungle woods including ipe. If you’re OK with...

Deck Coatings that Fail

In the last few years at least three major coatings’ suppliers have introduced deck coatings that have failed often enough so they have generated a number of class-action lawsuits against the companies. You may have seen ads for these products: Behr Deckover, Olympic Rescue-It and Rust-Oleum Deck Restore. You may have...

More on Smart Coatings

Smart coatings fascinate me. In an earlier post I told you about a paint that uses nanotechnology to cause pee to bounce off walls back onto the shoes of the perp. In another post I told you about a coating that self-heals when exposed to heat or UV light. Here are a few...

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...

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...

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...

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...