Flexner on Finishing Blog


Bob Flexner is a contributing editor to Popular Woodworking and the author of woodworking finishing books, including “Flexner on Finishing,” “Understanding Wood Finishing,” and “Wood Finishing 101,” available at ShopWoodworking.com. Also available are his DVDs on “Repairing Furniture” and “Refinishing Furniture.” Bob is probably best known for defining the products used in wood finishing and organizing them into categories that make them easily understandable.

He’ll also be writing here about furniture restoration – another of his areas of expertise.
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Aerosols: They Can Substitute for a Spray Gun

After my last post (April 10) about wearing gloves when spraying with a spray gun, I thought it might be appropriate to discuss aerosols as a substitute for spray guns. There are two types of aerosols, each identifiable by its nozzle. The nozzle on most aerosols has a cylindrical-shaped actuator you...

This Mystifies Me Every Time I See It

I’ll probably get pushback on this, but here goes anyway. I’d love to hear your objections. Look at the above picture. What seems odd to you? It’s not something small. It’s jumping right off the screen. The spraying technique is entirely correct, especially with the opposite hand holding the hose out...

Tru-Oil for Finishing a Guitar: It Should Work Well

A friend called with a finish question. He had just made a guitar in a guitar-making class and wanted to know the best finish for it. He began with the statement that he didn’t have a spray gun and didn’t want to use aerosol lacquer because he didn’t want to stink...

All Natural: Can Shellac Be Marketed As All Natural?

I got a question from a professional woodworker wanting to know if he could market the shellac he used as “all natural,” or if Zinsser put non-natural ingredients in their shellac that didn’t evaporate. Great question, because it brings up the issue of the safety of “natural” substances. This term is...

Smart Paint for the Blind and Visually Impaired

This is another installment in my series on smart coatings. You can access the others by typing in “smart” in the search box near the top of my main blog page. For this installment, I’m reporting on some pioneering work being done at Ohio State University. If you live in or...

Compatibility of Applying One Type of Finish Over Another

A professional woodworker got in touch with this question. He had finished a sixty-foot long countertop for a brewery tasting room with catalyzed (conversion) varnish. After the finish dried for three weeks, the client decided he would like the finish to be glossier and have the same amber tone as the...

How to Get Rid of Black Stains on an Exterior Door

In the October, 2017 issue of Popular Woodworking, page 10, I answered a question from a reader concerning how to handle paint on an exterior door that was beginning to lift at the cross-grain joints where water was able to get in and work its way underneath. This inspired another reader...

Apple Home Pod and White Rings on Wood Tables.

You may be familiar with the problem Apple is having with their newly released Home Pods and the white rings they sometimes leave on wood surfaces. Apple explains that they come from the vibration-damping silicone attached to the bottom of the Home Pods. “The marks can be caused by oils diffusing...