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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Is There Pigment or Dye in Minwax Stains? Does it Matter?

A woodworker friend asked me what type colorants, pigment or dye, were used in Minwax stains. He had called Minwax and was told that they use only pigment, but this didn’t match with my friend’s experience. I found it not surprising at all that the Minwax tech didn’t understand his company’s...

A Little Straight Talk on Dyes and Fading

The left dye is Transtint metalized dye. The right dye is Lockwood analine dye. Both are water-soluble. I covered the top half of the panel and put it in a west-facing window for six months. You can see that both dyes faded (on the lower areas) but the analine dye faded...

Air Movement and Heat Speed the Drying of Finishes

On Nov. 22 I posted an explanation of how cooler temperatures slow the drying of all finishes. Well, the opposite is also true. Warmer temperatures, especially with the aid of air movement, speed the drying of all finishes. The example of why this information is helpful came in the form of...

Water Spots From Rain: A Lesson Learned

I learned this lesson the hard way. Don’t transport unfinished wood in the open bed of a pick-up truck if there’s any chance of rain. A local cabinet shop had made some oak display stands, and I was hired to finish them. It was sprinkling when I picked up the stands...