Wood Finishing Techniques and Advice

Smart coatings might truly change the way you feel

Written by Bob Flexner Monday, 12 September 2016 00:00

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It seems like everything is becoming smart these days: phones, watches, cars and coatings — including paints and finishes.

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Step panels can give you a peek into the future

Written by Greg Williams Monday, 15 August 2016 00:00

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A very talented and accomplished woodworker of my acquaintance constructed a fairly large decorative object of solid walnut. A dealer commissioned the piece for display at a craft show and it involved metal as well as the wood. The desired finish was to be a warm brown, very transparent, very smooth but with little film build, emphasizing the figure and depth of the wood and contrasting with the bright-silver trim elements.

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Helpful hints for applying water-based finishes

Written by Bob Flexner Monday, 18 July 2016 00:00

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Switching from solvent- to water-based finishes has some advantages, primarily reduced odor and fire hazard, as well as reduced harm to the environment. But the switch can be difficult because the application is different.

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Mastering the basics leads to finer finishes

Written by Greg Williams Monday, 13 June 2016 00:00

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In looking over some of the correspondence I’ve received from readers of this column for the last seven years or so, I noticed that many of the questions asked can be answered by reviewing the basics of wood finishing. Among the issues most often raised are: What is the best (finish, topcoat, stain, filler and sandpaper) to use? How do I (perform some task)? What went wrong?

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Mixed messages have hurt the condition of old furniture pieces

Written by Bob Flexner Monday, 16 May 2016 00:00

28_bob_fexnerFinishes deteriorate as they age. First they dull, then they begin to craze and crack. Over a very long period of time, finishes deteriorate because of contact with oxygen called “oxidation.” But bright UV light — especially sunlight and fluorescent light — accelerates the deterioration so much that you can reasonably think of the deterioration as caused by light alone.

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