Wood Finishing Techniques and Advice

Back stories can make restorations well worth the time

Written by Greg Williams Monday, 14 August 2017 00:00

In conversations with some of my professional colleagues (refinishers, restorers and furniture-repair technicians), the subject of pricing practices often leads into how to best handle jobs that would cost more than the replacement of the object. And there’s usually a story relating to the item that helps seal the deal.



The ‘Great Brewster Chair’ and how it was recreated

Written by Bob Flexner Monday, 17 July 2017 00:00

finishing_brewsterchairArguably, the highest art of furniture restoration is recreating age. The ethics of doing so can be debated, but it’s still very difficult. So I love this story.



The heat is on: charring can be a cool finish

Written by Greg Williams Monday, 12 June 2017 00:00

charringWhen my oldest son was in the 11th grade he took a short shop course as part of an agricultural program. A beginning project was to construct a magazine rack out of white pine. The finish was accomplished by scorching the wood with a propane torch to create a warm amber tone and darker toasted pattern. It might have been topcoated with a polyurethane varnish. I suspect that the teacher had the students finish this way to save time and money on materials and make it fun.



Auto history provides a ride down memory lane

Written by Bob Flexner Monday, 15 May 2017 00:00


It’s likely that you’ve never finished a car or truck and you might not have any desire to do so. But knowing the history of the development of automotive coatings is instructive for understanding how wood finishes have changed through the decades. Much more research goes into automotive coatings than into wood finishes. We piggyback on this research.



EPA throws the baby out with the bathwater

Written by Bob Flexner Monday, 13 March 2017 00:00


The EPA issued a proposed rule on Jan. 12 that would ban or restrict the use of methylene chloride and n-methylpyrrolidone in paint and coating removers for most consumer and commercial applications. Interestingly, this rule doesn’t apply to professional refinishing shops, though the EPA said they would revisit this exemption as they gather more information.



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