Wood Finishing Techniques and Advice

The devil lives in the data

Written by Greg Williams Monday, 17 October 2016 00:00

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Tell the truth now. Have you ever used a new product, perhaps a stain, filler, glaze or sealer, without reading the instructions? Have you assumed that since you’ve been spraying lacquer for 20 years and you’ve had no problems for the last 18, that you’ve got it all figured out and don’t need no stinkin’ directions? Has that ever backfired?

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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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