Reply by AJLastra

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Posted on General finishing advice

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87 posts in 2226 days

#1 posted 08-03-2012 01:34 PM


Lots of great advice in these replies. One of the things I would strongly suggest to you, in order to understand finishes and finishing, is to get your hands on the advice of the best finishers out there. these guys have published loads of stuff….........much of it is FREE on their websites, particularly Jeff Jewitt. As was mentioned earlier in this thread, you need to consider what the project is going to be used for and what it will have to deal with when someone is using ti when you try to decide what to finish it with. There is a huge world of options out there. Cherry, for example, needs no finish. but if you want it to look like “aged” cherry, you can use household lye. Or simply leave it out in the sun for a few hours each day for a week which is what “old timers” did. Cherry “sunburns”. You MUST know that the shellac you buy from Zinseer…Bullseye…is NOT dewaxed. that makes a difference with what topcoats you apply. I would suggest you get a hold of two superb videos put out by Jewitt….......Hand Applied Finishes-coloring Wood and Hand Applied Finishes-Topcoats. Everything you want to know about the basics of staining and coloring and top coating with shellac, lacquer, polyurethane and varnish is included. There is sooooooooooooooo much more to this craft…..........and it IS a craft…............than asking what you can do with a handful of products that you have on hand. If you want the finish to last and preotect the piece, then you have to ask important questions before you start to apply and stain or topcoat. Where is the project going to be placed? Kitchen? Bathroom? Living room? Is it humid or dry? Will someone place sweating glasses or hot coffee cups on it? Will it come into contact with food? Will young children get a hold of it? Will it be subjected to scratches like a tabletop might? All of these things dictate what to do with the piece.

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