Fingerprints in fuming?!

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Forum topic by Steven Gaffin posted 10-01-2013 06:51 PM 790 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Steven Gaffin

31 posts in 1678 days

10-01-2013 06:51 PM

Topic tags/keywords: fuming finish fingerprints finishing

I was talking to a work associate, who also does woodworking, and I brought up how I am planning on fuming the face frames, doors, and drawer fronts for my kitchen cabinet project. He told me how someone he knew found fingerprints in the finish of his fuming after the process.

This threw me for loop. I could see how enough of an oil coating from the finger could make a barrier between the wood and the fumes but I have never had this issue. Granted, all of my fuming has been small until now. The only other possibility I could come up with is that he had a small amount of glue on his fingers and that dried on the surface. He ended up having to where cotton gloves and sanding to a fine grit paper before fuming….

Has anyone had anything similar happen?

I just haven’t read anyone having this issue.

4 replies so far

View pintodeluxe's profile


4826 posts in 2235 days

#1 posted 10-01-2013 07:23 PM

My first thought was glue, which would make the fingerprints lighter (ammonia can’t reach with wood).
Otherwise it could have been ammonia liquid fingerprints, which could make the fingerprints darker (ammonia has greater effect in a small concentrated area).

I have never heard of this happening, so I wouldn’t worry too much.
Sapwood will stay light, and colors can be uneven with fuming. Even Gustav Stickley had to go over fumed projects to selectively darken parts of the project.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View AandCstyle's profile


2540 posts in 1679 days

#2 posted 10-01-2013 11:52 PM

I haven’t ever heard of this either, but if you are concerned, just give the critical surfaces a quick swipe with fine sandpaper just before fuming to remove the possibilities.

-- Art

View Dark_Lightning's profile


2620 posts in 2531 days

#3 posted 10-02-2013 02:45 AM

I’ve never experienced this while fuming wood or patinating metal. Then again, I know a guy whose skin oils will dissolve nitrile gloves in a matter of an hour or so. It depends on body chemistry to some extent. The obvious answer is to wear gloves during sanding. I’m not sure that wearing gloves while brushing on a finish is reasonable, though.

Then again, were they small fingerprints? I’ve found those in projects when I had younger brothers and children.

-- Random Orbital Nailer

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Steven Gaffin

31 posts in 1678 days

#4 posted 10-02-2013 02:30 PM

he didn’t really say the size he just said he found fingerprints and he had to go through this huge ordeal of sanding to get it right.

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