Michael Dresdner

straight talk about wood finishing

Archive for October, 2009

Over and under

Friday, October 30th, 2009

Q: If I seal or  stain wood, can I go over it with polyurethane? A: Yes, if we are talking about oil based polyurethane. It will go over any sealer and any stain. Waterbased polyurethane will go over some sealers, including SealCoat, and some stains, including virtually all waterbased but only some oil based stains.

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Not just for old timers

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

Q: I just had one paint store employee tell me shellac is comfortable for old timers, but is not the best sealing product for sealing wood. A: That depends on whether we are talking about dewaxed shellac or shellac with the wax still in it. Shellac with wax in it, which is what is in [...]

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The conditioner mystery unravelled

Monday, October 26th, 2009

Q: I have a copy of your New Wood Finishing Book, but wood conditioner isn’t mentioned in the sealer and primer section. A: That’s because it is not sealer or primer. Wood conditioner is colorless stain, and is therefore mentioned in the stain section. Wood conditioner has all the other components of stain (solvent and [...]

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Clear now, glaze later

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

Q: I used white pine for the trim in my new house and would like to try and finish it naturally. Having sealed the wood, can I stain or glaze it later with an over the counter stain such as Minwax stain? A: You can glaze sealed wood, but not with stain meant to go [...]

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I’m forever blowing bubbles

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

Q: I sprayed lacquer with a spray can. I got a few runs. I did not mind them and after two weeks I started sanding with P800 paper. I was able to eliminate the runs by sanding, but corresponding to the run there is a small area full of air bubbles. I tried to sand [...]

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Q: I am in the process of completing a kitchen full of cabinets and need some advice about the proper finish to use. The face frames and drawer fronts are walnut. There are several lower cabinet doors that are walnut frames with a maple panel. Do I need to seal the wood to obtain a [...]

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Exclusive? Nope.

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

Q: I am a huge fan of the polyurethane gel that was sold exclusively by Rockler with your endorsement on the label. I have used it on every piece of sculpture that I have created in the past 10 years. I have just discovered that they no longer carry the product. Could you possibly help [...]

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Wipe on UV protection

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

Q: Can you suggest a product that offers UV protection and can be used like a rub-on poly? A: Sure. Any oil based varnish can be hand applied, so choose any good exterior oil based varnish, marine or household, that boasts added UV blockers on the label. I like to use them uncut, applying by [...]

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Old finishes get age lines, too

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

Q: My kitchen cabinets are stained birch plywood. For 30 years I have washed them down with Murphy’s soap and dried them. I recently noticed that the grain on the doors is raised or checked. How do I correct this or repair it? A: As finishes age and become more brittle, many develop tiny cracks [...]

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Right book, wrong pages

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

Q: I have completed the woodwork on a white-oak table and need to color it dark brown. I tried the usual commercial stains, which colored the grain cathedrals on the face sides, but hardly colored the long grain at all. So I went to The New Wood Finishing Book and checked out your pages on [...]

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