Michael Dresdner

straight talk about wood finishing

Archive for November, 2009

Get a handle on finish, or vice versa

Monday, November 30th, 2009

Q: What finish would you suggest for a washtub bass handle? A: In most cases, they are made from old broom handles, most of which are already finished. If you use a dowel or curtain rod instead, sand it very smooth, wipe on some boiled linseed oil, wipe it off thoroughly, let it dry two [...]

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Spraying safely

Friday, November 27th, 2009

Q: Is there a safe way to set up a separate room for spraying shellac? I was going to put a fan with a TEFC motor and exhaust through the window to the outside, and cut a hole in the room door for intake air. A: There’s a bit more to it than that, but [...]

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An explosive answer

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

Q: I have a room off my shop that I want to set up as a spray room. I only use shellac and spray it. Is shellac highly explosive when sprayed? A: Explosion potential is measured by LEL and UEL, or lower explosive limit and upper explosive limit, a measure of the amount of any [...]

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Pre-stained is prepared

Friday, November 20th, 2009

Q: I’m going to be finishing some cabinet doors with a water soluble aniline dye. The doors are simple frame and panel. Should I pre-stain the panels before assembling? A: I would. It is much easier to stain the panels before assembly, no matter what type of stain you are using. Staining first means the [...]

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Not all strippers are created equal

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

Q: We are redoing our kitchen cabinets, and tried to remove the finish with Citristrip Stripping Gel. We waited, but had a really hard time getting it off so we stopped and waited a few days. Sanding makes the paper gummy. Is there any easy ways to get this junk off? A: Yes, and you [...]

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Under aerosol

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

Q: Is shellac sanding sealer appropriate under aerosol cans of paint? A: That depends on what you mean by shellac sanding sealer, and where the item will be used. Cans of liquid shellac typically have wax in them, which occurs naturally in shellac, and are not appropriate under some finishes. Zinsser SealCoat, which is actually [...]

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Glazing? Not with dye…

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

Q: Can I leave a very small amount of dye in the edges of a raised panel door to create a glazed effect? A: Nope. Dye does not work that way. That’s why we use very specific materials for glazing. Dye is absorbed by the wood, but because it usually contains no binder, you can [...]

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Friday, November 6th, 2009

Q: I have a 40 year old dining table with much sentimental value. A refinisher ruined the reddish color many years ago. The two leaves were not refinished. I’d like to restore the entire table to its beautiful original color. The wood is in good condition but the color is blotchy. I believe the finish [...]

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What’s on top?

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

Q: I am using Plasti-Kote Super, an exterior/interior aerosol spray paint on drums. Is that acceptable without an oil or a varnish? When I put an oil atop matte black painted drums, it changes the sheen. A: Nominally, the answer is yes, that paint is durable enough to stand on its own without any topcoat. [...]

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Hiding the mistakes

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

Q: In just one place I sanded through the finish to the wood. When this happens, what is the best fix? A: Recreate the layers you sanded through in that one spot. If there was stain, carefully add in the stain again with an artist’s brush, or use touch up powders, if you have them [...]

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