Michael Dresdner

straight talk about wood finishing

Archive for March, 2010

Learning leaf

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

Q: Where can I go to learn both repair techniques and antiquing techniques for gilded objects? A: If you look online you will find some information posted there, such as this PDF. http://www.aidanharticons.com/articles/Oct%2007/GILDING%20TECHNIQUES.pdf However, the best source I’ve found for gilding information, other than studying with someone directly, is this magazine. I’d subscribe to it [...]

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Durable gold

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

Q: If I don’t coat gold leaf, it will wear after a while, but when I coat the leaf I lose that brilliance. What should I do? A: It is true that coated leaf is not as brilliant as genuine burnished metal leaf. That’s why real gold leaf is left unsealed. As for wear, that’s [...]

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Outer limits

Monday, March 29th, 2010

Q: I’m currently building an outdoor grill cart out of ash and obviously need to protect it. I was thinking about sealing with Zinsser and then multiple coats of an exterior finish. What do you think? A: You did not say which Zinsser product, and only some of their primers are exterior coatings. For instance, [...]

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Gold gaps

Friday, March 26th, 2010

Q: When I gild hand carved furniture over red color, the corners often remain red, so I have to spray a thin layer of gold lacquer before applying the leaf. Is there another thing that I can use to solve this problem? A: Yes, though your solution, creating a gold ground under gold leaf, is [...]

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Torn leaf

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

Q: You said we could glaze gold leaf. If we apply glaze directly over uncoated leaf, won’t it tear the leaf when we clean off the excess? A: No. You simply wipe off the excess glaze immediately, while it is still liquid, using a soft cloth, or blend it using a very soft bristle brush. [...]

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The right size

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

Q: Here in my country there is only one kind of gold size; a waterbased size which is white in the can and cures colorless and gloss. We have to thin it with water and apply it with a little cotton ball. This process of applying the size takes a lot of time and sometimes [...]

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Old gold

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

Q: What is the best protecting coat over gilded projects and how do we get an antique look? A: There are two types of gold leaf; real gold, which is pure gold hammered to thin sheets, and imitation leaf, sometimes called Dutch metal. Generally speaking, real gold is not antiqued, nor top coated. If you [...]

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Gold standard

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

There will be five posts this week, one each week day, all about gilding and gold leaf. Q: I’d like to know about different kinds of gold size and the methods of application over hand carved furniture. I now use waterbased gold size and apply it by hand with cotton. A: Oil based size is [...]

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Gummy bear

Friday, March 19th, 2010

Q: I’ve tried Zinsser SealCoat on wood turning as a sealer before wipe on poly. The finished result is outstanding; it did a great job of sealing spalted maple. For sanding, I use a 2″ disc in a cordless drill on low speed off the lathe with 400 grit paper. The sandpaper builds up with [...]

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Pore it on

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

Q: I would like to finish some oak with solid color lacquer from a spray can. I want the finished surface to be very smooth and have the grain completely hidden. I’ve been using Crystalac brand grain filler, but after five coats the grain is still visible in places. Should I continue with more coats, [...]

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