Michael Dresdner

straight talk about wood finishing

Archive for September, 2010

Drifting along

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

Q: How can I produce a driftwood finish, like the one in this picture? I am thinking of using bleach, chemical stains and dye rather than paint or pigment stain. A: I have to say that the photo you sent looks nothing like what I would call driftwood. In fact it looks like roughly prepared [...]

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Bigleaf, big pattern

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

Q: I am making a cabinet door of solid cherry with a quilted maple panel. I want a bit of contrast between the cherry and maple and to show off the quilting in the maple. I was planning to stain the maple with a cherry color oil based stain and sand it lightly with 600 [...]

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In and out

Monday, September 27th, 2010

Q: What makes an alkyd oil based enamel usable for interior use but not for exterior use? Can I tell from looking at the MSDS? A: There are three basic elements that make that difference, and unfortunately, that is not clear from reading an MSDS. They are the resin, the colorant, and the pigment loading. [...]

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Auntie Oxidant

Friday, September 24th, 2010

Q: I made some replacement handgun grips of cocobolo. Realizing that cocobolo has a lot of natural oils in it I first sealed it with shellac, then filled the pores with a product called z-poxy. I then sanded and applied one coat of Minwax polyurethane. Three weeks later I can make a thumb print in [...]

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Kitchen magic

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

Q: The kitchen cabinets in my 20 year old house were painted rather than stained. They are a cherry color on what I believe is alder. Over the years some of the paint has chipped away leaving behind part of the original unfinished wood. The cherry paint itself is not a solid color, but varies [...]

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Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Q: I am finishing alder with Daly’s Benite and CrystalFin, spraying with a Fuji gun and #55 needle. I have been using water damp cloths as tack rags. I am getting white spots in the dried finish. Most areas are fine, but some of the areas look like white overspray. The spots are down in [...]

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Lacquer and d-limonene

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

Q: I need to know if d-limonene will harm cured nitrocellulose lacquer. I want to use it as a solvent in a 25% mixture with mineral spirits. A: No, d-limonene will not harm lacquer. It is one half of the racemic mixture called dipentene, and for all intents and purposes as far as finishing and [...]

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Monday, September 13th, 2010

Q: We are getting an increasing amount of mineral calcium deposits in rosewood. Do you know of an effective way to remove them, aside from the acids that are currently available? A: No, but to be honest, muriatic acid, which is cheap and easily available, works so well and so quickly with most mineral deposits [...]

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The color of virtue

Friday, September 10th, 2010

Q: I saw a table online that said it has a java finish. What does that mean? A: It means some marketing whiz kid has decided that the word java sounds better than brown, or at least will sell more easily. The stain and furniture people are at last catching up with the paint naming [...]

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The paint stands alone

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

Q: What’s the best low maintenance outdoor finish for some acrylic art painted on a stone? A: This is clearly a case of less is more in that the best finish is to simply use an appropriate exterior paint for the art itself. Exterior 100% acrylic trim paint will work well, and there’s no need [...]

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