Michael Dresdner

straight talk about wood finishing

Archive for November, 2010

Play musty for me

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Q: My old desk has a kind of musty smell. Can this be improved by treating the wood? A: Musty smells can come from mildew or accumulations of dust and dirt. Clean the desk, including the interior areas, and kill any mildew with laundry bleach. If you want, you can seal the exposed wood areas, [...]

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Formaldehyde

Monday, November 29th, 2010

Q: I purchased a 70s-era desk with an oak veneer. Much of the desk is constructed of heavy fiberboard. I’m worried about the formaldehyde and other chemicals off gassing. Is there a way to seal the exposed fiberboard? A: If it is from the 70s, anything that was going to off-gas has long ago done [...]

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Gaps away

Friday, November 26th, 2010

Q: My floor looks good but there are some small gaps between the floor boards. It is an oak herringbone floor with a polyurethane finish. What is the absolute best product to use to fill the existing gaps? A: In my opinion, it is trowel filler or pore filler, depending on the size of the [...]

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Wax on, wax off

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

Q: I have waxed oak floors. They are extremely dull. I used liquid cleaner with dark pigment but that only seems to last a few weeks before they dull up. Is there a better product? A: Commercial cleaners remove wax. Thus, if the shine from your floors comes from wax, using a wax removing cleaner [...]

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Jewelry finish

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

Q: What would be the best non toxic finish I could use on jewelry made from wood? A: I’m not sure what you mean by non-toxic, as that is a term used typically for things we ingest. If you mean that the finish itself is edible or drinkable in its liquid form, that would include [...]

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HVLP; which one?

Friday, November 12th, 2010

Q: I’m looking into buying an HVLP turbine system that will spray oil based and waterbased finishes, including latex paint. Many folks seem to be very happy with the Fuji Q4 Gold; then there’s the Earlex HV6900. A: The Fuji system is excellent, though if I had to name my current favorite, money no object, [...]

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Over toning lacquer

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

Q: I used a toning lacquer to color the wood. I want to put polyurethane over it. Can I do this? A: Yes, you can.

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Circa 1920

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Q: I have a circa 1920 chiffarobe I would like to refinish. I stripped it with alcohol and sanded to 220. I have never been very successful with shellac. What would you suggest for a finish what would give a reasonable look and protection? A: What I would suggest is what it had originally, and [...]

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Metalic glaze

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

Q: I recently installed some cabinets from Woodmode/Brookhaven that were finished with a “pewter glaze” over cherry. Kind of cool looking with a very slight metallic sheen over a medium dark cherry. Would have any idea of a concoction that could be used to mimic that? A: Several companies, including Olympic and Valspar, sell ready [...]

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Monday, November 8th, 2010

Visit our partner website; Rainy Day Ukes

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