Michael Dresdner

straight talk about wood finishing

Archive for the 'Coloring options' Category

Hand applied sunburst

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

Q: How do you recreate the look of the old style hand applied sunburst used on Gibson mandolins from the 1920s and 1930s? A: The somewhat rough look of the inside ring of the sunburst comes from the old style hand applied sunburst as opposed to one that is sprayed on. It’s a moderately difficult [...]

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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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Crisp masking lines

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

Q: How do I achieve a nice crisp symmetrical line when using two different stains? For example I want to stain a light triangle inside a dark rectangle. The stain has bled under the painter’s tape in my tests. A: There are a variety of techniques, but they depend on both the type of stain [...]

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Monday, November 1st, 2010

Q: My stepson recently purchased stain from the cabinet supplier of his kitchen. The plan was to match the color to his unfinished crown molding. The color is wrong. Since the molding has contours, it can’t be easily sanded off. Is there a solution for stripping down to bare wood? A: Most stains can be [...]

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Inked salad bowls

Friday, October 29th, 2010

Q: I want to color walnut sapwood on salad bowls with India ink, then seal it with shellac and salad bowl finish. Would this be safe for food? A: Yep. By the way, I would let the ink dry then go straight to salad bowl finish. In this case, adding shellac would weaken the finish.

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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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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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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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Sunburst by hand

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

Q: I read somewhere that the first sunburst finishes were produced by hand. Can you describe how this was done? A: I can and have. Many years ago (1983, if I recall) I described the process at length in an article for Vintage Guitar Bulletin. That piece later became part of a small book or [...]

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