Michael Dresdner

straight talk about wood finishing

Archive for the 'paint' Category

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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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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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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Thin enamel

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

Q: Can I thin enamel for spraying, and if so, what solvent should I use? A: Yes, but you will have to read the label to find out what to use. Because the term enamel is used for many types of coatings, you must know what type you are using to know the thinner for [...]

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What’s in a name?

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

Q: How does enamel differ from lacquer? A: The term lacquer refers to how a finish dries. Specifically, it means a coating that dries solely by solvent evaporation. It does not give any clue to what resins were use in it, though of course, certain ones are particularly common. The term enamel has no definitive [...]

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For once, no primer

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

Q: We’d like to coat our stripped metal furniture with hammer finish from Rust-Oleum. The local paint person stated this can be applied directly to the metal, but perhaps I am just being old school so I am questioning whether priming first would be better. A: Rustoleum’s hammer finish is in fact fine to use [...]

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Cleanliness is next to…

Monday, August 16th, 2010

Q: In preparation for painting stripped metal furniture, we’ve wiped down the pieces with soapy water and wiped everything dry, gone back over the pieces and have given them a light sanding. Do I need to be concerned with chemical residue from the previous finishes, stripper or other contaminate? A: Possibly. Some strippers contain wax, [...]

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What hath iron wrought?

Friday, August 13th, 2010

Q: We purchased a used dinette set; the style is often referred to a wrought iron, however the chairs and base are clearly metal. They appear to have been originally powder coated, and subsequently painted over by the former owner with what looks like latex paint. Using a gel stripper and a bit of elbow [...]

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Do it right or do it over

Friday, July 9th, 2010

Q: I built a box of marine plywood to attach to the underside of the roof allowing a column to be mounted. After three coats of acrylic latex paint, the majority of the box is a nice white. However, there is a zig zag in the side of the box which either won’t accept paint [...]

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