Michael Dresdner

straight talk about wood finishing

Archive for the 'pigment' Category

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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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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Odds of even

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

Q: I built a small table from reclaimed mahogany. There is a lot of variance in the colour and grain pattern. I want to stain this so to even out the colour. What do you recommend? A: Most pigmented stains work very well on mahogany to even coloration, in large part because they take full [...]

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Color me opaque

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

Q: I want to tint clear nitrocellulose lacquer to produce a solid, opaque color. What types of colorants can I use? A: The ideal choice is called lacquer paste; essentially lacquer with a dense amount of pigment cut into it. You can find it in a wide range of colors at the same industrial supplier [...]

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Matching Martin

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

Q: I’m restoring a Martin guitar, and after staining, I added three very light wash coats of 1lb. cut shellac. I’d like to strike the pores black with Finishers Glaze seal with sanding sealer, fill pores with Bartley’s dark, seal and topcoat. Martin mahogany pores are darkened nicely. I’m trying to do it the right [...]

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Fishy finish

Monday, June 7th, 2010

Q: I stripped an oak fish tank stand and applied two heavy coats of espresso colored Varathane oil stain, leaving it sit one hour before wiping it off. I then applied two heavy coats of Watco Teak Oil and left them overnight. I found a sticky, gooey mess in the morning. When I tried to [...]

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Ink or glue, but not the two

Friday, May 21st, 2010

Q: If I use India ink for ebonizing, will that affect the glue up? A: Yep. Any stain will diminish the bonding ability of glue, though some more than others. Dyes are less obstructive than pigments (India ink is a pigment) but the rule is that if you stain before glue up, mask off the [...]

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Purple heartbreak

Friday, May 14th, 2010

Q: I made a small box out of Purple Heart. What can I finish it with to get a brilliant purple color? A: Purple stain or dye. I realize that sounds like a strange answer, but it will make more sense if you bear with me a bit and let me explain a few things [...]

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