Michael Dresdner

straight talk about wood finishing

Archive for the 'varnish' Category

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing

Friday, December 4th, 2009

Q: I am building a cedar blanket chest, and want to finish the outside with shiny epoxy. A friend told me that when you finish western red aromatic cedar, that the finish will gum up in a few years. A: Your friend has his stories somewhat mixed up. First, it is true that aromatic cedar [...]

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Wipe on UV protection

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

Q: Can you suggest a product that offers UV protection and can be used like a rub-on poly? A: Sure. Any oil based varnish can be hand applied, so choose any good exterior oil based varnish, marine or household, that boasts added UV blockers on the label. I like to use them uncut, applying by [...]

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Finishing ipe

Friday, September 18th, 2009

Q: The Country Club wants a bench for the golf course, so I suggested ipe. They want an oil finish like a varnish, but I just found out you can’t use that on Ipe. A: There is no reason you can’t use an exterior oil varnish on ipe, though to be honest, many people prefer [...]

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Don’t Blame the Dog…

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

Q: We applied waterbased Varathane to unfinished oak doors and base boards. They were stored in our garage for two weeks. This last weekend we installed the baseboards but had to remove them because the varnish odor was making us sick. What can we do about the varnish odor? A: I must admit that this [...]

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Danish Oil Info

Saturday, September 12th, 2009

Q: I decided I applied three coats of Danish oil. It doesn’t make a sheen or gloss. Is this the way it is supposed to be? A: Yes. Danish oil is actually a very thin, wipe on varnish. It is designed to be absorbed by the wood and to case harden within, thus adding protection from stains, [...]

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Q: We would like to match the look of our twenty year old pre-finished oak flooring to a new unfinished oak staircase. We tried refinishing a small separate area of the original flooring and the grain looked very pronounced, unlike the original flooring. The original stain doesn’t make the grain as pronounced. The wood is [...]

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The Marriage Message Stick

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

Q: After getting married, I picked up a piece of wood up here in Alaska and had all his family write a message on it. I am planning on adding a photograph with spray adhesive, then clear over it. Will the clear hurt the photograph, what should I use, and how should I apply it? [...]

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Door Disaster

Friday, June 26th, 2009

Q: I bought a new red oak exterior door, sanded it, applied Varathane wood conditioner and after 20 minutes, applied Varathane Gunstock stain. I didn’t wipe it off because I liked the color. I let it dry for 12 hours, took my finger and rubbed it in a couple of spots and there was no [...]

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Diluting Oil Based Varnish

Saturday, March 21st, 2009

Q: Can I dilute oil based polyurethane with something called Penetrol to make it easier to brush? A: You certainly can, but it is a whole lot cheaper and easier to dilute it with mineral spirits, and in this particular case, just that will probably give you the results you want. I find that virtually [...]

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