Wood Finishing Techniques and Advice

Mixed messages have hurt the condition of old furniture pieces

Written by Bob Flexner Monday, 16 May 2016 00:00

28_bob_fexnerFinishes deteriorate as they age. First they dull, then they begin to craze and crack. Over a very long period of time, finishes deteriorate because of contact with oxygen called “oxidation.” But bright UV light — especially sunlight and fluorescent light — accelerates the deterioration so much that you can reasonably think of the deterioration as caused by light alone.

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Which fill-in methods make the most sense?

Written by Greg Williams Monday, 11 April 2016 00:00

gregwilliamsToday, most finishers use wax filler sticks that can be melted and dripped into a void. For small defects, such as open joints and scratches, the filler sticks can be rubbed vigorously into the void before leveling. While the wax formulations have the least durability of the fillers we’ll explore, some of the harder versions are solid enough to serve in relatively low-wear areas if they are coated with a durable topcoat.

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It’s a struggle working with new compliant solvents

Written by Bob Flexner Monday, 14 March 2016 00:00

28_bob_fexnerIn my last column, I wrote about green paint strippers based primarily on the solvent n-methyl pyrrolidone (NMP). The word “green” is used to indicate the solvent is less harmful to breathe and less harmful to the environment.

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Swirling changes mean new tricks for thinners

Written by Greg Williams Monday, 15 February 2016 00:00

Recent changes in solvent regulations could affect how you use thinners, reducers, retarders and flow-enhancing additives.

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Patience is key with green paint strippers

Written by Bob Flexner Monday, 18 January 2016 00:00

28_bob_fexnerNot counting the use of heat or lye, which are both damaging to furniture because they can lift veneer and loosen joints, methods for removing old paint and finish from furniture have gone through at least four distinct periods.

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