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Working with Oil Varnish Home 

Working with Oil Varnish

Originally, the word “varnish” meant a mixture of natural resin and drying oil. Today’s oil varnishes usually contain synthetic resin, but like their ancestors, they’re durable, beautiful and easy to apply. Unfortunately, the term varnish may be used for almost anything that contains resin, and that confuses the issue. Before we settle our focus on the use and handling of... Read More
How to Understand Finish Labels Home 

How to Understand Finish Labels

A reader making children’s toys asked for some translation help with the confusing safety warnings he discovered on the labels of the stains and finishes he wanted to use. Of course, we rode to the rescue. 1. What does “conforms to ASTM D4236” mean? ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) D4236 is the protocol used for labeling art materials.... Read More
Using a Nearly Natural Finish Home 

Using a Nearly Natural Finish

Clever chefs have tricks to “upgrade” cheap or less desirable cuts of meat. Similarly, adept finishers have tricks to upgrade cheap, or less attractive, cuts of wood. With subtle coloring you can enhance the figure in curly or quilted maple; add richness to gray, steamed walnut; introduce mahogany’s subtle dark bands to lauan or meranti; and pass red alder off... Read More