Application Procedures

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Step 1: Applying the Shellac Sealer The seal coat of shellac will prevent these problems. After applying the shellac, do not sand. Just allow sufficient time for the coating to dry, and begin brushing on the lacquer.

Step2:CleaningthePiece Because lacquer dries so fast, you don't have the problem of settling dust that occurs with varnish. But you must clean all dust off the furniture piece before applying any finish coats, because this dust can mix with the lacquer and crcatc a field of nasty bumps.

Step3:BrushingtheLacquer Lacquer dries quickly when spread on a surface, so you work somewhat faster with it than you do with varnish. Use a wide brush and use long strokes to How on a good coat. There is a tendency for lacquer to dry faster at the edges of the coat, so coat small areas rather than the whole surface. Before you put your first coat on the furniture piece, try testing the coating on some other sample materials to get the feel of how lacquer spreads and dries.

Step 4: Drying Time Allow each coat of lacquer to dry at least as long as specified on the can, or longer. You don't have to sand between coats if you don't want to. The second coat softens the surface of the first coat so that the two bond, and scuffing for tooth isn't necessary. However, a quick sanding to knock off dust bumps isn't a bad idea.

Step 5: Hand Rubbing Use the same oil-and-pumice technique described in the previous section on vamish to put the final finish on the lacquer, but leave about 24 hours of curing time after applying the last coat before you start. The hand rubbing will bring out a lovely gloss.

HOW TO APPLY There are furniture PENETRATING finishers who bc-RESIN lieve a penetrating resin finish to be the easiest to apply and that it is the best finish choice for the natural wood look. They like to apply the penetrating resin to unstained wood. The resin darkens the wood and intensifies its coloration, so a stain isn't necessary. However, you can use a pigmented wiping stain before the resin if you want. Be sure to make tests of the colors you buy, both with the resin alone and with a stain.

A penetrating resin has an interesting action: it penetrates the wood fibers at and below the surface; then it hardens, actually hardening the wood and creating a very tough surface. This characteristic makes a penetrating resin finish good for furniture that must resist a lot of wear. And it also is good for finishing soft woods such as fir and pine, which need as much protection as possible from indentation. The resins resist water, alcohol and most chemicals, and they don't scratch easily.

But the resins also are very permanent.

Don't plan on ever removing a penetrating resin. The only way to get it off is by sanding away about V\6 inch of the surface.

When you have finished a resin coating, the wood looks natural and uncoated, but is vivid in color. The texture of the wood shows quite strongly. This is especially suitable to the natural wood look, which is currently in vogue. If you are seeking the traditional look in your restoration, the penetrating resins won't do, especially on woods like walnut and mahogany. Even on these woods, however, resins arc interesting and durable — they just do not produce a traditional appearance.

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