Setting Up Shop The Dust Problem

The biggest problem in varnishing is dust, and the problem has two faces. The first is the dust already on the piece of furniture before you apply the finish coat. The second is the dust that falls on the wet surface after you have finished the application. Each speck of dust turns into a tiny bump on the surface. On glossy surfaces, these bumps spoil the appearance, and they can be felt on all surfaces when you run your fingers over the dried varnish.

The obvious answers are: (1) get all dust off the piece before you start; (2), work in an area that is as free of dust as you can make it, so there is little to fall on the surface. There is a third answer, and that is to be prepared to lift any dust from the new varnish before it dries.

Dusting the Piece Remove all sanding and other dust before you start, by vacuuming the entire piece w ith the drapery wand attachment of your vacuum cieaner. Then wipe the piece with a tack cloth just before starting the application.

Dusting the Work Area Adust-free work area is difficult to achieve, but you must try. The day before finishing the piece, vacuum the room, using the vacuum's tools to get dust out of corners, off of window sills, etc. If you have forced air heat, close the outlet to the room, because it can stir up dust. Keep the windows closed during application and drying. (Fortunately, most varnishes do not present a ventilation problem. Lacquers do.) Don't scurry around the room as you work. Walk and move slowly so you will not stir up any more dust than is necessary.

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