Archive for the ‘wood finishing’ Category

Do it Best Sanding Sealer

November 7, 2008

IMG_0738bMade by the Sherwin Williams Company, the Do it Best sanding sealer is NOT the same as WOOD CLASSICS FASTDRY SANDING SEALER from Sherwin Williams. While very similar, the Do it Best brand is thinner and not fast dry but dries quickly. Both sand the same.

IMG_0739bLooks the same as WOOD CLASSICS FASTDRY SANDING SEALER but smells different. Between the two sanding sealers, I prefer to spread Do it Best  vs. WOOD CLASSICS FASTDRY because you have more working time. I don’t believe the performance of the sealer was degraded even though it is thinner.

IMG_0736aThe baseboard on the left has Do it Best Sanding Sealer on it and sanded nice and smooth with a 3M Pro-Pad.

I recommend it! It basically performs the same as any other sanding sealer except Minwax Sanding Sealer.

UPDATE: November 12, 2008
I recently used two gallons of this sanding sealer on poplar trim and I have to admit I like it better than, Sherwin Williams FastDry, Benjamin Moore SuperSpec, ICI Wood Pride Sanding Sealer to name a few. It did not excessively raise the grain and sanded very easily in comparison to other sealers. This sealer is the thinnest of the bunch but performed best overall.

MINWAX Sanding Sealer Pt 2

November 5, 2008

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I recently posted on the MINWAX Sanding Sealer in October but after preparing for a review on sanding sealers I thought I better leave this one out. This product is not at all like the sanding sealers you are probably used to. I’m not certain I would call this product sanding sealer at all in comparison to all the others.

Here is what you should know about this applying this product.

Number one, you need to have smooth bare wood to start because this sealer will not allow you to sand off anything but lint and I’m not joking. The sealer itself doesn’t allow you to cut through it but rather sand off anything on the surface and barely at that. So if you have slight rough wood under the sealer, you wont be able to get to it.

IMG_0736a Number two, If you apply this product to poplar trim for example, not only will the poplar soak up the sealer like a sponge but there is no way in hell you will get it baby ass smooth like you can with any other sealer out there. If you ever sanded polyurethane, this is far worst.

The photo above shows Do It Best brand sanding sealer on the baseboard and Minwax sanding sealer on the casing, both sanded. Notice how the baseboard clearly sanded smooth and to a powder where the casing was not.

Number three, call me Caption Obvious but there is something about calling a product "sanding" sealer when you cant sand it.

3M Pro-Pad Sanding Sponge

November 1, 2008

Put down that sandpaper and grab one of these!

You may remember these 3M Pro-Pad Sanding Sponges under a different name, Glit Sanding Pads now with a new name and now made by 3M. When you want flexibility without sacrificing any bite, the 3M flexible Pro-Pads are very effective where other block style pads are not flexible. The flexibility of the sponge backing help reduce burn-out when sanding hard edges where hard block style pads can burn through the finish quickly and expose bare wood.

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IMG_0632 The soft sponge backing is very pliable allowing squeezing into the tightest places. Available in a variety of grit abrasions 60, 80, 100, 150 etc., you can be sure to find the right one for your finish work. Perfect solution for sanding spindles, trim, casing and baseboard and a must for sanding oak trim. When sanding oak trim the sponge helps catches splinters so your fingers don’t.

More here on sandpaper.

MINWAX 2hr Sanding Sealer

October 22, 2008

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Sanding Sealer is the single most important component to finishing stained trim and doors yet so many people know little about it. One of the more common methods people (DIY) are using today to finish woodwork is one coat of MinWax stain and 1-2 coats of MinWax polyurethane and often they don’t bother sanding between coats.

If you want nicely finished woodwork then after you apply your stain to the trim and doors the 2nd step to finishing them is applying sanding sealer. Most sanding sealers dry super fast and can be sanded the same day but for outstanding results its best to wait a day. The sealer becomes more hardened and sands so much easier and smoother a day later.

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Use a White China or Black China brush to apply sanding sealer. The White China will provide better results and holds more vs. black china.

It is not necessary to apply sanding sealer heavily. It is important to be sure the area absorbed the sealer enough before you move on. I apply a nice load to an area and work it in quickly and move the rest of the load off into the next area. I want the area saturated but not left heavy on the surface.

6 STEPS to Smooth Woodwork

1) Stain your trim
2) Apply sanding sealer (wait 1 day)
3) Sand the sanding sealer smooth
4) Vacuum with a shop vac (some people like to use a tac-cloth too)
5) Fill nail holes
6) Apply your compatible clear coat.

More on Sanding Sealer here.

SPECIAL NOTE: If you are familiar with ICI Wood Pride Sanding Sealer, Sherwin Williams, Cabot or Benjamin Moore’s SuperSpec, the MINWAX Sanding Sealer is nothing like them. The MINWAX is more like sanding polyurethane. Its best to have your wood sanded smooth prior to staining because MINWAX Sanding Sealer will only allow you to sand what’s on the surface where the other sealers listed allow you to cut deeper than the surface.

Part 2. More on this Sealer here.

How to stain Windows

October 22, 2008
IMG_0562Here is a quick How To for doing windows regardless if painted or stained. These are Andersen Windows. I first removed the window latch hardware and cleaned them up with a shop vac.
IMG_0563I first pull the back sash (outer most) down a bit and unlock the front sash and allow it to open into the room. I will be starting on the bottom of the back sash first.
IMG_0564Starting at the bottom of the back sash and working my way up on the right.
IMG_0565Continuing up on the left
IMG_0566Across the top
IMG_0567While the front sash is still down, run around the trim closest to the track so when the sash is popped back in place that area is complete.
IMG_0568Lift and hold the front sash and finish the top edge
IMG_0569Pop the front sash back in place and push down a bit to lock in (you will hear it) and slide the sash back up a bit
IMG_0571Finish off the front sash
IMG_0572Slide the front sash up to allow you to finish remaining area closest to the track guide
IMG_0573Here is completed area around track guide. At this point you can slide the front sash down and finish the casing areas. This is a good time to step back and look over your work.
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Here is one portion completed. You can click photos for larger viewing. This method allows me to do one double-hung window in 7 minutes. I do them exactly the same every time.

For Oil-Based Stains

October 21, 2008

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It is probably no argument that white china bristle is more common for applying oil-based penetrating stains so I am not going to try to tell you different. One thing to point out with the Purdy 100% Natural Black China Bristle vs. White China is how fast white china bristles wear and lose shape. What is most common with White China is the bristles as a whole become puckered out or fattened where the Black China tends to keep its shape much better and takes longer to wear.

There is no question white china bristle can carry a load of stain better than black china but if you are caught with 20+ solid wood doors to stain you might want to grab a black china brush and a wool applicator pad. Also the black china brush might work out better for you when you have a ton of intricate work.

ICI Sanding Sealer

October 24, 2007
I am just going to cover briefly using ICI Dulux Wood Pride Sanding Sealer with a brush, roller and an HVLP.

We use sanding sealer as part of our wood finishing process. Once the stain is applied and dry, I apply sanding sealer to raise and lock down the grain of the wood allowing me to sand the sealer baby smooth before applying a varnish. Many guys think sanding sealers are all created equal. Here is a secret, they’re not. Sherwin Williams isn’t the same as ICI’s and neither of them are anything like MinWax Sanding Sealer or Cabots sealers. Now that Sherwin Williams has a hold on Minwax, maybe the two are the same now.

Brushing:
This product is pretty straight forward although you have little time to work with it. It is best to keep moving ahead and try not to back brush previously wet areas.

Rolling:
It is not recommended to roll sanding sealer and leave it as is. I recommend always laying off with a brush. Work in small areas and use a Mohair short nap cover.

Spraying: When using an HVLP you may find it beneficial to slightly reduce the sealer. A formula of 24 oz. sanding sealer to 8 oz. thinner is sufficient to allow fast steady flow from the gun. Reducing should allow you to dial in your gun with minimal air flow. My air flow is almost all the way to off. I use a #3 projector set for sealer.

Dealing with drips and sags:
Yep, even I get them from time to time and I highly recommend keeping an eye on your work as you go. Every so often take a look back at your work. If you can, try to remove sags with a dry oil brush by feathering the sag out. If the sag had too much time to dry but is still soft, grab your 5-in-1 and shave it off carefully. If the sag or drip has dried completely, use a single edge razor blade and shave it off very carefully, sand smooth and repair.

About the photo: The photo shows ICI sanding sealer over stained poplar.

Also look at Do it Best Sanding Sealer

Corrective Finishes

October 23, 2007

Wood Finishing Using Toner

You may come across a homeowner who might ask you to magically blend all their wood to look exactly the same. Well, magic is exactly what you will need for that. But, if you manage to compromise with the homeowner after the 60 minute lecture on wood, you might come to the following conclusion.

Let’s make the center plywood look more like the real solid wood around it. We are going to do this by applying several, (as many as necessary) toner coats over the plywood. You will notice the fireplace is otherwise finished except for the center 3 pieces.

We will be masking off everything but the plywood and using the HVLP, we are going to mix the stain directly into the clear finish and apply dusting coats of toner until the homeowner is happy.

This TIP is also useful for adjusting blotchy stained pieces or areas such as you see in the photo. Also a toner coat adds depth to the wood.

If you have a deep red mahogany color on poplar, you can  adjust color depth utilizing toner coats. Also effective on poplar when you want more solid uniform color cast like you see on furniture and kitchen cabinets. Toner coats work great for kitchen cabinet refinishing too!

Stainable Wood Fillers

August 31, 2007
For this little review we will be testing how well two wood fillers work. We are using MinWax and Elmer’s Wood Filler on pine then staining with MinWax English Chestnut. Using a plastic blade I applied both wood fillers and allowed to dry then sanded smooth. Photos were taken during the process.

It’s my opinion the Elmer’s Wood Filler worked nicer than the MinWax product. Both sanded easily and to a powder. I would prefer to be on the lighter side rather than a dark spot in the wood. If it was my job, I would use a custom blended wood putty rather than a filler. The color can be controlled easily with putty.

Stain TIP large areas

August 31, 2007

Grab yourself one of these wool applicator pads for staining large flat areas or flush doors. You can use a paint roller tray and pour the stain in the pan leaving the ramp exposed and dab the applicator in the stain and pat a few times on the ramp to remove excess stain.

This pad can also be used for staining casing and baseboard in a racking scenario. We use penetrating stains and never wipe after applying the stain so this applicator comes in handy and improves speed drastically.


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