Archive for October, 2008

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.

Wooster PRO CLASSIC Covers

October 21, 2008

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This cover is unique, but its performance is nothing special.

When I first purchased one of these PRO CLASSIC 1/2" covers I didn’t see any difference between these and Wooster Super Fab covers besides the color. I wrote a nice review about the PRO CLASSIC covers awhile back and how similar they were to a Super Fab. Well it seems as with all good things they come to an end and this is no exception. Recently I purchased a 2 pak of these covers and I was shocked at the difference in quality from when I first used them years ago. I was able to reuse them over and over for months before but with the recently purchased covers I am lucky to get past the first job. No joke! The older ones used to be full and thick but these new ones are more like a 1/4" covers in comparison.

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I guess I’m amazed when products change they don’t call them something different because with this product, the cover is nothing even close to what it used to be. Thumbs down on this one Wooster! I wrote about how manufacturers do this all the time. It’s not right. I liked them when they first came out but the covers are no longer what they used to be. You can clearly see from the photo these covers are skinny for 1/2". What a shame. On a side-note: shedding is minimal and the wash easy.

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.

Avoid painting 4-5 coats

October 21, 2008

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A common issue with homeowners and even some paint contractors is getting stuck in the recoat ‘money pit’ cycle where you paint a room 4-5 times to achieve full color and coverage. Not only can that be a huge expense but it can ruin your day or tie up your weekend. If you are a paint contractor, this can jack up your schedule! and unless you told the homeowner a price per coat with no guarantees then you can lose your ass on a job like this.

Here are a few things you should know about how to avoid the recoat cycle. First things first, lets take a look at the yellow-gold (above photo) on the left. That is a color that would require 4-5 coats to achieve full solid coverage. Many paint manufactures are recommending a gray primer base coat for deep or bold yellow, red, blues, and greens. The only time I see a gray primer being most effective is under red, blue and green. As far as yellow goes, the gray works against you. In this scenario I have a medium gray color room to start with and I need to paint it the yellow-gold color above, ‘Valspar Swelter’.

IMG_0508bThe photo on the left is a good example of what happens when you use gray primer under yellow top coat. For this job I am using Zinsser Bullseye Primer tinted the color on the right above. Notice the gray showing through the yellow primer. Also notice in the center of the wall there is a second pass with the roller which dried more solid. If you were to prime like you see in the photo and apply your finish paint now, the paint will dry exactly as you see it in the photo except it will be the color you picked. You will still see that gray area through your finish and this is where some people get caught top coating over and over trying to cover it up.

What you need to do in this scenario is recoat the room with primer (2 coats of primer). The primer for this job was $12 vs. the top coat paint at $26. The primer coat needs to look as if its finished, nice and solid. Primer over primer dries faster than finish over primer so you will be saving time here by doing 2 coats of primer and one finish. Once the primer coat is solid, the finish paint will be too.

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Here is one coat of the final color over 2 coats of primer. Total job material cost was $38 vs. $78 if you were to 3 coat it with finish paint or $130 if this job took you 5 coats. Not only that savings but I would prefer to paint a room 3 times vs. 4 or 5 times.

Final Time Saving TIP: When you first start applying your primer coat and notice immediately that the primer will not cover nice and solid, then blow through that first coat of primer and apply it fairly fast and thin. Let it dry and re-roll it and make your cut solid and do it once.

Take a look at Painting Walls Red too for more useful information on intense colors.

Wooster Pro Classic Easyflo

October 20, 2008

To call Pro Classic Easyflo amazing is an understatement!

easyfloIt’s not so much what you spread – but what you use to spread it. If you are looking for a better way to lay down your favorite sauce, then Christmas has come early. In my opinion, the Benjamin Moore 65125 still rules as far as brushes go – it simply kicks ass for acrylics but if you are looking for a more readily available brush in some markets then the Wooster PRO CLASSIC Easyflo found at Lowes is a nice contender. The Wooster Pro Classic Plus appears to be replaced with the Easyflo.
easyflo3I should note: The brush cover states ‘All paints & stains’, don’t think you are going to get this brush to do what a Purdy White China or a Wooster Flaxen brush will do when spreading penetrating stains such as Minwax but if you need to spread solid stains then this brush will do a nice job and will carry a nice load.
easyflo4To put this brush into a category of similar brushes, you might want to look at the Benjamin Moore 65125 or the Purdy Clearcut for very similar precision characteristics and handling. One area where the Pro Classic Easyflo outperforms the Benjamin Moore 65125 is in ‘bend recovery’. The 65125 is a bit on the limp side in comparison.
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More on brushes here and here. Click photos for larger view.