Finishing Tips

Hand Application of Water Based Wood Stains

  • Always stir the contents well. Stirring reduces the thickness of the stain and distributes pigments that may have settled to the bottom of the can.
  • It is essential to apply a wet, liberal amount of stain with a foam brush or a latex paint pad applicator to insure easy workability. If too little stain is used, the surface can dry too quickly causing an uneven appearance.
  • Divide your project into manageable sections (top, side, drawer, door).
  • Stain a complete section and wipe off the excess evenly with the grain using paper towels or a clean cloth. Check for missed spots and lap marks before moving to the next section. Immediately correct lap marks by rewetting the entire working area with stain and wiping the excess off.
  • Sanding between coats of any stain or top coat is referred to as Buffing. We do NOT recommend buffing between coats of stain because you may remove an area of stain that cannot be re-blended. If you must buff because you have imperfections that need to be smoothed out, do so with caution using a superfine sanding pad or #320 or #400 grit sandpaper. Do not buff prior to the first application Top Coat.
  • On most projects three or four coats of Top Coat is just right. On projects receiving extra wear such as table and desk tops, additional coats will add more protection.
  • Tip: use our High Performance Polyurethane for even more durability.

Applying Glazes

Glaze Effects are translucent water based colors that may be used over any water based stain or paint to create beautiful decorative finishes such as distressing, antiquing, marble effects, shabby chic, burnishing, color washing, rag rolling and wood graining.

Applying Milk Paints

Use Milk Paint for all your outdoor furniture. It is not just an interior product! Classic interior/exterior paints for use with furniture, crafts, and cabinets. Milk Paint is a sturdy outdoor finish perfect for outdoor furniture. Uniquely engineered from the latest paint technology, Milk Paints can be used directly from the can to produce a high quality satin sheen. No mixing messy powders.

Application of Water Based Top Coats

  • If you are applying Water Based Top Coat over an oil based stain, allow the oil stain to dry a minimum of 48 hours under ideal conditions. Water based top Coats are milky white in the can, but will dry to a crystal clear finish. Stir contents well to insure that all the ingredients are mixed together.
  • Apply with a foam brush, latex paint pad applicator, or by spraying. Apply Top Coats liberally using smooth even strokes working in the direction of the grain. Use enough material to provide a wet film. Do not over brush! Top Coats self level beautifully. Top Coats have ?burn in? characteristics and may slightly lift some of the color during the application of the first coat (particularly red colors). On most projects three or four coats of Top Coat is just right. On projects receiving extra wear such as table and desk tops, additional coats will add more protection.
  • Tip: use our High Performance Polyurethane for even more durability.

Dry Time of Top Coats

Dry time is normally 2-4 hours under ideal conditions (70? and 70% humidity). Cooler temperatures or higher humidity will prolong dry time to 8-10 hours. Good ventilation, air movement and higher temperatures will accelerate dry time.

Buffing Top Coats

Do not buff the stain prior to the first application Top Coat. It is important to buff in between each application of Top Coat for the smoothest possible finish. After Top Coat has dried, buff between each application with #320 or #400 grit sandpaper or superfine sanding sponge. Remove dust with a clean cloth. It is not necessary to buff final Top Coat.

Glossary of Finishing Terms

Atomization - The breaking up of finish particles through the tip of an air gun under pressure. A fine mist is created that lands on the surface and levels out to a smooth finish.

Binder- Finish or resin added to the stain, used to lock the pigment and dyes into the wood.

Blush - Cloudy haze in finish caused by moisture trapped beneath the surface. High humidity is the most common cause. Can be also caused by the improper application of an oil base stain under a water base finish.

Coalescing- The evaporation of the chemicals that keep the acrylic resin in a liquid form. Once this process is complete, the acrylic forms a hard finish film.

Crazing - Tiny cracks in the finish film, usually along the edges of a surface. Caused by the finish drying too fast in high temperatures.

Extender - Chemical additive used to control the drying and flow of water base finishes. Can be used with stains and finishes to "extend" the open time.

Fish Eyes- Defects in the finish film caused by surface contamination (usually from oils, silicones, and waxes.)

Gloss- The amount of light reflected off the finish surface. High gloss is rated 80-90° . Semi gloss is rated 50-75° . Satin is rated 30-45° . Rubbed effect is rated 20-25° . Flat sheen is rated 5-15° .

Grain Raising-Tiny fibers in the wood grain that lift when exposed to water. Easily controlled with proper sanding.

HVLP(High Volume Low Pressure). -An HVLP spray unit consists of a turbine motor that produces warm, low-pressure air. Its high transfer efficiency increases the square foot coverage.

Orange Peel-Defect in finish film usually caused by cool drying temperatures or improper fluid tip size. The finish looks like the surface of an orange.

Pinholes-Small defects in finish film caused by surface contamination. Resembles tiny holes in the finish.

Resin-The material that forms a hard film on the surface after the chemicals have evaporated. Acrylics and urethanes are the common resins used in water base finishes.

Satin -Finish that has had the gloss reduced to provide a softer sheen. A flattening agent made from fumed silica reduces the amount of light reflected by the surface.

Stain- A liquid mixture to color wood. Made of 4 parts: Vehicle (water or solvent), Colorant (pigments and dyes), Binder (resin), Additives (solvents to control drying).

Viscosity - The thickness of a fluid. This is used to determine flow rates for spray application. Usually measured with a #2 Zahn cup or #4 Ford cup. Viscosity can be decreased by using the appropriate thinner