Painting, Staining and Varnishing Wooden Furniture

The choice of finishing coats varies between alkyd resins which give the widest colour range, polyurethanes, which are harder, and one of the so-called plastic coatings which are harder still. These may or may not be based on polyurethane. The last two are suitable for furniture in the kitchen and bathroom which is subject to more than usually severe wear.

Always ‘lay off every coat of paint in direction of the groin of the wood and not across it. You can spray on colour; the most convenient way of doing this is with an aerosol pack. These are available in small sizes so there is no need to buy a litre to do a small job.

Experiment first on an off-cut of wood. Overspray half way on to a previous lap and release the press button momentarily at the end of each sweep; this will give a coating of even thickness.

Aerosols are useful for wicker furniture, or you can apply the paint with a sponge or with a paint pad. These penetrate the interstices of awkward surfaces more thoroughly than a brush, and without the same risk of blobs and runs. Alternatives to paint are waxes and polishes, stains and varnishes.

Staining and varnishing

Staining can be carried out when the making good of cheap wood does not necessitate too much patching. Even then, parts treated with filler will present a surface which is less absorbent than the wood itself; these areas will show through as light patches.

Touch in these parts with stain several times if necessary, after the first application has soaked in and dried. Then brush on a final coat of stain all over to even up the colour. If these applications are likely to produce a darker colour than you want, start off with a lighter stain.

Waxing or polishing a surface means you have to keep the surface similarly treated. Wax also holds dust. It is better to apply several coats of varnish. Polyurethane, like paint, is harder than ordinary wood varnish and is available in either glossy or matt finish.

You can also get coloured plastic coatings ,and transparent polyurethane varnishes. With these, there is no need to stain the wood first. Such varnishes are almost indistinguishable from French polish and much harder wearing.

Real French polish is beautiful when new, but its soft surface readily marks. It requires a great deal of skill to ensure successful application. Never use wax on it – just clean it with a chamois leather. If signs of ‘bloom’ appear, add a little vinegar to water and apply with a cloth, using the chamois afterwards.

10. November 2011 by admin
Categories: Handyman Tips | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Painting, Staining and Varnishing Wooden Furniture


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