Popular Woodworking 2009-08 № 177, страница 59

Popular Woodworking 2009-08 № 177, страница 59

To use a cloth (or a sponge) successfully requires getting it very wet. I've noticed that many woodworkers resist getti ng the ir cloth wetenoughso the stain Hows into recessed areas. If this is your problem, youcansolve it by having a cheap throwaway brush or sponge brush handy to quickly work the stain into the hard-to-get-to places.

But a brush is unnecessary. You can get stain every where with a cloth as long as it is soaking weL. In 20yearsofrefinishingold furniture, most of which required staining, 1 don't remember ever usinga brush to apply a stain. And I rarely used a spray gun because ofthe time involved cleaning the gun.

1 almost always used, and continue to use, a very wet cloth.

Fast-drying Stains

Most woodworkers use oil-based stains, which dry so slowly it's rare to have wipe-off problems. But some use water-based stains, some use dye stainsand many professionals use lacquer stains.

Water-based stains (all stains that list water for clean-up) dry hard as quickly as the water evaporates. This can happen very rapidly in hot temperatures.

Dye stains (for example, Lockwood, Moser, TransTint and Solar-Lux) dry as quickly as the dye solvent, usually water, alcohol or acetone, evaporates. Again, they dry much faster in warm temperatures.

Professionals typically apply lacquer stains onto large surfaces such as kitchen cabinets by having one or two employees following right behind the application person wiping off the excess slain with large cloths.

You can do t he same, ofcou rse, by gelt ing a friend to follow afler you apply.

But you still wouldn't brush onlhe stain. Attempting® brush one of these fast drying stains onto a large surface isa sure ticket for uneven coloring.

(Ifyou find yourself with some dried patches of stain, quickly apply more stain, maybe to smallerareas at a time, and work faster to get the excess removed. The additional stain will dissolve what is there.)

Why People Brush

1 can think of only two reasons woodworkers brush rather than wipe stain onto their projects: cleanliness and the Minwax television ad.

Blotching caused by fast drying. Lacquer water-based and dye stains dry rapidly. 5o they could lead to this type of blotching if some of the stain dries before you have time to get It all wiped off.

It's cleaner to brush than to wipe with a cloth that drips onto the floor and even onto yourclothes ifyou aren't careful. But drips can be cleaned up, and you can wear old clothes or an apron for protection.

Cleanliness is noexcuse for brushing.

Cleanliness can't be lhe only reason for brushing, however. For many years I've taught hands-on finishingand restoration

Wiping off. An oil-based stain dries slowly, which allows plenty of time to get the excess removed with a clean cloth before the stain dries. Had I been using a faster drying water-based, lacquer or dye stain on such a large object, 1 would have had a second person following closely behind my application wiping off. It's not important to apply or wipe off with the grain as long as you wipe off all the excess. But on critical surfaces such as tabletops I typically make my last wiping-off s trokes go with the grain just in case. The grain will disguise any streaks I may leave.

Brushing into recesses. If you don't gel your cloth ivet enough with stain, you'll have trouble getting the stain into recesses, You can always use a brush to help do this,

classes and watched with amazement as virtually everyone in the class pulled out a brush (usually a foam brush) for applying their stain. Why aren't they usingacloth?

A surprising number have explained they t hought a brush was best because they saw one used on the Minwax television ad, whichhasrun off and on for years. This ad shows someone slowly brushing a slain onto a panel, each stroke 1 ined up perfectly side-by-side with the previous, and no trailing offasthe brush runs out of stain.

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