HOW TO STAIN WOOD
The Acid Test
Wiping the surface with a cloth dampened with mineral spirits will provide you with a good idea as to how the surface will look when coated with a clear varnish finish.
A Test in Time
How Dark Will It Be?
Another problem with stains is that you need to be sure of how many coats you need to apply to get the result that you want. So, get an off-cut of the same timber used for the item that you are staining. Draw four or five lines across it and number each. Now apply successive coats – the first to the whole length, the second (once the first is dry) from position 2 onwards, the third from 3 onwards and so on. Now you’ll know exactly how dark the coats will be.
The cleaner the surface, the better the result. An easy way to remove every tiny speck of sawdust or dust from a surface is to use a tack cloth. Dip a piece of mutton cloth or any other lint-free cloth into turpentine and then put a few drops of varnish onto it. Knead it a bit to distribute the varnish and then wipe the surface clean in long sweeps from one side to the other.
After making sure that you picked the color you want. start by removing hardware from a piece, filling any of the hardware holes and other spots. Next we sand the piece. Most of the time I sand by hand with 150 or 220 grit sandpaper. Sanding sponges work great for the flat areas. We fold the sandpaper to get into some of the crevices and details, or on curved parts of a piece. I don’t tend to use an electric sander, but if do it’s usually on the top of a piece that has a chipped or peeling finish that needs to be smoothed out. Once we’ve sanded, We vacuum the piece and then wipe it down with a damp cloth to remove any dust particles. ”If you are filling hardware holes, use a wood filler that is as close to the color of the wood you painting as possible”. Most of the pieces I paint have a medium to dark wood finish, and a light wood filler will show through even after 3-4 layers of paint. I use a wood filler that is tinted darker and it solves this problem.
Now, one thing you have to know that with most paint can leave a lot of variation. You get lighter and darker streaks since it is made from natural pigments. Special wood paint will also soak into wood (which is why it leaves such a durable finish), but if you have a piece that is sanded to raw wood in certain areas and not in others (either from the prep you did, or just from wear over time), this will most likely come through the paint. Those areas (scratches, water rings, dents, stains) will appear lighter or darker, so even though they have been covered they will still be noticeable. don’t mind this to a certain extent. Obviously when restoring or painting old furniture there is wear and tear, but that’s part of the story and history of a piece. Other times, a piece is just abused and has problems you may not want to show through the paint. To deal with this I would recommend sealing the piece with clear shellac.
Did you know?
The secret to a finish that’s free of lap and brush marks is mixing a paint extender (also called a paint conditioner), such as Floetrol, into the paint.
This does two things: First, it slows down the paint drying time, giving you a longer window to overlap just-painted areas without getting ugly lap marks that happen when you paint over dried paint and darken the color. Secondly, a paint extender levels out the paint so brush strokes are virtually eliminated (or at least much less obvious).If you are a home owner and would like to do it yourself use the extender; it will allow you more time to apply the paint and your results will look professional.
The secret to our incredible finishes is the industry recommend Graco Paint Sprayers. We only use the best equipment to get the best results.
So, let’s spray for the day…
As with any paint job, unless the surface has been properly prepared, you will not get the result you want. So to start off by preparing your surface.
A glazed ceramic surface needs to be roughened a little with fine grade sandpaper – 320 grit. This is to ‘key’ it so that the paint can ‘grip’ to the surface.
Fabric and vinyl needs to be washed and be thoroughly dry before the paint is applied. It is also good to check that the fabric has not had any UV or other protection applied during the manufacturing process that might prevent proper adhesion (this is more likely to have been applied in the case of fabrics or vinyl manufactured for outdoor use).
Glass is best painted if the surface has been etched beforehand, again to provide a ‘key’ to which the paint can adhere.
Metal must be cleaned of any rust, oil, grease or grit deposits before being painted.
Plastic or PVC needs to be cleaned before application. New plastics can be cleaned with a paint thinner while you can use an ammonia-base cleaner on older plastics. In either case, you can also scrub the surface with a good detergent and scouring powder, which is then thoroughly rinsed off in clean water and left to dry. It’s a good idea to ‘key’ the surface by giving it a light, fine sanding with fine grit sandpaper – 320 grit or thereabout. The object is just to roughen the surface ever so slightly so that the paint has something to ‘grip’. Ensure that you give the surface a wipe-down with a clean dry cloth afterwards to remove any sanding debris.
As with any paint job wood must also be clean and sanded smooth. If you are spraying a somewhat patchy previously painted surface. It is best to remove all the old paint (otherwise you can get the old paint showing through and/or giving you an uneven surface). Apply and sand down an undercoat as you would if applying the paint with a brush or roller.
Health & Safety
Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following these tips. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert.
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