Finishing is like a miracle: dull ordinary wood is suddenly transformed into an eyecatching wonder. I love that moment when after the first coat of finish the grain of the wood pops out. It is a moment of revelation. The creation is alive! But even here there are techniques and skills one must acquire.
Try Natural Shellac
The choice of Shellac depends on personal preferences but the notion that Shellac with wax is inappropriate for finishing is not correct. Natural Shellac dries as hard as the de-waxed type but is easier to use for French Polishing on account of the wax it contains.[24 March 2017]
|Varieties of Shellac|
Exploring the Vast World of Finishing
Wood unlike most metals can be finished in a vast variety of ways. The play of light on the surface of wood can be varied, colours changed, grain enhanced and much more. It was finishing that first drew me to woodworking and it remains an enduring passion even though I can only claim to be an amateur even after several years of practice and experimenting. [November 16, 2016]
Getting a Silky Smooth Surface
Some people may be of the opinion that it is quite unnecessary to achieve a silky smooth surface on wooden boards that will be used in furniture assembly. I am no expert but for me the feel of the wood in furniture is a very primal instinct. I like to touch wood, run my fingers over it and nothing feels better frankly than a silky smooth finish. [September 25, 2016]
|Neem Table Top with Shellac Finish|
Natural Hair Brushes
I have used and abused more paint brushes than I care to remember. I was a vandal when it came to these brushes, bought for no more than Rs 15 or Rs 20 from the local paint shop. They did the job, but badly and I never knew better until I stumbled upon a natural hair paint brush.
[8 June 2015]
Plywood Finishing: Two Useful Products
I stumbled upon two products that promise to make life much easier when painting plywood or for that matter even natural wood. These products are not suitable if you wish to stain and polish high quality veneered plywood; they are useful if painting plywood. [18 May 2015]
Shellac Prevents Blotching
The best made furniture can be destroyed by a finishing disaster, one of which is blotching of stain. By blotching I mean an irregular, generally ugly discolouration of the wood after a stain has been applied.[24 March 2015]
I often get questions about painting plywood, which is understandable because painted plywood can look terrible if not done properly. [14 August 2014]
Searching for Good Shellac
Dinabandhu Mitra, a Kolkata-based DIY enthusiast, has been helping me search for top grade Shellac.There are numerous grades and varieties of Shellac, the best being the ones that have been processed to remove impurities and the wax present in natural Shellac.[14 July 2014]
Finishing without Pricey Power Tools
A question in the Indian DIY forum (http://www.diyable.net) prompted me to write this post on finishing by hand. The question was about what kind of power sander is needed to make sanding easier. My simple answer was that power sanders are not required for a hobbyist woodworker. Reason: hobbyists have time on their hands and usually tackle relatively small projects. Hand sanding is just fine and gives the hobbyist more control over the sanding process. Here is a quick account of how I usually go about finishing my projects. [11 January 2014]
Mirka in India
Not too many people in India would have heard of Mirka but that brand is recognised the world over as the leader in sanding and polishing solutions. Mirka manufactures all its products only in Finland where it is based but has 15 subsidiaries worldwide for sales. Since 2010 it has been operating a subsidiary in India with headquarters based in New Delhi.[29 December 2013]
Experiments in Wood Staining: Part II
Staining wood seems pretty straightforward: what can be simpler after all than wiping on some colour over wood and then wiping it off? However, even this apparently simple procedure could be devilishly frustrating at times. [5/10/2012]
Experiments in Staining Wood Part I
Staining wood is one step in what is known as 'finishing'. For most projects, finishing is a necessary and crucial step. For a properly finished piece often looks far more appealing and exciting than unfinished wood.
Easy Shellac Finish
When I first began woodworking a few years ago, what confused me the most was the huge variety of finishes available, starting from French Polish to Polyurethane, varnish and what have you. It was a bewildering range and I did not quite know where to start. Rather than doing a lot of research, I simplified matters by visiting my local paint shop to find out what was available and what was not.
The principal challenge for Indian carpenters has been to build and finish doors and window shutters capable of resisting the tropical elements. British colonials in India, who built large bungalows and imposing Palladian buildings with huge windows, would invariably paint their windows and shutters white.