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Arts & Crafts Finish Without the Fumes

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Lacquer locks in the dye

Lacquer locks in the dye

"Before I start spraying lacquer," explains Michael, "we make sure the dye has completely dried. If it hasn't, moisture collects under the surface film and the finish deteriorates in just a few months. My helpers also lightly sand the dry, dyed wood with 400-grit to eliminate any final grain fuzzies."

To lock the dye in, Michael begins spraying with two quick sealer coats of lacquer cut 50 percent with thinner. When the sealer has dried, Judy and the children again sand with 320-grit silicon carbide paper. This sanding makes the sealer coat absolutely smooth.

"Before the final lacquer, I spray on a toned glaze [Behlen Natural Glaze tinted with black, umber, and raw sienna glazing stain]. After it has dried for a few hours, I follow with from three semigloss lacquer coats on the surfaces of least wear to eight coats on tabletops," says Michael. Between each, the wood is sanded with 400-grit paper.

"Finally, after the sprayed pieces have dried for a day or so, we rub them out with Wool Lube [a rubbing lubricant made by Behlen] and water," Michael adds. "The overall effect is a piece that looks mellow, old, and comfortable anywhere it's placed. Old Gustav would have been just as proud to put his name on it as we are."

Continued on page 4:  The Schmitts' favorite aniline dyes


Comments (4)
ms-ss wrote:

Dye doesn't have to raise the grain, nor fade in sunlight. Use Behlen's Solar-Lux. The only problem I have is getting a good color chart for the many colors they have.

3/31/2014 09:05:01 AM Report Abuse
pintodeluxe wrote:

While the final product looks great, that is one heck of a finishing schedule. First they use water based dye - which causes the grain to raise terribly, and adds another step. Then they use toned lacquer, which in my opinion is THE most difficult process to master when finishing. This is certainly not a technique for beginners. I usually use tinted lacquer when I want to obscure the grain, so it is strange that it is used on beautiful QSWO.

3/27/2014 10:50:21 AM Report Abuse
DaveS2 wrote:

A google search on the dye color names suggests that they use JE Moser dyes

3/16/2010 11:21:49 AM Report Abuse
mappcs2570232 wrote:

It would be nice to know which dyes are used. Without that the article doesnt impart much knowledge.

3/15/2010 05:33:21 PM Report Abuse

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