Arts & Crafts Finish Without the Fumes
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."
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