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Oil vs. Film, Choose Your Finish

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Oil/varnish mix

Oil/varnish mix

Goes on with a cloth: Comparable to drying oils for ease of application, these mixtures also penetrate the wood. The difference? They leave an extremely thin, soft surface film. As with oil, soak the surface evenly before you wipe away the excess. When discarding rags, follow the same cautions as for drying oils.

Minimal protection, but easy to fix: Adding varnish to these mixtures doesn't significantly increase a project's abrasion, moisture, or heat resistance compared with boiled linseed oil. But the very thin build makes oil/varnish blends easy to repair or retouch. Just smooth over light damage with 280-grit sandpaper and apply a fresh coat.

Success secrets: Drying oils and varnishes are compatible with each other when mixed, so you can create your own blend by combining equal parts of boiled linseed oil and any oil-based varnish. Increase the percentage of varnish to increase gloss, hardness, and moisture resistance. As with oil, flood the surface thoroughly and recoat places where the mixture soaks in completely. You even can use oil/varnish blend as a lubricant while finish-sanding with 600-grit or finer sandpaper, wiping away the surplus.

Try it on indoor projects wehre you'll want a soft, satin sheen, or a simple, rustic finish as on a simulated antique. Because it's easy to repair, you also can use it on shop-made workbenches and on tools such as the deadblow hammer shown above right.

But avoid it for surfaces you'd rather protect against wear and abrasion instead of constantly repairing the finish, as on dining tables or chairs.


Continued on page 4:  Lacquer

 

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Comments (9)
8087780837
PeteM wrote:

The hypertext in these articles don't do what a reader would expect.

11/26/2013 08:56:40 AM Report Abuse
3-j wrote:

Wetting and sanding off the "nibs" is not logical. The water-based product will simply create "nibs" again. Just save yourself needless effort and skip the non-nonsensical wetting/sanding step and apply the finish. When you sand after that process, you will see no "nibs."

11/7/2013 09:39:45 AM Report Abuse
d.d.kelly.bodhi wrote:

So. When can we get our grubbies on your tome on shellac?

8/1/2013 04:00:32 PM Report Abuse
dhellew21 wrote:

You also missed Tung oil (non-toxic) and Teak Oil. Mix these two together for Tung penetration, Teak durability, and you have a durable, easily repairable finish. Great for kitchen and bath cabinets including counter top trim behind and in front with porcelain tile tops. Holds up to the abuse of rental houses where a light coat make it like new. The blend is durable enough for outdoor use, best light re-coated annually like most finishes. Thanks to the Feds it is only imported, made in Canada.

11/11/2011 09:59:22 AM Report Abuse
mjmnswartz@gmail.com wrote:

For best adhesion you should lightly sand polyurethane between coats. Sanding also removes the dust nibs that may be on the previous coat.

4/15/2010 12:57:21 PM Report Abuse
geezerpa wrote:

What about PENOFIN oil, I find it exceptional. I believe its a california company. Does not raise the grain, so no sanding.

4/15/2010 12:38:02 PM Report Abuse
joecal wrote:

Anybody have any advice/thoughts on a product I receintly heard about - Australian Tree Oil?

4/15/2010 10:25:58 AM Report Abuse
jsmythe3325231 wrote:

Hi Great article and well written. Could you do an addendum for Shellac. Thanks

3/12/2010 01:12:19 PM Report Abuse
Mr. Frodo wrote:

I liked this article but I don't see how shellac could be left out of an article on finishing comparisons

3/11/2010 11:35:00 AM Report Abuse

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