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  • Finishing question

    Hi guys,

    When I finish my intarsia, I usually use a gel varnish. I have a project that I would like to use a liquid finish on. I've used Danish oil, but would like something with a tad more sheen - not glossy tho. Anyone here successfully use a liquid satin finish that looks good on intarsia - but not like plastic? Since it's already glued, I'd like something that doesn't need to be sanded in between coats.

    HELP !!
    Janette
    www.square-designs.com

  • #2
    Janette: Try using Minwax Wipe-On-Poly in a Satin finish. Use a small piece of old nylons as your applicator and wear vinyl gloves. You can apply a very light amount of finish using this method. Allow to dry and apply additional light coats until you achieve the look you want.. You will develop a hand rubbed look and can easily control how much finish remains on your project. After you have the look you want, let it dry for several days to harden and then rub with a brown paper bag to get some additional polishing. Regards, Dick
    Dick Miraglia

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    • #3
      I have been using Watco Spray Lacquer in Semi Gloss for quite a few years. I like to glue up my projects and then spray them. It has been my method of madness for around 12 years now. I like the look of the final result and is rather fool proof. If there are some hard to get at area's I use the Watco clear oil with a Que Tip. I do that before I spray. It is pretty rare that you need to do that though.

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      • #4
        Dick - you're implying that I might actually "own" a pair of panty hose!! May be some old raggedy ones in a drawer somewhere! Thanks for the tip.

        I tend to stay away from sprays because I never seem to have good luck getting it into the nooks and crannies without getting too much in other areas - I do use it on magnets tho and it looks nice. Because of the weather, I'm trying to avoid the spray because it stinks too much to use in the shop - I'll generally go outside when I spray.

        There's so many liquid finishes, it can be overwhelming as to what to choose so relying on other's experience helps.
        Janette
        www.square-designs.com

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        • #5
          Dick - you're implying that I might actually "own" a pair of panty hose!! May be some old raggedy ones in a drawer somewhere! Thanks for the tip.

          Oily has a pair he will send ya.....
          "Still Montana Mike"

          "Don't worry about old age--it doesn't last that long."
          Mike's Wood-n-Things LLC

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          • #6
            Janette: If Oily refuses to part with his, there is another solution. Gather up several of your beautiful cat intarsias and schedule a showing at the Golden Girls Group and then schedule one at the Red Hat Society. As they are greatly impressed with your projects, point out that they can contribute to the arts by making a small donation of a pair of nylons. You will have an ample supply for years of finishing and could even send some to Mike or others in need. Dick
            Dick Miraglia

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            • #7
              Doing a bit of reading "Understanding Wood Finishing" it seems that a wiping varnish may be the best route. I'm wondering if I can just add some mineral spirits to the gel varnish to thin it down a bit. Anyone tried doing this?
              Janette
              www.square-designs.com

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              • #8
                Most folks make their wiping varnish by diluting regular varnish about 50% with mineral spirits, so it may work on the gel, but I have no idea what proportion would be necessary to get it thin enough. I've never used gel varnish, but if you wanted to give thinning it a try, I recommend you test it on some scrap first.
                Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter. Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

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                • #9
                  I have diluted varnishes to create washes, undercoatings, primers, etc for various uses. However, I would like to point out that on the can of Minwax Wipe-On-Poly it specifically states Thinning Not Recommended. This would indicate to me that their research studies have determined that certain dilutions of ingredients work better than others for the purpose of creating a durable, hand-rubbed appearing finish. Why start experimenting with various concentrations of diluted gel varnishes for your valuable intarsia pieces when this product has already been studied and has been shown to work extremely well???
                  Dick Miraglia

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                  • #10
                    Thanks for the input. I think for this one, I'll just suffer through the gel, but I am interested in trying other options - just maybe for a smaller, less important piece. Off to the shop now.
                    Janette
                    www.square-designs.com

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                    • #11
                      Janette, I'm SO glad you ask these questions - everyone's experiences and thoughts are very, very helpful - thanks everyone!

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                      • #12
                        I use Liberon Finishing Oil sometimes. It is a wipe on finish. It is mostly tung oil with some naptha and something else, who knows what, to give it a satin sheen. Only drawback is they recommend five hours between coats, but I cheat on that and have shortened the time to two or so hours with light coats up to the last coat.

                        Also very little smell.
                        Ron

                        My sawdust gallery

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                        • #13
                          I use spray polyurethane for bothy intarsia and fret. Comes in flat, semigloss and gloss

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                          • #14
                            Janette you could try and thin the gel on some nice sanded wood and see what your results are. If it works apply it to your project.
                            Jerry
                            Life's funny if you laugh at it!

                            http://dedijerry.blogspot.com/
                            http://www.etsy.com/shop/DediWoodworks

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