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First time finishing exotics

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  • First time finishing exotics

    This kind of goes with my thread in the Intarsia section but I wanted to ask the question here to because it's about finishing. I am finishing a very large Intarsia picture and I need advice on what to use. I usually spray Deft (a polyurethane varnish) but I have some exotic woods and sun to worry about.
    First problem- what special steps do I need to take to prevent the colors from "bleeding"? I am using Bloodwood, Cocobolo, Purple Heart, Yellow Heart, Zebrawood, Lacewood and Wedge wood; along with domestic woods like Oak, Hickory.... What precautions or special products do I need to use? (If products- brands?)
    Second problem- The picture will be exposed to sun light. Any idea on UV protectors... brands?

    All help is appreciated. Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    Don't have a lot of specific advice to offer, but regarding UV inhibitors in finishes, they need to be periodically re-applied as they break down over time and lose their effectiveness. Since they are intended for outdoor use, this is normally required anyway, because being exposed to the weather, the finish has deteriorated sufficiently so as to need re-done. It's a little different with an indoor project, because you wouldn't normally expect to have to re-finish the piece every 2-3 years. I have no first hand experience and haven't read much regarding the long term success of UV protective finishes on indoor pieces.

    Some woods, especially the brighter colored ones, are going to lose the vibrancy of their colors, no matter what finish you apply. It's just the nature of the beast, unfortunately. The single most effective means of preserving the natural colors is to keep the piece out of direct sunlight. If that isn't possible, then you are probably fighting a losing battle. A clear, non-yellowing finish such as an acrylic lacquer or a waterborne product may be your best bet. Just don't be surprised when the colors do eventually start to fade.
    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."


    • #3
      Thanks Mr Wilson. I think it is going to get some sun but not a lot. Thanks for the info!


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