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Are there any thoughts on finishing Christmas ornaments.

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  • Are there any thoughts on finishing Christmas ornaments.

    I've cut out some ornaments and am now deciding on a finish.

    What do you think is better? Clear, Dark, in between?

    John Patrick.
    John Patrick, Bird Oasis
    Using Dewalt DW788. Working on a new line of birdhouses and bird feeders for the store.

    I welcome any and all ideas for bird friendly scrolling.

  • #2
    Depending on the material used. On hardwoods, and sometimes Baltic Birch, I use danish oil, topped with aerosol deft over it, three coats, sanding tween. Dip the ornaments in danish oil, let them drip off, then slide them back and forth across a few layers of paper toweling (I find the cheap brand towels work best, less fuzz). Then place them somewhere to dry for 24 or more hours before spraying on the clearcoat. If its a matter of staining them, I would decide one each one individually, whatever would suit the style. I tend to go with dark on the more antique looking ornaments, lighter on more modern and cutsey ornaments, but I use hardwoods like walnut, oak, ask, maple ect. If your paintbrush friendly, you can paint them as well, theres a rainbow of colors available for that, as well as a paint on glitter that really makes an ornament shimmer on the tree. Dale
    Dale w/ yella saws


    • #3
      I cut mine out of 1/8 BB with a lot of grain. Then all I do is dip them in a BLO mix and let dry for 48 hours. The mix really pops the grain and I don't like to cover that up.
      Chuck D

      When a work lifts your spirits and inspires bold and noble thoughts in you, do not look for any other standard to judge by: the work is good, the product of a master craftsman.
      Jean De La Bruyere...

      Hegner 18, Delta p-20, Griz 14 inch Band saw


      • #4
        Finishing the wood...

        If you first "wet" the wood with either one of these solvents, mineral spirits. lacquer thinner, or alcohol you will see the natural color of the wood while it is wet, it will tell you what the wood will look like after you have applied your clear coat.

        This "wetting" application will then make it easier for you to decide if you even need any color, you may only need a few clear coats.

        Good Luck
        Last edited by MacS; 12-19-2006, 04:35 AM.


        • #5
          I use thin hardwoods for my ornaments and clear spray lacquer for a finish. I use different wood species to get different colors.
          ‎"Orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names. They're easier to ignore before you see their faces. It's easier to pretend they're not real before you hold them in your arms. But once you do, everything changes."

          D. Platt


          • #6
            On hard woods I dip them in BLO/Mix, then when they are dry I spray on lacquer.
            Most of the time when use Blatic Birch ply, I spray paint them what ever color I want and a lot of the time I spray glitter on them.

            Delta P-20 & Q-3

            I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me!


            • #7
              christmas is coming up real fast...spray them with water based poly, wait an hour, sand and spray again...hang them in another hour, go drink a beer and relax.
              Jeff Powell


              • #8
                I typically spray mine using a rattle can, usually I'll use a water based finish because of the quick dry time and less fumes. I have just dipped them in Danish oil or BLO and left them alone. Sometimes I paint them, depends on the pattern and material used. I tend to leave hardwood ornaments natural and just use a clear finish, but I did compound cut ornaments this year and painted them with metallic paint then a coat of matching/complimenting glitter paint. They really turned out well, I think.
                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."


                • #9
                  Water finishes if you don't have venting, definitely.

                  If you have venting, a laquer or shellac dries as quickly.

                  And the beauty is that neither of those require you to sand between coats. Although you should check after the first coat to make sure it didn't raise the grain, as you should with any finish you apply, and sand lightly (or use a fine scrubpad) until smooth, if it did. Then apply other coats on top as required (follow instructions on label for recoat time, it can be as short as 5 minutes with some laquers)

                  DW788. -Have fun in the shop or it isn't a hobby anymore.

                  NOTE: No trees were killed in the sending of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.


                  • #10
                    Watet Base clear coats...

                    One of the problems with water base coatings is that it has no color, it is crystal clear like water. The same condition applies to the clear Acrylics.

                    On certain light woods and light color stains water base and acrylics are
                    great coatings because they are water clear and non yellowing, but when used on other colored woods and stains they leave it "blah" or cold looking and certainly do not enhance the finish.

                    Whereas, the oil finishes and regular clear lacquer have a natural amber caste which will enrich the finish on other woods.

                    Professional finishers add a little yellow dye into water base coatings to "warm" up the finish, some manufacturers are now adding the dye right into the coatings

                    When in doubt, make up a quick sample on the wood you will be using to see what the final finish will look like..


                    • #11
                      I prefer water based finishes for a couple of reasons, The main one is clean up. The next would be, like others have said, they don't discolour the wood.
                      I use the brown paper bag method of sanding between coats.
                      I also have an old piece of a drop sheet that is crusted with tung oil. That makes a nice buffer too.

                      On the topic of tung oil...since I brought it up .... I have a deep plastic jar that used to have pepperoni sticks in it. I pour the tung oil into that and completely submerge smaller pieces. Then I hang them over the open jar to catch the excess. Once the finish has dried a little I buff the rest of it away.
                      CAЯL HIRD-RUTTEЯ
                      "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
                      Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21


                      • #12
                        Sounds like everyone has their own preference (which is just what you'd expect, eh?), and most all are quick and simple. For me, I like Danish Oil. And it does come in colors for those ornaments I make out of BB ply - although I much prefer hardwoods.

                        I do think I ought to try some other finishes, though. BLO sounds like a good place to start, along with all your other suggestions.

                        Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. -- Dr. Seuss

                        NEW DeWalt 788 and that old, Jimmy- Jerry- and Kevin-rigged Delta 40-560


                        • #13
                          I know BLO is boiled linseed oil but what kind of mixture are you doing for the ornaments? I currently use danish oil but I want to try something different.
                          I tend to like the easy processes as finishing is not one of my strong points.




                          • #14
                            I dip most of my ornaments in a 50/50 mix denatures alcohol and the Zinser shellac based sanding sealer. That enhances the grain and seals the wood.
                            I then lightly sand with 220 or higher and spray with a semigloss/satin finish.(solvent base).
                            I don't have the patience for the oils and I don't care for the way they smell.
                            Give me a paper bag and some laquer and were good to go

                            JUST KIDDING, so don't call the narcs on me.!
                            RBI G4 26 Hawk, EX 16 with Pegas clamps, Nova 1624 DVR XP
                            Philosophy "I don't know that I can't, therefore I can"
                            Proud Member of the Long Island Woodworkers Club
                            And the Long Island Scrollsaw Association


                            • #15
                              Dan, I mix mine with 50/50 mix of BLO and paint thinner/mineral spirits (Same thing) and let them dry for 48 hours.
                              Chuck D

                              When a work lifts your spirits and inspires bold and noble thoughts in you, do not look for any other standard to judge by: the work is good, the product of a master craftsman.
                              Jean De La Bruyere...

                              Hegner 18, Delta p-20, Griz 14 inch Band saw


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