How To Us A Brush When Applying Finish - Router Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-30-2012, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
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Default How To Us A Brush When Applying Finish

I did a search on the web asking how to apply varnish and got an article that was very descriptive but also a little confushiing. The a couple points were to pour the varnish into a separate container and thin it. Then the article explained how to make long strokes in only one direction, no back and forth movements with the brush. There were other things to do that I still don't quite understand due to not knowing words in context, example, "tiping off'.

Then I did a search about how to apply Midwax, in that demo the guy dipped the brush in the original container and brushed back and forth, nothing like the article about varnish.

Because of my ignorance about the subject, I have, for the most part, gone to using Toung Oil. I wipe it on and then wipe it off after sealing the wood with Agua Coat Sealer. The results that I get are satisfactory in my opinion but I do know that there are probably better ways to add the finish, but subject seems to be pretty complex and I don't expect any simple answers to my confusion, but some basic tips and/or ideas will be appreciated.

Jerry Bowen
C City, TX
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-30-2012, 03:49 PM
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Jerry, there are several finishing experts who have written excellent books on the subject. I have a great book by Michael Dresdner and he has his own website loaded with good information here: Michael Dresdner

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-30-2012, 06:09 PM
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Default Varnish

I always stayed away from varnish as I thought it took years to be able to do it right.
First one needs a good brush, e.g., china bristle. They are not cheap but will last for years if taken care of.
The first coat of varnish can be thinned but go by the instructions on the can. A good brush will load up with enough product to make it so it can be applied in one long stroke unless you are doing a bowling alley . Next hold the brush in a verticle position and lightly top off the just put down coat. This will help get the bubbles out.
You could look on Amazon and find a used book on hand applied finishes. Jewett and others have very good info.
Practice on scrap first and don't expect a great finish the first time but it will arrive sooner than you think.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-30-2012, 06:25 PM
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Bonka has nailed it. There is no substitute for practice/experience. Varnish is not difficult to apply but like everything takes experience. The use of a quality brush is critical to reinforce Bonka's point.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-30-2012, 06:31 PM
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Hi Jerry - first, appears that you are a 'beginning' finisher, and second I agree w/ the others that some basic knowledge is needed - I was in the same situation a ways back and know the feeling.

In addition to the book (and link) recommended by Mike, I would suggest considering the purchase of one or two additional books (whether new or used) - the ones that I find most useful are Bob Flexner's Understanding Wood Finishing & Jeff Jewitt's Finishing; Jewitt has written a number of good books (another is Hand Applied Finishes) - he also has his own commercial website Homestead Finishing Products - check out his products, articles, & DVDs - will stop there for the moment; plenty for you to consider - good luck! Dave

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-01-2012, 07:23 AM
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Have you ever tried shellac? It isn't as strong as varnish but gives a much nicer finish IMHO. You can either mix it yourself or buy it premixed. It dries in a half an hour so you can apply several coats in a day. Once it's completely dry rub the finish with steel wool and wax.To clean up the brush just rinse it out in ammonia.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-01-2012, 06:00 PM
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I've pretty much decided now that if I want to go with varnish, wiping varnish is the way to go. Wipe it on with a rag, wipe the excess off with a rag, toss the rag when finished. Pretty much eliminates cleanup. Gets my vote. Wiping Varnish

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-13-2012, 03:48 AM
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to get a smooth and silky touch, you need to move the brush in alignment with material grain... look at the direction of grain and then app;y paint in same direction
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