Friday, November 21, 2008

Bubble Bubble Toil & Trouble

Okay - admit it...there's a mad scientist in all of us. Some of us just embrace that side more often than most.

This week has been one of those times when I have embraced the cackling maniac inside.

While doing the finish sanding on the kitchen woodwork I've been doing a lot of thinking about washcoats and stains. So, I decided to go to the pros I talk to on the internet as well as cracking open a few books.

So, between all the sanding I've been doing a lot of research as well.

I know it would more than likely benefit us in the long run to precondition the woodwork, but I wasn't happy with the test results when I tried it with the pre-made conditioners. Well, after several e-mails to knowledgeable people it was suggested I make my own wood conditioner.

The recipe I decided on (the one that was recommended the most) is a simple one. You take some Zinsser SealCoat and thin it with denatured alcohol.

Here is a the reduction guide:

Desired cut Mix in a separate container
3-lb. to 2-lb. 2 parts alcohol + 5 parts shellac
3-lb. to 1-lb. 3 parts alcohol + 2 parts shellac
2-lb. to 1-lb. 1 part alcohol + 1 part shellac

I went with the 50/50 mix.

Here are the ingredients.

The Masson jar holds the results.

Kind of looks like yak pee don't it?

On Wednesday I removed a piece of the mop board from inside the pantry closet. After sanding it, and prepping it, I applied the washcoat to two different spots.

Now before you sit there and question my madness let me explain.

I have been given a 'secret' recipe for stain that will theoretically make the woodwork look as though it has aged gracefully with a coat of orange shellac. I have seen photos of this recipe being used on woodwork like ours and it turned out great! We'll see what happens - that's what the test board/control sample is for.

Anyway, back to the control sample.

I have only placed the wash on two areas of the board. The reason I did this is so that I can test my two stain samples (there are two variations to the secret recipe) with and without a wash coat.

This will also help determine how many coats of stain I'll need. However, per the gent who gave me the recipe, he only applied one coat of stain (without a washcoat) and then applied four very thin layers of top coat.

Take a look at this.

You are seeing a closeup of the washcoat by itself.

Too bad we aren't wanting this color - it looks great!

I also noticed that this homemade washcoat has a different hue, and feel, compared to the commercial washcoats available. It'll be interesting to see what happens tomorrow when I mix the recipes and test them.

On another related area....

I got a couple new toys to help in this endeavor.

The first is a set of scraper blades that interchange with each other.

Kind of reminds me of a pimped out shaving razor!

This little thing has done wonders when scraping little spots and weird shapes.

This last one is so simple, so basic, it's one of those tools that make you say 'cool'.

All it is is a razor scraper for windows. It's a very sleek, almost retro, design that fits comfortably in the hand.

Yeah, I know I could have just used a plain ol' razor blade but I like my gadgets and toys!

Well, till next time...


1 comment:

Jennifer said...

The scraper.. where DID you get it? It looks so USEFUL!