International Styles

Types of Wood Finishes

Many woodenware articles are natural-finished, that is, just smoothed. Others, such as sugar buckets, kitchen cabinets and refrigerators, are stained, and still others are painted.

The object of paints and stains is to preserve the wood by closing the pores or openings so as to prevent moisture and decay from entering. Paints and stains are often decorative.

Paint is opaque and conceals the natural appearance of the surface of the wood. It is more often used for exterior finishing.

Stains or varnishes bring out the natural grain appearance of the wood and are more decorative.

Wood Stains

Stains vary with different woods. Porous woods, for instance, red oak, require the application of a filler before the stain is applied. Otherwise too much will be absorbed into the wood.

Stains are classified according to the liquid in which they are dissolved, as spirit stain, which is dissolved in alcohol, oil stain, and water stain.

Wood Varnish

Varnish is a solution of certain gums or resin in alcohol and is applied after staining to preserve the stain and produce a shining, transparent surface. The number of coats of varnish depends on the fineness of the finish desired.

Wood Paints

Paints are pigments, that is, coloring matter. The foundation is commonly white lead, or zinc oxide, which is ground and mixed with linseed oil or other liquids. Turpentine is added to make the paint more fluid; and driers, lead or manganese salts, are dissolved in the oil or turpentine to make it dry more rapidly.

The following rules regarding the application of paint will be of use:

1. The surface must be thoroughly clean and dry.

2. All old paint should be removed.

3. Nail holes, cracks, etc., must be filled with putty.

4. Knots or sappy places must be coated to prevent the sap's exuding and thereby causing blisters.

5. Thin coats well distributed are better than thick ones.

6. Allow ample time for drying between the coats.

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