- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Readers Digest; Revised, Updated edition (June 23, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0762106212
- ISBN-13: 978-0762106219
- Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 1 x 11.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 292 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #712,744 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Understanding Wood Finishing: How to Select and Apply the Right Finish Hardcover – June 23, 2005
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For example, there is a table outlining the potential benefits of each finish type which seems to show that shellac has excellent attributes in nearly every desirable category except for complete wood protection, It is also non-toxic and has no dangerous fumes. For an indoor object which is mostly decorative and rarely handled, it sounds like shellac would be the best finish for me to use, particularly with my perpetual sinus problems. Yet, he seems to go into more detail about using every finish except shellac in this book. In fact, I'm still not clear on whether shellac would be best used in the tinting process or the protection process, much less how to include it in a finishing project.
Here is another example of what I mean by lack of detail for beginners. In several parts of the book, he seems to say that tinting the wood is a separate step from applying a protective finish, but I didn't see examples of which tinting methods work best with each protection method. In fact, a couple of passages of the book seem to say that you do a sealing pass before tinting or the final protective finish. In the rest of the book, this sealing process is omitted. I must admit, this confused me even more. I would like to have seen beginner-level instructions for choosing and then applying each of the combinations as well as a single, definitive list depicting the chronological order. I don't know whether I'm supposed to seal, then tint, then protect the finish or tint first, then seal, then protect. Perhaps I'm only supposed to seal in very specific situations. Maybe protecting the finish is the same thing as sealing. I'm just not sure.
Overall, I feel like my theoretical knowledge base of general information about wood finishing has expanded greatly. But from a purely-practical beginners viewpoint, I still don't know what I'm supposed to do. I wish there were more detailed step-by-step instructions with photos showing the precise steps and sequence for applying each finish combination on a scrap piece of wood for beginners. Basically, I'm talking about sample projects similar to those found in other tutorial-type works where the "how and why" are clearly demonstrated. Giving a link to matching tutorial videos online would be even better.
I still feel like this is a great book to have, but it may not be enough for absolute beginners.
I have also learned neat stuff like stains have 4 qualities: colorant (pigment or dye), amount of colorant to liquid ratio, binder (oil, varnish, lacquer or water base), and thickness. I have a much better understanding of the different kinds of finishes, that water based doesn't last as long as oil based.
In the book the author states there is different between a varnish and polyurethane and lacquer. From what other people in the trade have been telling me lately varnish is not a really different finish then say polyurethane. Varnish is now used as a general term to mean any kind of finish.
The book has extremely useful charts. My favorite chart is what makes a stain such as binder, solvent/thinner and so on. It covers other things like advanced coloring techniques, finishing the finish, an entire chapter that covers how to finish different woods, and how to repair damaged wood.
Overall an excellent book that has given me the confidence to 1/2 way know what I am doing when it comes to wood finishing. Experience and experimenting will teach me even more.