Greetings from Gran Canaria! I’ve sneaked away for some winter sun before the demo and exhibition season really kicks in. It can be a struggle to find a couple of consecutive weeks that are totally free in my calendar, this is usually the best time for me to get away. But the Newsletter doesn’t get to take a break, except at Christmas, so I’ve prepared a couple in advance for you – don’t worry, I’m not typing this by the pool.

A few weeks ago I mentioned a question about airbrushes, and whether our Spirit Stains affect the rubber seals in them. It wasn’t something I’d come across, so I put the question out to readers for any input they might have.
I had a few answers, thank you!
Our friend Bee Matthews told us she uses a Harder and Steenback airbrush and has never had any trouble with the washers/O rings. She always gives the brush a good clean down after every use, so that the stain doesn’t sit around in the brush for any period of time.
George from Axminster Woodturners Club also recommends keeping the airbrush clean, he says he uses ‘a fifty-fifty mix of water and a good quality window cleaner containing white vinegar, (Mr Muscle is good), as recommended to him by Joey Richardson’. That’s certainly an alternative to Air Brush Cleaner, although ours also contains a lubricant to keep the brush working perfectly.

We always suggest using an aerosol sealer/lacquer over our Spirit Stain as this avoids accidentally spreading it where it’s not wanted, but we had an occasion this week, where a spray had still made the stain run. How did that happen?
Obviously, some of the sprays will still reactivate the stains, but because there’s no physical contact – no brush or cloth – the spray dries where it lands and the stain stays put. However…if too much spray is applied, it will run, especially if the surface isn’t horizontal. The spray will also drag the stain, causing it to smear and blend with other colours. As in nearly all types of finishing, it’s best to apply spray lacquers in several thin coats, rather than try to put one thick coat on.

And finally this week, back to airbrushes and spraying. We’re often asked by how much our products should be diluted so that they can be sprayed, either with an airbrush or a spray gun (HVLP or traditional compressed air).
Spirit Stains will usually spray straight from the bottle, usually the only reason to thin them is to vary the colour. But thicker liquids, such as the sealers and lacquers, and some of our paints, will need to be diluted. The amount will vary depending on the equipment and setup you are using, but a good rule of thumb is to add 10% of the relevant thinners. This is usually enough, and certainly acts as a good starting point.

So that’s everything for this week, there will another ‘oddity’ Newsletter next week (I’m in the unusual position of having written it already, so I know what’s going to be in it!).

I hope you’re having a good week, enjoy the weekend, and I’ll be back in your inbox again (by remote control!), next Friday.