It’s Polling Day as I write this… but don’t worry, I’m not going to go all political on you. By the time you read this, some (maybe all, if you’re slow!) of the results will be in, and all the shouting and name-calling will be over for a few years. I can’t wait!

A question came in today asking about a suitable finish for a cake stand. My emailer had a couple of ideas in mind, but the first thing to cover was whether they expected the food to be in direct contact with the stand. If so, then Food Safe Finish is the only thing we can recommend.

However, in most cases, a cake would either be on a board, or in paper cases. This being so, either of the suggested options would be fine – Cellulose Sanding Sealer/Cut’n’Polish/Microcrystalline Wax, or Hard Wax Oil/Microcrystalline Wax. Although I’d probably go for the Hard Wax Oil option as it will be slightly harder wearing.

This, and another call I’ve literally just taken, bring to mind a conversation I often have with people. I don’t think there’s such a thing as a totally waterproof finish, and those that offer the maximum resistance tend to have a rather plasticky look to them. It’s often a case of educating the user to look after the item if it’s going to come into contact with water/require washing. A wipe over with a damp cloth is normally enough, it certainly shouldn’t be put in a dishwasher or immersed in a bowl of water.
In the case of this call, it was a wooden frame around a mirror in a bathroom (another one for you, Richard!). A water based finish was requested, so I suggested our Wipe-On Poly as probably standing the best chance of lasting the longest, but again to be aware that some maintenance will be inevitable.

Finally, question wise, we were contacted by someone painting a wooden rocking for his granddaughter, who asked if Acrylic Satin Lacquer would be a good choice of finish. Answer is yes, it shouldn’t affect the paint, and will be sufficiently hard-wearing enough. One thing to consider, though, is that in use, the action of clothing rubbing against the lacquer is likely to have the effect of burnishing it, and bringing it to what could be a very high shine!

And once again we come to the end of another Newsletter. Next week I’m to off to see my friends at Kennet Valley Woodturners for a demo, I’m looking forward to seeing some familiar faces there. Say hello if you’re there, and if not, I’ll be back here, as usual, next week.