It’s another Friday, but a rare Bank Holiday Friday as we celebrate the 75th Anniversary of VE Day. Sadly many of the events planned for this have had to be cancelled. Some in our street (including us) are having a social distancing street party – we’ll all be staying in our front gardens with food and drink and chatting to neighbours. I hope you’ll be able to have a good weekend as well.
(Actually, I should be sitting by a pool relaxing, as I was booked to go on holiday this week. That obviously hasn’t happened!)
Let’s deal with some questions…

I was asked recently about colours and finishes etc. fading in sunlight. The culprit here is the UV rays in sunlight, and they are pretty much unstoppable. They will, at worst, bleach the colour out of most things and certainly make others fade or change; we can take steps to slow this down but we can’t stop it.
Firstly, the dyestuffs we use in our Spirit Stains are of the highest quality and are extremely resistant to fading. Colour fastness is measured on the Blue Wool Scale and ours rate very highly on this.
Our Acrylic Gloss Lacquer and Acrylic Satin Lacquer also have UV filters in them; this is partly to protect the finish itself, to prevent it yellowing and/or cracking, and this will also slow down the effects of sunlight on the surface below.
The final weapon in your arsenal (but not to be used in conjunction with the lacquers) is our Finishing Oil. This also has UV filters in it to protect the surface beneath (Finishing Oil is able to withstand exterior use without needed extra help to resist UV light).

In our range we have two product lines that seem to do much the same thing; Buffing Wheels and Polishing Brushes. What’s the difference?
The various brushes we have are chiefly designed to buff waxes; our waxes are especially suitable but they will work with most others as well. We use a specific bristle on them which has just the right properties to do what we want. It’s stiff enough to remove any surplus wax from the surface, especially from any nooks and crannies where you don’t want it, and flexible enough to polish the wax to a deep shine. These are either hand-powered or drill/lathe powered. They’re not cheap but they do last a very long time and they’re very popular. The brushes were originally designed for use on furniture, hence the different shapes, but have crossed over into turning, carving and other uses.
The Buffing Wheels are for polishing a harder coating, such as a lacquer or oil. The first two wheels prepare the surface and will remove any minor imperfections in the original finish and the final wheel polishes by using a wax, enhancing and improving the shine of the original coating.

The Buffing Wheels are probably more universal in their use, but if you do a lot of wax polishing, the brushes can certainly make this easier – it’s what they were designed for!

And on the subject of oils, I was asked recently why Finishing Oil shouldn’t be put on top of Hard Wax Oil or vice versa?
These products use a common solvent base, white spirit, so that isn’t a problem, but the oils in them are very different, in the way they dry, how they bond and how they build up to form a coating. This means there’s a very real danger that they won’t work together; there won’t be a reaction as such, (like pickling or clouding over) but the drying times and intercoat adhesion could be severely affected, leaving a very poor, unsatisfactory, finish. So it’s always best to stick to one or the other on a job.

So there you go, that’s it for this week. I hope you’re enjoying the long weekend – if you can tell the difference. I also hope you’re keeping safe and well, it looks as though some changes might be happening soon.
Like you, I’m sure, I’m looking forward to better times ahead. They won’t be the same again for a long time, but you can count on us to be here, week in, week out, talking about finishes.

Take care