There’s often confusion about the ‘Toy Safe’ and ‘Food Safe, which leads to us being asked if Food Safe Finish is suitable for toys. From the aspect of not causing issues if it should be sucked or licked, then it is fine. But for durability and longevity, we don’t consider it to be hard wearing enough to deal with the playful abuse that a toy can suffer. Better to use on of the many toy safe finishes in our range, all of which are tested and certified to the EN71-3 regulations governing toys and nursery furniture. And, of course, certificates are available to prove this, should they be needed.
Another caller was trying out our Hard Wax Oil for the first time, having been a user of tung-based finishes such as Finishing Oil. One of the differences between them is that Hard Wax Oil is practically clear. This is normally a good thing, but in this case the user wanted the timber (a light oak) to go slightly darker. The first coat hadn’t achieved this; would a second coat take it darker?
Our answer is that it is unlikely to do so. When you use Finishing Oil, the colour change after the first coat can be very noticeable. Subsequent coats add very little. The same logic applies to Hard Wax Oil; no change after the first coat will mean no change after the second, either.
There are two possible solutions here; sand the whole lot off and use Finishing Oil, or, it should be possible to tint the Hard Wax Oil using our Spirit Stain, to add colour to a second coat.
Finally, for this week, a caller was having trouble getting a good finish with Melamine Lacquer. That’s not an exclusive club! I often say that Melamine Lacquer is the most finicky of our products to use. Once mastered, it gives a fantastic, hard-wearing finish, but it takes time.
Factors working against the user in this case were that he was applying it to a table top – always a challenge – and this was made worse by doing it during the recent hot weather we’ve been having.
Our caller had been thinning the lacquer, which is fine, but was still getting brush marks left behind. This was almost certainly because the lacquer was drying (in the hot weather) before the brush lines had had chance to flow out.
If this was a lathe application, I’d suggest sanding back with a fine abrasive, then using Burnishing Cream to bring the lacquer to a gloss. But whilst that would work here, it would require a lot of elbow grease. I think that a better option would be to allow the lacquer to dry hard (3-4 days) then use wet’n’dry paper on it, using progressively finer grits until happy with the gloss. The paper should be used wet, and this will burnish the surface to a very bright finish.
Still a lot of work, easier if a powered sander is available, but it should give a great result.
That’s all the questions for this week, but I forgot to say… A few weeks ago I talked about the reaction to my use of the word ‘dollop’ (as in this Newsletter being a ‘dollop of knowledge’). I had a surprising amount of feedback, all commenting on their affection for the word ‘dollop’ and that I should continue to use it. So I will!
If you’re at the Weekender I look forward to seeing you there, and as always, I’ll be back here next week with more Q&A.
All the best