We’re back! Did you miss us? It’s ok, I don’t really expect you to have. I hope you had a happy and healthy Christmas and New Year. The last couple of years have been challenging (you might have noticed!), and I don’t think 2022 is going to be any different. But we’ll muddle through, as we always do.
We’re starting something new on the Newsletter, each week we’re going to feature a picture sent in by a reader of something they’ve made. It can be any item, the only stipulation is that, of course, it has to be finished with Chestnut Products. There’s no prize, just the kudos of being featured. And I’m starting off with a picture sent to us recently by our good friend (and veteran of two Weekenders) Stan Moody. Stan was unwell in the latter half of 2021 and it’s great to have him back turning again.
Nice work Stan! If you’d like to see one of your items here, full details below.
Now it’s time for some questions (and answers)..

I’ve been in what is now grandly called ‘The Surface Coatings Industry’ for…gosh…nearly 40 years. So it’s rare that I get a question I haven’t heard before, but I got one this week! Let me give you some background…
Our customer is fitting some panelling and mouldings made from beech. They’d finished some samples in Finishing Oil and liked the effect, and are now doing the job ‘for real’. But, the moulding has been made from steamed beech, which was not used on the sample piece, and applying the oil has made the wood much darker than required, leading to the question: ‘how can we make the Finishing Oil lighter (paler)?’
Not an easy one. Making it darker would be simple, just adding some Spirit Stain to it would work, but reversing the effect..? I came up with three ideas:
The first was to try thinning the Finishing Oil with white spirit to dilute the colour. The second was to apply a thinned coat of sealer (I suggested Shellac Sanding Sealer) which would reduce the depth the oil was able to soak in to, which could give a lighter colour. And finally, if all else fails, use Hard Wax Oil with a tint in it, courtesy of a Spirit Stain, to match the Finishing Oil. I’m waiting to hear if any of these were successful.

Another question recently came from someone using our Acrylic Gloss Lacquer. It has started showing white patches, could I explain what might have gone wrong? A little further investigation quickly explained this. A total of ten coats of lacquer had been applied – this is way too many for any lacquer, regardless of type or manufacturer. The general rule is that a maximum of three coats should be applied; anything more than this is very likely to lead to problems. Maybe not straight away, but possibly in the future. There are two issues here; the adhesion between coats starts to break down if too many of them are applied, and the sheer weight of subsequent coats can be too much for the earlier ones, causing stress and cracks.
If you must apply lots of coats, each one must be sanded back to nearly nothing before applying the next one. Ten coats is seven too many!

Finally this week, a query about White Spirit Stain. Our correspondent had applied four coats of it, but wasn’t seeing much of a change in the timber. Was there a fault with the stain? Probably not; the White Spirit Stain is really designed as a mixer for the other colours, to be able to create pastel shades. It will work as a stain in its own right, but because (like all stains) it is translucent, and timbers tend to be darker, the amount of pigment isn’t powerful enough to overcome the natural colour of the wood. We could, of course, add more pigment, but then it would become more like a paint and obliterate the surface, including the grain. So, sadly, whilst it’s an important part of our range, the White Spirit Stain does have it’s limitations.

If you’d like a picture of one of your creations featured, please send it in. Remember, there are less that 52 Newsletters per year, so we probably won’t be able to show everyone’s picture. We’ll choose one at random each week; pictures sent in in previous weeks will still be in the draw, so please don’t send the same picture more than once. You can send images of more than one item, but we will try not to duplicate entrants.

And I’ll be back next week with your reminder that it’s Friday, plus three more questions and answers – and maybe your picture??