I hope you’ve had a good week. I just wanted to clarify something from last week’s Newsletter where I included some ‘before and after’ pictures of a bowl with a damaged finish. I had to crop the images to make them fit, and in doing so I accidentally chose different sections of the bowl. I’d just like to reassure everyone that the ‘after’ image was representative of the entire surface, and that the damage shown in the before picture was removed when the bowl was buffed again. Thanks.

You may have seen elsewhere that we’re discontinuing our Metallic Paints, and are selling off our remaining stock at half price. There is quite a bit left still, don’t worry if you’re an avid user of it. It’s not a step we take lightly, and we’ve been asked by a couple of people why we’ve done this.
More than anything, it’s to make sure we’re selling the best product we can. The Metallic Paints are imported in bulk containers from the USA, where they are made for us, and we fill and label the bottles here. Sales of the product have been good, but a little goes a long way and we aren’t turning over the stock as quickly as we would like. We’re no strangers to holding stock for a long time (some of the special brushes we sell have to be made in large numbers to get a realistic price; we can be holding five years stock!). But the Metallic Paints can deteriorate over time; the metallic flake settles out, and although we can mix it back in with our equipment, it’s not an ideal situation.
The cost and associated complications of importing them is also a major factor. Shipping costs have increased five-fold (or more) in the last year or so, which would, in our opinion, push the price beyond a reasonable level. (We’d buy them in the UK if we could find a reliable supplier)
They’re still a great product (especially at half-price!) but a bit more problematic for our customers than we’d like.

An email this week from someone making stringed musical instruments. He uses our Microcrystalline Wax as a finish, but wanted to tint the wood first on his current project. No problem, our Spirit Stains will do this easily. But, he then asked, is his combination of sealer and wax the best for what he’s doing? It seems to resist handling and sweat during use, but is there anything better?
I often say that the best finish is the one that does the job and works best for you. Any of our lacquers will give an even harder-wearing finish, but we can’t tell if that amount of resilience is needed. If the sealer/wax combo is doing the job, and the customers are happy, why change it? Sometimes, it really is best to keep it simple.

A question that crops up from time to time is whether any of our coatings can be used on glass. The simple answer is they can’t. This is because in most cases they simply won’t be able to form a sufficient bond to stay in place. The lacquers and polishes will just sit on the surface once they are dry. In most cases they will stay there, but any abrasion or just rough handling will cause them to rub away. Even the waxes will struggle. They will form a film, but it wouldn’t take much to remove them. So if the item is purely decorative, not likely to be handled much or washed, you’d probably get away with it, but it’s far from ideal. Curiously, when dry samples of a coating are required for test purposes, they are usually applied to glass just because it is easy to remove them after.
However… if you’re feeling very arty, you can engrave the glass and use the Rainbow Wax to enhance this. There’s a great video of this by our friends Turn and Burn UK – you can watch it here – it’s highly recommended.

That’s it for now, I’ll be back again next week with more questions and, of course, more answers. If there’s something you’d like to know, do feel free to drop me an email.

All the best