It’s been a scorcher this week! I hope you’ve been able to enjoy some of it, and have stayed safe at the same time. I think the combination of the hot weather and a few more freedoms have kept some of you out of the workshops, but I hope you’ll find time to read this week’s musings. Roll the questions!

A recent question was from someone making a baby’s rattle. They’d applied the aerosol Acrylic Sanding Sealer, cut back using Burnishing Cream and brushed on Acrylic Lacquer. The lacquer started to peel off almost immediately after drying.

The most likely,reason for this is the use of Burnishing Cream. Whilst there should be little to none of the product remaining on the surface after use, there is always a possibility that some will linger. This can cause adhesion problems if a lacquer is used afterwards (waxes and polishes aren’t affected).It’s best to sand the sealer with abrasive – White NyWeb makes a good substitute for Burnishing Cream when it can’t be used. Use the Burnishing Cream on the last coat of lacquer for a full gloss.
It’s also just possible that this could have been caused by using the aerosol sealer with the brushing lacquer. They usually work together, especially on smaller items such as a rattle – but there can, on rare occasions, be an issue with them. We always suggest sticking to one application type or the other, rather than mixing them, just to be on the safe side.

Another question came from someone who had successfully used our Hard Wax Oil on a guitar, but was thinking of using Melamine Lacquer, with a spray gun, on the next one. Did we have an opinion on which would be best?
Either are fine, although I think as spray equipment is available, I’d probably go for the Melamine Lacquer (over a Cellulose Sanding Sealer) option. The main reason being drying time; Melamine is much quicker so there’s less risk of dust or other contamination. Plus, spraying will nearly always give the best result for the least work.
Once fully cured (allow at least a week) Melamine is also incredibly tough. Best practice is to only apply up to three coats. If you want to apply more, each previous coat should be sanded back heavily so that only the thinnest layer possible remains.

And finally this week, a slightly unusual question; what finishes can be allowed into a compost heap, via shavings?
I think the question is a red herring in some ways. Once an item has been finished, surely there won’t be any more shavings created? Unless it’s gone wrong and the finish is being removed?
Anyway, it’s not something we have any real data on, but my informed opinion would be that most finishes would not have any effect on shavings in a compost heap. Probably the only ones I’d be cautious about are acrylics, there can be a tiny element of plastic in them which wouldn’t break down properly, but as to whether this will cause any real harm I wouldn’t like to say.

And that’s everything for this week. Don’t forget we’ve got our next Conkers LIVE coming up next week, with Rick Dobney. If you want to see what he’ll be up to, click HERE. Rick’s demo will be on Wednesday evening (23 June) on our YouTube channel, all starting at 7.15pm UK time. Just in case you somehow don’t know, you don’t need to sign up or anything and it’s completely free to watch. I do hope you’ll join us – use this link to go to the holding page and set a reminder: https://youtu.be/KICUOglKDxo

All the best