Well, I think I’ve just about recovered from the Harrogate Show! A lot of people were worried that it wouldn’t be as busy as it was before its enforced holiday, but that proved to be totally unfounded. It was absolutely manic, and if you came to see us on the Friday or Saturday, I’m sorry if we didn’t have time to speak to you properly. It was pretty non-stop from when the show opened until about three in the afternoon.
If you stopped by, whether to say hello, ask a question or to buy something, thank you very much. I hope you enjoyed the show!

A question came in from one of our regular readers asking about the shelf life of Shellac Sanding Sealer. I thought I’d use that as an excuse to recap on all of our products.
Whilst we only guarantee they will be good for a year once they leave us, (because we can’t guarantee the tins/bottles for longer than that), in reality, most of them will last much longer. We’ve had reports of many of them lasting 4-5 years or more – you really should be using them more!
The possible exceptions are the bottled Acrylic Sanding Sealer and Acrylic Lacquer; we give these a ‘best before’ date of 12 months from manufacture, but they will last at least 6 months past that. (Someone at the show last weekend told me they were still using a sealer with a best before in 2014!).
Our CA Superglues also have a 12 month date on them, but will last at least six months past that. Remember, none of them have a timer in them which flicks a switch, it’s not a precise art. The general rule is, if the product is still liquid enough to be applied, and it dries as expected, then it’s ok to carry on with.

At a recent demo, someone brought in their wooden house sign. It looked great, but mould was starting to show on it. It’d been sealed with an oil, but this was still coming through. It’d had already been stripped and re-finished once, but the mould had returned. I was stumped at first, because the oil should form a good enough seal to prevent this, at least in the medium term (3-4 years). But it dawned on me that the problem wasn’t the sealed face, it was probably the back of the sign, which was unsealed. Moisture was able to enter from the reverse side, and would then be trapped by the oil and mould could grow.
There was no quick solution, sadly. The sign would need to be sanded back again and cleaned up, and allowed to dry out completely. Then, after sealing back and front, it can finally be hung back up again.

Still on the subject of oils, I was asked about applying Hard Wax Oil over an existing oil finish. Curiously, oils can be a little unforgiving, so we don’t recommend mixing them on a surface. it’s strange, you’d expect oils to work well with each other, but it isn’t always the case, so our standard advice is to stick with the same oil, whether during the initial applications or when using them for maintenance. This will make sure that the coats adhere to each other, with no nasty shocks sometime in the future.
If, of course, the original oil is no longer available for some reason, or is not known, we’d recommend removing as much of it as possible before applying a new oil, just to be on the safe side.

And that’s everything from me for this week. Thanks to everyone for the positive reactions to the news last week of another Weekender in 2023, a lot of people at the show also expressed their excitement that we’re heading north next year. I hope we’ll see lots of you there.

For now, cheerio, I’ll be back again next Friday.