Terry is back from his holiday all relaxed and refreshed, and is so chilled he has let me do part 2 on compatibility! So you have my ramblings for one more week! It was a subject I had great trouble with when I first started working for Terry (10 years this year – I cannot believe he has put up with me for so long!). So, if you are all sitting comfortably, let’s continue with the sometimes daunting conundrum of what product will work with what product!

The Iridescent and Metallic Paints, and Rainbow Waxes have been hugely popular since their introduction to our range, and add another interesting aspect to colouring and finishing. The Rainbow Wax is an Acrylic based wax, and can therefore be treated in the same way as the paints. They can be thinned with reducer and be used as a paint, or applied direct from the tub as a wax. All of the above products work well on bare timber, but also work very well over Ebonising Lacquer, or indeed our Spirit Stain. The beauty of these products is that you can then finish with either the Acrylic Gloss or Satin Lacquers, or indeed the waxes.
When using the Gilt Creams for the highlighting of grain, after removing the excess Gilt Wax with any of our Oil finishes (Food Safe Finish is good here), the finish to use is Woodwax 22 or Microcrystalline Wax. Anything else can lead to compatibility problems.

Burnishing Cream is a great way to really make your finish ‘pop’, and can safely be used on many finishes. Not to be used on waxes or some oils, but perfectly safe on lacquers, French and Friction Polish. You can, of course apply a wax after burnishing, but should not be burnishing after the Wax.

A question that is asked quite often is how to enhance the finish on our Acrylic Blanks. Again, this is where the Burnishing Cream holds its own. A buff with the Burnishing Cream should bring your pens up to a brilliant shine. A coat of the Microcrystalline Wax after will offer some protection against finger marks etc.

How do you finish a piece of furniture that has previously been finished? How do you know what is compatible? There is really only one safe answer to this question. If you don’t want to go to all the work involved in stripping off the old finish then the go-to products are our waxes. Waxes are quite the universal finishing product, and will give a good shine to just about any substrate.

If you haven’t seen it yet, our Compatibility Chart is a great resource for checking compatibility of one of our products against another. This is available as an A2 Laminated workshop chart, and is printed in the back of our price lists (currently being re-printed). It is also downloadable from the Website – no purchase necessary! If using multiple products to finish a piece, check the first coat on the Y axis (up and down), and the next coat on the X axis (across). If going to a third product, the ‘second’ product becomes the ‘first product’ (Y axis), and third product becomes the ‘second’ (x axis) and so on. Sadly, while we know how our products work with our products, we are unable to state how they may react with product from another manufacturer (even, supposedly, the ‘same’ product). In these instances it is always advisable to try on a piece of gash timber before finishing your work.

So that’s it from me for a while. I have really only brushed the surface of this subject, and it is a case of the more you learn, the more you seem to need to learn. The basics though are still the same, and as a general rule of thumb, if you are unsure of how to finish a product, you will never go far wrong by using the same solvent base throughout a finishing process.

Terry will be back on the keyboard next week, and looking forward to answering more of your questions. There will also be a welcome return showcasing your work in the Gallery.

Thank you for reading, and maybe see you here again soon (if you’ll have me!).