Thanks to everyone who let me know last week that the Newsletter hadn’t arrived as expected. That was my fault, sorry! I will try harder next time. It was very flattering though that so many people missed their Chestnut fix on a Friday morning.
I’ve had a better week I’m pleased to say, and I hope your week has been a good one too. And we’ve had some more questions come in, but that’s never in doubt! Here we go..!

You’ve probably seen the effect of using Ebonising Lacquer on a piece of ash, then applying Gilt Cream over the top so that it picks out the open grain. If you’ve missed it, there’s a short video of it on our YouTube channel. I was asked, though, if the same effect can be achieved using the Spirit Stains, so that the background can be a different colour (unless you use the Black Spirit Stain of course!).
The answer is yes. It is possible to stain the timber (after opening the grain) and then apply the Gilt Cream, but for a better result seal the stain first, with a sealer and/or a lacquer. The lacquer will follow the contour of the wood so it won’t fill the grain, so the Gilt Cream can still lodge itself in there. But it will seal the small, open pores of the wood and stop the Gilt Cream entering them, meaning that you get a cleaner finish and a better contrast.

I was also asked if we would consider our Finishing Oil as an ‘Eco’ product. That’s almost impossible to answer as I don’t really think there’s a definitive answer as to what really makes something eco-friendly. The cynic in me says that if you look hard and far enough into pretty much any product you’ll find some aspect of its manufacture, ingredients, transport, harvesting to be ecologically dubious. And the list of processes is almost endless, so there’s always a chance for it to slip up somewhere.
So whilst we try to be as eco-friendly as we can, we’re dealing with solvent based product a lot of the time so this really comes down to reducing the effects as much as possible. My best guess is that the most eco-friendly product in our range, based on manufacture and lack of solvents, is the Tung Oil. I’m pretty confident that none of them are unduly harmful, and we’re doing what we can to limit our impact. We see this as a responsibility, not a marketing/sales opportunity though.

Lots of people have been doing some renovations during lockdown and I’m sure there’s been a surge in the sales of chalk paint. It’s not something we do, but we were asked if any of our finishes could go over it to seal and protect it? Maybe Acrylic Lacquer?
A lacquer wouldn’t be a good idea as the painted surface can be a little friable – loose and dusty. The lacquer probably wouldn’t adhere very well. A better bet would be a wax. Either WoodWax 22 or Microcrystalline Wax will be fine, and of course the latter will give more protection. The paint will have acted as a sealer on the timber so no other sealer will be needed.

Our Virtual Woodturning Weekender is fast approaching, we’re pulling out all the stops to make sure everything is ready in time for it. This includes a major website update at www.woodturningweekender.co.uk which now includes all the details and links to enable you to join in over the weekend, including our online Pub Quiz! The whole thing is free and should be great fun. There’s no need to register or sign up, just come along on the day, but do check the website for dates and details.

Have a great week and I’ll see here again soon.