Well it’s been a busy week, a dash up to Nuneaton for a demo on Tuesday night and then down to London for another demo on Wednesday evening. I was right by the way, I didn’t enjoy the driving in London part of it! I’m just out of practise.
I know there were a number of Chestnuteers at the demos, good to see you all.
So what are this week’s questions?

Our finishes are used by woodworkers of practically all disciplines, cabinet makers, marqueteers, turners, carvers and many more. It was the latter who asked recently about how to finish a statue they’d carved that was going to be displayed outdoors. They wanted a fairly matt finish and to allow the item to age naturally but still be protected. That’s not easy really, as anything we have that’s for outdoor use is meant to help the item last longer, but we reckon that Finishing Oil is the best bet here.
Using just two coats will seal the timber and offer a degree of protection without giving a very bright finish. The protection will last about 12 months, depending on the position; ideally it should be topped up annually but if this isn’t done the statue would then start to age slowly as the finish degrades.

I spend a lot of time at demos talking about sealers. I think they’re very often misunderstood and sometimes incorrectly used. A fundamental question I was asked this week was whether it’s always essential to use a sealer. The short answer is that you’ll nearly always get a better final finish if you use a sealer in your finishing process. The exception to this is if you’re using an oil, in which case you shouldn’t use a sealer at all.
Some finishes can be used ‘coat-on-coat’, that is, without a sealer, but even so they give a better result if you use one. Using a sealer also makes the job easier as it’s easier to sand back.

Talking of sealers, I’m often asked (and was again this week) whether there’s any benefit to applying two coats of sealer. The answer to that one is a definite ‘no’. Your sealer should do the job in one coat, applying a second coat achieves nothing; the timber is already sealed and the resin will have bound the fibres together, so the job is done.
Not only that, but if you apply two coats of sealer then follow it with a lacquer there’s a real danger that the coat of sealer in the middle, being trapped between two harder surfaces, could move and craze. This won’t happen straight away, it could take weeks or months, leading to items being returned long after they’ve been sold.
So best practice – use one coat only.

That’s everything for this week, as always I hope you have a good week. I guess many of you are starting to think about Christmas (if you haven’t already done so) and getting stuff ready for fairs etc. Don’t forget that we’re always interested to see what you’ve been up to and welcome posts to our Facebook page and group and if you’re posting on Instagram remember to tag us as well please. There are links below…

See you next week