Hello and welcome

Another week gone and there’s always more questions to answer, which is just as well because that’s what you’re here for!

I was talking about thinning products last week, which prompted one reader to ask what should be used to thin Melamine Lacquer and Acrylic Lacquer. Cellulose Thinners is the (only) thinner for Melamine Lacquer, and just normal water for Acrylic Lacquer (and Acrylic Sanding Sealer). My correspondent queried this as the aerosol acrylics have a distinct smell, suggesting there’s something more in them. Which is correct. The propellant plays a big part in this, but we also use slightly different resins in the aerosol finishes and these require a tiny amount of extra solvent to make sure they atomise properly when sprayed through an aerosol. The non-aerosol versions are designed to be multi-purpose; they can be applied by brush, cloth or spray and the only solvent they require is water.
(Because water is a solvent – oh how I laugh when I see water-based products described as ‘solvent-free’.)

Continuing the theme of last week’s Newsletter, I’ve also been asked to clarify what I meant by thinning something 10%. As in, whether thinning by or thinning to.
It’s definitely ‘thinning by’, as in for example adding 50ml of Cellulose Thinners to 500ml of Melamine Lacquer for a 10% dilution.
Although importantly I wouldn’t necessarily suggest thinning the whole can at once, just mix a little up as you need it, keeping the option to use it neat another time if you want.

We occasionally get asked if we can produce ‘trial sizes’ of our finishes; it came up again this week. It sounds like a great idea and we’d really like to do it, but sadly the sums just don’t add up and a trial bottle would be appalling value.
The only real variable on the costing is the product itself. The cost of the container, labelling, and handling will be much the same; it takes as long to fill a 100ml bottle as it does to fill a 500ml one. Doing some ‘back of an envelope’ calculations, our 500ml Cellulose Sanding Sealer has an RRP inc VAT of £10.80. The same product in a 100ml size would work out to about £7.35.
It works for our Spirit Stain Sample Packs and the Iridescent Paint Starter Kits due to the nature of the product, but I really don’t think it would for something as universal as the sealer. What do you think?

We put out one of our Finishing School Short videos on YouTube this week, about using the Buffing Wheel Kit. It’s less than two minutes long so if you’d like to have a look just click here.

Another busy week for new subscribers with the best part of 50 new Chestnuteers so thank you to everyone helping spread the word.

I hope you have a good week