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 Post subject: Re: What finish do you use on cabinets? flat,matte,semi glos
PostPosted: Jul Tue 31, 2018 3:42 am 
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Location: Mission Viejo, southern California
I almost always use full gloss Mohawk, or a mix of half gloss and half satin. Note that you can rub the final finish (old fashioned or modern materials) as many of the original makers did.

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 Post subject: Re: What finish do you use on cabinets? flat,matte,semi glos
PostPosted: Aug Wed 08, 2018 5:45 pm 
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Joined: Jun Sun 15, 2014 11:04 pm
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Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
I too mix flat and gloss lacquer in 50/50, 30/70, 70/30, or whatever proportion I want to get the level of sheen I want. This method requires investment in a compressor and spray gun. I acquired those 30 years ago and have refinished tons of cabinets since then, only upgrading the sprayer now and again. They've paid for themselves many times over.

You can always Hand Rub, or French Polish, a lacquer semi-gloss finish to get the sheen desired. French Polishing lacquer makes the finish look like it is an old finish in good condition. I find that Hand Rubbing and French Polishing are extremely hard to perform with a new Shellac finish.


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 Post subject: Re: What finish do you use on cabinets? flat,matte,semi glos
PostPosted: Aug Sat 11, 2018 2:41 am 
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Location: Baguio City, Philippines
French polishing is a technique where thinned shellac is applied in continuous circular strokes with balled up cotton inside a cotton cloth. There is no such thing as French polished lacquer.

French polishing is actually pretty easy to do. It might take a little practice to get really good at it, but it's impossible to make a fatal mistake in its application. Doing this on an existing shellac finish is no different than the later stages of doing it from bare wood.

Also, you can hand rub a semi-gloss finish into a glossier state, as the flattening agents are embedded in the lacquer, so they are always going to be there regardless of how smooth the top surface gets. However gloss finishes can be made less glossy by rubbing out because the surface sheen determines the gloss level and there's nothing impeding that within the finish itself.


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 Post subject: Re: What finish do you use on cabinets? flat,matte,semi glos
PostPosted: Aug Sun 12, 2018 12:21 am 
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Joined: Jun Sun 15, 2014 11:04 pm
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Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
Okay, I stand corrected for using the wrong phrase for an old technique (at least old to me). That is, polishing a lacquer finish with vigorous rubbings, using a soft cloth dabbed in fine polishing compound and then a final wax coat application and polish, or shine up, with a clean dry cloth and done often enough until one gets the lustre desired. I don't know the name for that process, but I have been doing it for 44 years. Maybe I'll call it Startgroove Polishing, although I probably shouldn't take credit for a process that is way older than me. :D

Anyway, that process performed after application and cure of a semi-semi-gloss, semi-gloss or semi-gloss-gloss lacquer finish will yield depth and texture to the finish. The highest areas get the most polishing unless one pays particular attention to the lower areas. I think the difference in lustre between those high and low areas makes the finish look closer to an original finish that was well cared for with many applications of furniture polish through the years.


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 Post subject: Re: What finish do you use on cabinets? flat,matte,semi glos
PostPosted: Aug Sun 12, 2018 3:30 am 
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Joined: May Wed 23, 2018 6:28 am
Posts: 285
French polishing gives the most beautiful finish. It has its problems and you should consider whether or not you will be able to protect. Water will turn it white. Alcohol instantly dissolves it and red wine compounds this problem. It shares the problem with nitrocellulose lacquer of being less elastic than wood with temperature and humidity changes. On wood, both of these finishes will craze after 10 to 20 years. Unless you are into the fad of "relicing" guitars, this is where varnishes have an advantage.

Some suggestions:

- Sand to at least 400 grit
- Make your shellac from flakes and pure ethanol. Natural shellac is dark and products like Zinser are bleached. Flakes are available in a range of shades. Make only as much as you need, as it has a short shelf life.
- Don't use a drying oil. A polymerizing oil and will add some elasticity and prolong the life of the finish. It also provides some protection against liquids. Walnut oil and pure tung oil are fairly common.
- Apply 2 coats of shellac with a brush as a sealer.
- For me, highlighting the grain of a fine wood is essential. Filling the grain is a normal way to provide not just filling, but a darkening of the grain. Use an oil-based filler. An alternative approach is to add a dark stain to the filler to highlight the grain, followed by a good sanding to remove all traces of the stain from the surface, leaving the grain dark. This must be followed by several brushed coats of shellac and a light sanding. An example is below.
- Using your shellac and oil, start adding coats with your pad. 10 coats are a minimum. I like 20. Some say 100. Some say you can recoat in 30 minutes. Most say an hour. I would wait 2 hours when using a polymerizing oil.

An advantage of French polishing is that if you strip the wax after a few years, a few more coats will coalesce the crazing and totally renew the surface.

These are elm, one with the grain darkened and the other with just walnut stain. The finish is varnish.

Attachment:
Elm.jpg
Elm.jpg [ 86.52 KiB | Viewed 289 times ]




Through the 20th century high end woodworking sometimes included hand painting grain with a 3 bristle brush. This should not be confused with faux grain painting.

John


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Elm with American Walnut Stain.jpg
Elm with American Walnut Stain.jpg [ 157.3 KiB | Viewed 289 times ]
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