Section I Wood Preparation
How can you prevent the end grains of unfinished solid wood doors & furniture from becoming so much darker than the face surfaces when you stain them?
There are several ways in which you can prevent or at the very least reduce this problem. It is important to understand that the end grain of wood is extremely porous, so the key is to reduce the porosity.
Method 1: Start by prepping the whole project with the appropriate grit of sandpaper. Then, sand the end grains using 240 grit or 320 grit sandpaper. By over sanding the end grains you are in effect shearing the wood fibres so that they cannot absorb as much stain. To achieve this effect on wood turnings or awkward mouldings, some finishers use 4/0 steel wool or the super fine sponge back sanding pads. Others choose to use sandpaper that is dampened on the back with water to make the sandpaper more pliable.
Method 2: A faster although less effective method is to apply a coat of Goudey Stain Glaze Base WS00-0113, a solvent and oil based wood conditioner, to the end grains. After application, assertively rub it in with 4/0 steel wool and wipe off the excess. If you are using this wood conditioner over the entire project anyway and the colour you are staining the wood is not really dark, then this method is fast and convenient.
Method 3: The most effective, yet slightly more complicated method to completely prevent the end grain from staining up dark is to apply a wash coat (a very diluted seal coat) of finish onto your project and lightly sand it. Finish by spraying on the stain in a spray stain format where there will be little or no wiping off of excess stain.
How can you reduce or prevent the blotching effect that happens when you stain woods like Maple, Birch, Cherry and Pine?
The key to reducing blotching is to condition the wood’s surface which will adjust and even out how much pigmented wiping stain the wood fibres absorb. Three possible methods of conditioning the wood’s surface are as follows:
Method 1: Apply Goudey Stain Glaze Base WS00-0113, a solvent and oil based wood conditioner, prior to staining. This evens out and reduces the amount of Goudey Fast Dry Pigmented Wiping Stain absorbed by the wood fibres. Therefore, your project’s stain colour will be less blotchy but it will also be a bit lighter. In order to deepen the overall tone value afterwards, simply tint the top coat of finish. The key to success with this method is timing. You are in effect double staining your project by applying the conditioning stain, wiping off all the excess and then applying Goudey Fast Dry Pigmented Wiping Stain and wiping off all the excess again. Therefore, if your project is large or has several pieces of varying sizes, such as a full kitchen with cabinets, many doors of various sizes and an island, keep the time that it takes to double stain the largest piece in balance with the number of smaller pieces that you can double stain inside this same time line. If you don’t balance your time, then pieces with the conditioner left on longer will stain lighter than other pieces.
Method 2: Apply common tap water to “pop” open the wood fibres prior to staining. This increases the amount of Goudey Fast Dry Pigmented Wiping Stain absorbed by the wood surface. Therefore, there will be less blotching and the tone of the stain will be darker depending on the type of wood that you are working with and the stain colour you have chosen. Use a clean cloth soaked with water to dampen the wood surface well. Let it air dry or if time is not your ally, use a hair dryer to hasten the drying time. As the water swells the wood fibres and then dries, the surface will feel a bit rough or “stubbly”. Knock the heads off the stubble before you apply Goudey Fast Dry Pigmented Wiping Stain with a used piece of 120-180 grit sandpaper. Unlike Goudey Stain Glaze Base WS00-0113, this technique has no timing considerations. It does however require that the wood fibres be fully dry before you apply Goudey Fast dry Pigmented Wiping Stain.
Method 3: If neither Goudey Stain Glaze Base WS00-0113, nor tap water techniques are appropriate for your goal, try sealing the wood surface with a wash coat (a very diluted seal coat) of finish first before you apply your stain. Remember to let the wash coat completely dry before applying the stain.
How can you make hard woods like oak and maple stain dark without having to apply the stain twice?
The easiest way is to dampen the wood well with water and let it dry thoroughly. If the wood fibres feel a little rough or stubbly, then lightly sand off the stubble with a used piece of 120-180 grit sandpaper before applying your stain. The water “pops open” the pores of the wood making them absorb the stain deeper. After applying stain, wipe off all of the excess stain. If you want your project to look richer and deeper; try tinting the first coat of top coat or using a pre-tinted finish coat after your initial sealing coat of clear finish. Follow this with clear finishing top coats.
Can you apply a lacquer based top coat finish over the Deft Danish Oil that you have used as a stain or over a piece of furniture that has been previously finished with Deft Danish Oil, but needs to be clear coated?
You can apply the following Goudey lacquers over Deft Danish Oil finish:
- Goudey traditional lacquers such as 905, 910, 953, 918, 989, 990, 995
- Goudey pre-catalyzed PC 10, 30, 50 and 90 sheen lacquers
- Goudey post catalyzed 3010, 3020, 3035, 3090 lacquers
If you have applied one coat of Deft Oil as a stain, then it is suggested that you wait 8 hours for it to fully dry before applying your first coat of finish. Usually, 3 coats of Deft Oil are required when it is used as a finish. This doesn’t leave a lot of room on the wood fibre for the lacquer to adhere. In this case, your initial coats should be thinned out and applied lightly to establish a bond with the surface and build it up that way. Alternatively, you may switch to an alkyd (oil) based urethane applied in the same manner.
What solvents can you use to convert Goudey wiping stains into spray stains? How much do you add?
You can use Goudey’s 706 Toluene, 788 Lacquer Reducer or 707 Xylene.
If you want to spray on the stain and not wipe it off, use either 706 Toluene or 788 Lacquer Reducer as they evaporate quickly. Keep in mind, the more you add, the lighter the colour.
If you want to spray on the wiping stain and then wipe it off, you can use 707 Xylene or 754 Fast Dry Stain Reducer as they evaporate more slowly. Use 754 Fast Dry Stain Reducer if you need the most open time. If you are just thinning the stain to make it flow easier out of your spray gun, add 5% to 10% solvent per volume of stain. This ratio should not substantially affect the colour.
How can you extend the open time of Goudey wiping stains such as W250 or W260 that set up too quickly when you are staining large surfaces?
You can add Goudey’s 754 Fast Dry Stain Reducer to the stain at a ratio of 5% to 10% per volume of stain. This amount is small enough to give you a little more open time without substantially altering the colour.
What is the best way to apply Goudey alcohol based Non Grain Raising (NGR) Aniline Dye Stains?
Most finishers spray Goudey NGR Stains. This technique offers more control of colour depth and reduces and/or eliminates the dreaded lap marks that are common occurrences when NGR stain is applied by hand. Goudey NGR stains can be applied at either low or high pressure depending on the finisher’s preference.
What can you do to resolve the grain raising issue that occurs on the wood surface after staining with water based stain before you clear coat it?
Once Goudey Water Based Wiping Stain has completely dried, sand the surface of the wood very lightly with a piece of used 320 grit sandpaper, or a piece of 400 or 600 grit sandpaper. Apply just enough pressure to knock the heads off the raised grain. Sanding too aggressively will affect the colour and create light patches or the dreaded small light dots that are a nightmare to touch up if you are not shading the project in the top coat. If the project has mouldings, raised panels, bevels, bull nosing, etc. use fine 3M Scotch Brite Pads as they are extremely pliable and a little more user friendly for heavy handed finishers.
I applied a coat of Goudey W260 Brown Mahogany Fast Dry Wiping Stain two days ago and it is still not dry. In fact it is sticky. What is the problem? How do I fix this?
This problem occurs when a finisher has applied the stain without wiping off the excess. Instead, the stain has just been wiped on evenly creating a semi transparent or solid stain effect. Stains like the W260 and the W261 Red Mahogany require that all of the excess be wiped off from the wood surface enabling the stain to dry properly prior to clear coating.
One solution to this problem is to wash off the excess stain with either Goudey 732 Mineral Spirits or Goudey 788 Lacquer Thinner. Next, wait for the project to dry, re-stain the project and then wipe off all of the excess stain. The project may be completed by tinting top coats of finish to achieve the desired colour depth.
Are higher priced sandpapers worth the extra money over cheaper garnet sandpapers?
Yes. There is nothing wrong with garnet sandpaper, but high quality Sic Lube, Alo Lube and No Fill types of sandpapers last longer and cut cleaner. Better durability reduces the amount of sandpaper you have to use and better performance creates a better finish. Therefore, in the end, you save on your labour and material costs and increase the value of your project. This is especially true on darkly stained projects. Therefore, the more costly product is actually cheaper.
Section II - Furniture Stripping
Which solvent is better for washing down furniture and/or millwork after it has been stripped with the Goudey 770 Paint & Varnish Remover, 704 Waxless Paint and Varnish Remover or 702 Low Viscosity Paint & Varnish Remover?
Three solvents that can be used to wash down furniture or millwork after stripping the finish are:
- Goudey 788 Lacquer Reducer
- Goudey 700 Methyl Hydrate (a type of denatured Alcohol)
- Goudey 705 Ethel Alcohol (a type of denatured Alcohol)
What products do you recommend for stripping furniture that has been finished with Goudey’s Pre and Post Catalyzed Lacquers?
Goudey 770 Paint & Varnish Remover is the strongest stripper and will break down the finish layer by layer. To enhance the gel stripper’s penetration, aggressively sand the project’s surface with 80 or 100 grit sandpaper before stripping. This is essential if the project was finished in a glossy sheen or was polished. Projects finished with Goudey’s Beautylac III post catalyzed lacquer will require this advanced sanding unless it has not yet fully cured in which case the 770 P&VR will be strong enough to break down the finish.
Section III - Finishing / Refinishing
Can you apply Latex/ Acrylic based paints & Alkyd based paints over Goudey 825/888/889 Lacquer Primers?
They can both be applied over Goudey white lacquer primers. It is important to let the primer fully dry (approximately 8 hours) before applying the paint. This enables the primer to finish off-gassing its solvent. If you do not wait long enough, then the paint may wrinkle or take longer to dry. It is also important to sand the primer well with medium grit (150-220) sandpaper. Do not use fine grit (280-400) sandpaper because the surface will become too smooth for the primer to bond with which may cause the paint to delaminate.
Can you apply lacquer based top coats over paint? If yes, what kind of paint?
Lacquer based top coats may be applied over latex paint without any problems using the following recommendations:
- Allow the paint to dry thoroughly (preferably overnight)
- Sand it with 220 or 240 grit sandpaper to dull the finish which provides better adhesion for the lacquer.
- Apply light coats of lacquer to the painted surface and build up the finish gradually. The solvents in lacquers are harsh and can break down the paint if the top coats are applied too heavily and quickly.
What is the cloudy film that appeared in my lacquer top coat and how do I fix/prevent this?
The cloudy film in the lacquer is most likely moisture blush. This occurs when the air is more humid than normal when the top coat was applied. This can happen on a cold damp day in winter, a hot humid day in summer or during/after a heavy rainfall. During periods of high humidity, excess moisture gets trapped underneath the surface skin of the lacquer as its drying and creates a cloudy film.
If the cloudy film occurs only on the project’s edges or in localized areas where lacquer was applied more heavily, then lightly pad it out with a clean cotton lint free rag that is dampened with Goudey 700 Methyl Hydrate. This procedure opens up the surface skin allowing trapped moisture to escape.
If the entire surface is cloudy, spray a light mist coat of Goudey 788 Lacquer Reducer, 700 Methyl Hydrate or 734- Blush Retarder over the entire affected surface. This procedure will open up the lacquer’s surface skin to allow the trapped moisture to escape.
In order to prevent this problem, add Goudey 734 Blush Retarder (5%) with the Goudey 788 Lacquer Reducer that is being used to thin the lacquer when the humidity is high. This will increase the open time of the lacquer. Spraying lighter passes of finish will also help.
After I finished spraying my first coat of lacquer, crater-like spots appeared in the finish. What is the problem and how do I fix this?
The crater like spots are most likely what is referred to as “fish eyes.” “Fish eyes” are a reaction by the finish to contamination. Uncontaminated lacquer reacts to contaminated areas by pushing away from the source. The more finish coat applied, the bigger the “fish eye” becomes. Common sources of contamination are:
- water in the spray system lines from an un-bled compressor
- dirty rags
- an oily piece of steelwool
To fix fish eye, start by sanding the finish coat as closely to the surface as possible. It is important that the edges of the repelled finish be levelled without breaking through the coat of finish. There are two options at this point. The first option is to spray down a dust coat of finish onto the surface and let this set up for a few moments to cap the contamination. Follow this up with a light pass of finish and let it dry. If the contamination is capped, the finish coat will be blemish free. Continue applying light coats of finish to build up the film thickness. The second option after sanding is to contaminate the lacquer by adding a product called Slik. Add 4-6 drops per litre of finish and spray down a light coat of the contaminated lacquer and let this dry. The finish should be blemish free. Continue applying light to medium coats of the contaminated finish to build up the film thickness. The drawback to introducing contamination into the finish is that both the spray equipment and spray areas will be contaminated. If the finish is applied using a cup gun then it is a fairly simple to decontaminate the equipment. If fish eye is a reoccurring problem, consider using Slik on a continual basis.
After I finished spraying my base coats of finish to an oak dining room table top and let it dry, I noticed little holes in the surface that appear only in the grains. What is the problem and how can I fix it?
These little holes are what are referred to as pinholes and are almost always the result of applicator error. When spraying film finishes like lacquers and urethanes to deep grained woods like oak and ash, it is good practice to dilute the first sealing coats a touch more than your final coats and spray on these first coats with lighter wet passes. The grain profiles in oak are narrow and deep, so if you spray down heavy wet passes, air gets trapped in the deep grain pores as the finish is skin drying to the touch. The faster drying the finish, the more potential for pinholes because the trapped air can’t escape. When this occurs, you can usually see and feel a lot of bubbles in the finish. Sanding over these bubbles creates pinholes. There is no good technique to fill these pinholes and still maintain an attractive open grain finish. The best solution is to strip off the finish and start again.
I am spraying a piece of furniture in solid colour lacquer and the finish is cracking. What is the problem and how do I fix this?
One common cause is not allowing the base coats time to cure before the top coats are applied. This often occurs when base coats of primer or finish are applied too heavily and too quickly. In this situation, the basecoat may feel dry on the surface but it may still be soft underneath the film’s skin. Therefore, when the next coat of finish is applied, it will start to shrink back and the difference in surface tension between the under-cured basecoat and the newly applied top coat can cause the finish to crack. Pre-& post catalyzed lacquers require a longer time to cure and must be properly sanded in between coats of finish for proper adhesion.
Another common cause of cracking is spraying the finish and/or drying the project in a really cold environment.
To fix hairline or very shallow cracks, sand them out and spray another top coat down. If the cracks are deep, then the finish should be striped off and the project refinished.
Note: Cracking is a rare occurrence on newly sprayed pieces when finished with regular nitrocellulose lacquers. These types of lacquers are less plasticized and more flexible compared to pre & post catalyzed lacquer films. Therefore, they are less likely to crack.
Can you apply Goudey Pre-Catalyzed Lacquer (PC 10, 30, 50, 90) over Goudey Nitrocellulose Lacquers (905, 910, 953...)?
You can safely apply two light to medium top coats of PC lacquer over a project base coated or previously finished in NC lacquer. Adding more coats may cause the PC lacquer to crack or peel because of the difference in surface tension between the two types of lacquers.
If the project is a high wear piece such as a table top or if the piece has detailed moulding or sharp edges, the finish may chip or peel if the PC lacquer was applied too heavily too many times. This commonly occurs on both new and refinished works when the stronger, more water and heat resistant PC lacquer is sprayed over regular lacquer base coats. In this case, it is important to be mindful of the thickness of the film build. As usual, sanding well between coats is essential for success.
What products can you recommend for getting rid of overspray?
Goudey offers several products to remove or reduce overspray including:
- Wool Wax Gel Lubricant: an oil soap lubricant for steelwool.
- Lemon Oil: a solvent oil lubricant for steelwool or applied to a flannel wiping cloth for rubbing down the finish.
- Trade Secret Cream Polish: a silicon free polish that can be applied to a flannel wiping cloth for rubbing down a finish.
- Ultra fine White 3M Scotch Brite pads: used wet or dry for rubbing down a finish.
- 1200-1500 grit water sandpaper: used wet or dry to sand out heavy overspray.
- Flannel Wipers: the best cloth wiper for rubbing off overspray and rubbing down a finish.
What products can you recommend to quickly clean up and touch up the finish on old millwork and worn areas on furniture?
Goudey carries an extensive line of Dover touch up products to quickly clean up and touch up millwork and furniture including:
- Trade Secret Scratch Remover (Dark): This is a coloured furniture polish that you apply in one step with a cloth wiper to freshen up the finish or colour hairline scratches in the finish. It can be used on millwork, baseboards & door trims, and furniture that are medium to dark in stain colour.
- Touch Up Markers: They are available in a variety of colours and can be used to colour worn or broken edges and light scratches on millwork and furniture.
- Furniture Crayons: They are available in a variety of colours and can be used to fill in small dents and gouges on both millwork and furniture.
- Lacquer based Aerosols: They are available in a variety of transparent colours (clear, white, off white, and black) and sheens. They can be used to tone in, replace and recoat the worn areas on furniture.
- Lemon Oil: This is a good quick cleaner/ moisturizer for tired looking millwork and furniture.
- Goudey 718 V&M P Naphtha: This is an excellent solvent for washing down really dirty finished wood surfaces before you start to touch them up or if you are going to reapply a finish over the existing one.
What products can you recommend to clean and maintain good furniture and antiques?
Trade Secret Furniture Cleaner & Polish is a silicon-free cream polish that works extremely well. It does not build up on the furniture like paste wax. A little goes a long way and it has a pleasant scent.
Lemon Oil has been used on fine furniture for years with good reason. It cleans and moisturizes the finish leaving no build up on the surface. If your living environment is really dry, lemon oil is more helpful to prevent the finishes on antique furniture from drying out and checking.
Fine flannel wiping cloths are the best cloth to use for dusting your furniture. Lightly moisten the cloth with water; just enough to tack up the dust and applying light pressure only, wipe down your furniture. This is fine for bi-weekly or monthly dusting routines.
What are the proportions for making a lacquer shader using Goudey pigmented wiping stains and NGR alcohol stains?
A general recommendation to start with when making a shader using pigmented wiping stains is to use the following proportions:
- Pigmented stain: 5% to 15%
- Lacquer Reducer: 75% to 80%
- Lacquer: 5% to 10 %
No two finishers spray alike and differing techniques and colour goals will affect these proportions. Therefore, some experimentation will be required to determine what is right for each individual. For example, some finishers choose not to add the clear lacquer portion to their shader. This may work well for them, but not for others. It is important to note that pigmented stain has a higher hiding effect than the NGR alcohol stains. The more passes you do, the muddier the shader becomes.
A general recommendation to start with when making a shader using the NGR alcohol stains is to use the following proportions:
- NGR stain: 5% to 25%
- Lacquer Reducer: 50% to 75%
- Lacquer: 5% to 10%
As stated above, some experimentation will be required to determine what is right for each individual. The solvent NGR stains are dissolved in blends better and flashes off quicker than the solvent used in the pigmented wiping stains. This allows for the percentage of stain to be higher in the NGR shader than in the pigmented stain shader.