Tenhulzen Painting focuses on wood finishing, wood refinishing & wood restoration systems.
The key to quality results and a beautiful end product starts with prep work. Part of prep work is making sure you have the appropriate answers to all of your questions. All projects have many different elements that will affect the overall process and application that should be used. It is best when the person performing the work prepares himself or herself prior to starting any job. We will start very general in this section and then move into more specifics in a later article.
Proper wood preparation:
1. It is always good to know what specific type of wood you are working with to ensure you approach the project with the appropriate mindset. Different types of woods behave differently under the preparation phase. Some woods are harder, some are softer and if you use the wrong process or materials you can cost yourself dearly;
2. Know what you are going for; what should the end result look like. We like to accomplish this by putting finished samples in front of our clients for both color, density and sheen accuracy. We then produce a sample on their specific piece from there. These samples could be related to cabinetry, furniture, railings, tongue & groove ceilings, decks, posts and beams, log homes, and whatever else may be called for. The important piece is to make sure you have an end result signed off on before tackling the entire project with what may be your idea of what it should look like.
3. Follow the specific instructions set forth on the products to be used, whether that be sandpaper, stripping agents, bleaches, cleaners, oils, sanding sealers, conditioners, dye's, etc.
Selecting color coats for the job:
1. Many of us in the industry are limited in our knowledge and in our experience using the multitude of products available in the marketplace. I know some people that have way more knowledge that I have and crank out the facts and know the best application for every situation, however they may not have the best business sense about them. Now that you know that I am limited in my knowledge and have nothing to prove, I can share with you openly what I do know and what works.
2. Again, you want to be working from an end result for a clients end goal of what their finished product should look like. Depending on the color, depth and tone of the stain you will want to use different systems and approaches.
3. I recently had to stain a white maple railing a much darker burgundy or Mahogany color. When you are trying to achieve a dark color it is not always the best idea to apply a sealer coat like Benite to the wood because the stains will then not penetrate as much as you would like them to. In this instance I had to wet the wood with water to open the grain, sand it lightly with 220 grit to slightly smooth the rougher hairs of the wood and then use the Daly's water based Aniline stain in order to get a base color coat. I then had to go over the Aniline stain with the oil wood stain to achieve the final darker color.
4. Once your desired color is achieved you will need to finish it with the appropriate top coat or protectant coat.
Finish coats or Protective coats:
1. In the case above it was not appropriate for me to use my go to water based product Seafin Aquaspar Marine Varnish, because it tends to reactivate the water based aniline stain. So instead I had to go with an oil based product like Profin or a lacquer product.
2. In this case I decided to minimize my brushing efforts and dry time delays and elected to use a sanding sealer and the ML Campbell lacquer top coats out of the aerosol cans.
With a light sand using 400 grit between coats as usual, the final product turned out looking beautiful.
I look forward to getting deeper into the process of wood finishing systems with you and while you learn I too will learn better. Thank you for the opportunity.