Something that I haven't quite got the gist of doing well yet.
How to stain a flat board **without** getting drips down the sides or
staining the sides of the board so that it turns out with the same finish as
the top and sides.
Problem I run into is that the sides of the board are typically without
grain, so you end up with a uniform color - unlike the top where the grain
takes varying degrees of color from the stain.
Second question, correlation to the first, applying a polyeurothane coat to
the stain. If I want it done right it takes about 3 days to do - flat part
of board, dry 5 hours, then do sides, dry for 5 hours, flip, bottom, dry for
5. Sand, and repeat as needed. I seriously want to do the whole board and
set it on a wire rack to dry, but inevitably I get pools of coating on the
bottom of the board where the finish slowly accumulates.
There are a couple of strategies for clean edges.
1. Coat the edge with shellac first. If it drips to the flat face,
just sand it afgter it's dry, about an hour.
2. Sand or cut the edges after staining.
For somewhat faster finishing, with poly, you can try a wipe on poly.
You should never leave enough on the surface per coat so it drips to
the edge, you can do all sides and rest the piece (lightly) on a bed
of nails as it dries.
Yeah. it's not a perfect solution but better than a typical rack. If
the wipe on is thin enough and your careful enough it works out OK.
I've actually done it more often with lacquer or painted pieces. I did
it first on project I didn't care so much about the back side (can't
remember exactly what it was but I remember the process (Lacquer will
do that to you)). I had a bunch of long strips and I needed to coat
both sides quickly. So I made a bed of screws actually and the Red Oak
grain pretty much hide any pin holes because I couldn't find even one
after I was done but I did see the thumb marks where I flipped the
pieces so I know the lacquer was still pretty wet.
They aren't without grain, the grain is just different. If you want
more color variation on the edges try combing with a comb, then wipe
lightly with a rag. Might have to dip the comb in thinner first. Or
just wipe off some in a differential manner.
You are putting on too much finish. Some suggestions...
Never - NEVER- move your brush across the edge toward the center of
the board. That will scrape off a flood of finish.
When I do a board I start at the junction of one end and a side and
apply the finish so that my brush is gradually running off the side
edge. Doing that means that there will be a little more finish on the
top along the edge. I then go back and brush lengthwise holding the
brush so it is touching the entire side and overlapping the top a bit.
That pulls off the edge pool on the top and puts it on the edge. It
also spreads any drips that ran down from the top. After a minute or
two, I run my finger along the bottom edge to wipe off any drips there
may be. I do that more than once at intervals. Actually, I am sort
of bending my finger so that it is not only wiping the bottom but the
bottom edge is depressing the finger flesh a bit and that smooths out
any finish accumulation on the side at the bottom. If necessary (it
usually isn't) I also use a small brush to smooth the edges.
After that side and edges are dry, I flip the board. If there are any
drips on that side - a very rare occurance - I chisel/sand them off.
I also sand the edges smooth. I then repeat what I did for the other
side except that this time when I wipe the bottom edge to get any
drips I *also* wipe the edges.
The small brush I mentioned earlier is an artist's brush with very
fine hair (squirrel? sable?). They aren't cheap but are very useful.
I have a 1/2" and a 1", use the 1/2" the most.
There is no way to finish 2 sides and 2 edges of a board at the same
time without suspending it from brackets by nails into the ends.
That sounds about like what I typically do. From the looks of it I suspect
I just need to cut down on the amount of finish applied - take it a little
slower and not slop it on. Really its not like I'm gloppping it on there,
and I always start from the center and work outward so that the brush is
pretty dry by the time it hits the edges. So it sounds like my problem is
in the clean up - not wiping down enough and perhaps changing to a better
brand of finish - one that's not so runny. Right now I'm using Minwax -
gives it a decent surface look, but it is rather watery - and it also has a
tendency to remove the stain from the board. Perhaps a tad too much solvent
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