Toning In—Toning Out

This artwork was taken from a three-page article that I wrote back in 1999—that was only 16 years ago. In this month’s article, I thought I would write a little about my past in the art of furniture touch-up and finishing. Some of you may not believe this, but when I began selling touch-up and

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Quality Control Takes Team Work

This article is an example of how things usually go. I cannot count the times that I received a phone call requesting a salesman come by, and then making an appointment to visit their factory to consult on quality control. Here is an interesting story from the very beginning. I was entering the factory driveway. It

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The Basics for Color Touch Up

As a former finisher, and then a finishing salesman, I always enjoyed teaching others the tricks and shortcuts that I learned over my 50 years as a furniture serviceman, finisher, and refinisher, restorer, salesman, and then author of hundreds of articles on furniture touch-up and finishing. Over those many years I could not count the

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I’m The Boss—You’re The Horse

I thought that I would write an article on a few bizarre jobs that I was asked to do when I was working as a finisher in two different shops, although I had many more of these “bizarre jobs” in my career. Most retail furniture stores take pride in the furniture that they sell, that’s

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The Resourceful Clear Acrylic Coatings

When I first started out in the finishing trade the most commonly used coatings were the nitrocellulose lacquers – the clear and most colors, shellac clear, orange, black and white, varnish, interior and exterior spar varnish. I want to mention that I am only talking about the territory that I covered on Long Island, NY

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The Old Grey Barn Wood Finish

I am sure that you have seen some “old grey weathered barns and houses.” Well, one day I was asked by a customer if there was any way that he could “age” some woods to give them that weathered appearance. He told me that weathered woods are hard to come by, plus the prices were

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Understanding Finishing Problems

Finishing problems are usually a “cause and effect” condition—with a little detective work you can discover the causes and then correct these problems. Blushing This condition appears as a white clouding in the coating. It is usually caused by moisture content in the air, on the woods, or in the finishing materials. You should also

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Easy Does It—All the Time (Gold and Silver Leafing)

I write this article “tongue in cheek” so take it for whatever its worth. I do not intend to degrade or make less to all those talented craftsmen that I knew, heard of, or read about in many magazines. I write this article as part humorous and part as a teaching technique for showing how

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It’s the Finishers Choice

There is an old saying by Sir Winston Churchill “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” I had an idea for another finishing article, but this saying kept coming back to me because it’s so true. It goes back to the early 1960’s when I was working for a large

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A Quick Lesson in Furniture Repair—Part Two

I ended the first part of my last article (A Quick Lesson in Furniture Repair) with this sentence: Selecting the right filler for each job will depend on the things that I mentioned above, you also have to select filler that will be cured so that you can complete the service call. In some cases,

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