Finishing Advice Main

How to finish hardwood worktops

Oak, beech and other high quality hardwoods are being used extensively for kitchen worktops in place of laminates. Here’s how they are protected from damage.

One of the best known methods of maintaining natural wood is to use oils such as Finest Danish Oil but this requires regular reoiling and carries the risk of creating a finish which looks too shiny. Make sure that after the oil is wiped onto the wood the surplus is wiped off to reduce build up. Leave to dry fully before further applications.

A more modern remedy is to use Hardwax oil which offers higher protection but can vary tremendously in quality and appearance between manufacturers. For a silky waxed feel with a matt / satin finish and increased protection over traditional oils use Finney’s Microporous Hardwax Oil. For a matt finish use instead OSMO Top Oil Matt.

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Main Products

How to choose compatible stains & polishes

Have you ever tried varnishing stained wood and found the colour coming off as you work?

  • Or perhaps the varnish you’ve used starts to flake a few days later?
  • Or maybe you’ve tried waxing or oiling stained wood but the end result turns out really patchy?

If any of these have happened to you, you need to find out more about choosing compatible wood stains.

Choosing a wood stain which is compatible with the finish you’re using is essential to properly polishing wood.

Rule No.1
Select a stain which has a different base to the polish, e.g. Colron Wood Dye (oil based – White Spirits) followed by FINPOL Easy Polish (Methylated spirits based).

Rule No.2
If there’s no choice but to use a stain with the same base as the finish then add your own binding agent. To do this just add around 15% to 20% of the finish you’re using into the stain before applying (they must have the same base). Stir well before use. e.g. Finney’s Durapolish Clear Glaze (oil based) 15% plus Finney’s Professional Naphtha Stain (oil based) 85% followed by Finney’s Durapolish Clear Glaze (oil based).

Rule No.3
Alternatively you can “sandwich” a layer between the stain and the final finish using a product which has a different base. e.g. Colron Wood Dye (oil based) followed by Finney’s Shellac Sanding Sealer (methylated spirits based) followed by Finney’s Superior Finishing Wax (oil based).

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Main Renovation & Maintenance

Quickly removing old paint & varnish

Removing a finish by sanding or hot air guns is effective, if tedious, but there is a real risk of damaging delicate mouldings and fine details using these methods. In addition each can create a health risk through dust or fumes, especially if you’re removing pre 1960’s paint which contains lead.

The third way of removing an old finish is to use a good paint and varnish remover. This type of product varies tremendously. Finney’s Extra Strength Trade Stripper is one of the most effective paint and varnish removers on the market.

How to use Finney’s Extra Strength Trade Stripper:

  • Apply using a brush so that the surface coating becomes softened. Apply a second coat if necessary! Do not allow the paint stripper to dry out.
  • Test with a chisel scraper, and if sufficiently softened remove as much of the finish from flat surfaces scraping surplus into a newspaper for disposal. Always wear category three safety gloves.
  • Before the stripper dries out, dip up a pad of either No.1or No.2 Steel Wool (delicate work) or No.3 or No.4 Steel Wool (coarse work) into more stripper to scrub out along the grain and in corners.
  • When all of the old finish has been removed, wash down in White Spirits to clean the surface and neutralise the stripper.
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