" " wisno wood furniture finishing: November 2010

Monday, November 29, 2010

Crack in the wood furniture

 crack in the wood furniture

The wood cracked in the furniture is the quite common problems in the wood furniture industry. Wood is a hygroscopic substrate; he will always absorb or release its moisture content when he is exposed in open air. The wood always try to balancing its moisture content with the humidity of his environment. The wet wood will release its moisture, while the dry wood will absorb the water from the environment air to balance its moisture content with the humidity of the air environment. It means that the moisture content in wood will change to follow the humidity of its environment. And the changes in the wood moisture content will always followed with the movement of the wood. Wood will shrinkage when he release its moisture, and expand when he absorb water. The volume of the wood movement will vary depend on the type of the wood, direction and the length. If the movement of timber is quite big it will result in crack on the wood. 
Since the wood movement was mainly influenced by its moisture content, many effort are intended to keep the moisture content in the wood is stable. The finishing process is one way to make the moisture content in the wood become more stable. The layer of finishing materials will coat and cover the wood pores and grains and reducing the wood sensitivity to its environment.
But sometimes there many cases of broken wood or veneer in the finished furniture are still happened. It usually occurs when wet wood is used to manufacture the furniture. Finishing layer that coats the wood surface may help to stop the water outside to come into the wood, but it always cannot withstand the water from inside the wood to release. Therefore to prevent the crack problem it always recommended is to control the moisture content of the wood properly. The wood moisture content should be as close as possible to the in the wood moisture content of the wood in the balancing with the air humidity in the area where furniture products will be used. To find out how much wood moisture content required it can be seen from the graph of wood moisture content vs. air humidity environment.
The humidity of course will vary for depend on the area. The humidity also changes according to the season. The best way to make wood furniture is to place the wood in the area where the furniture will be used for a year until the wood adapts with the environment. But of course this process is not economical for the furniture industry. The furniture manufacturer may be located in a certain area but he always need to be able to send his products to all over the world.

Here are the things that must be considered to reduce the wood crack problem.
  • Do adequate drying process in wood.
Make sure the wood or veneer is already dry enough before processed. The ideal moisture content is the balanced wood moisture content according with the humidity of the area where the furniture will be used. It may be rather difficult, but the wood moisture content maximum 12 % is usually enough for much area in the world. There are some areas that may have an extreme condition that need special wood m.c. More about the recommended wood m.c. can be viewed at our article: the moisture content in the woodworking industry.
  • Make a construction that can tolerate the possibility of movement on the connections and joints.
The wood movement is still highly possible happened on the furniture products. So we better  anticipate to the wood movement by adjusting the construction. If it is possible it is better to design the furniture in the shape and construction that give room is for the wood movement possibility. 
  • Do finishing process for both sides, especially for the wide and large surface. 
The finishing layer will reduce the porosity of the wood. The finished surface will less sensitive with the environment. The wood panel that finished only in the one side is not balanced and high risk of bending or cracking. It is always recommended to finish both sides of every wood panels. The back side doesn’t need to be finish as good as the front surface, 2 or 3 layer of clear coating is usually enough to balancing with the front side.
  • Control the moisture content since the beginning of process.
The moisture content of the wood should be correct from the beginning of process. The drying process after the furniture is built is always followed with the dimension changes. It will cause quality problems such as: crack, uneven surfaces, bent, unfit door, etc. 
Do the control of the moisture content in the beginning, check the moisture content of every pieces of wood before they are laminated, glued, machined or other processed. It will help to reduce the wasting time since of wood movement problems.  

 PSI MMETER2 Digital Readout Moisture Meter

Woodworking tools to make furniture

Friday, November 26, 2010

The types of clear coating in the wood finishing

Clear coat, clear coatings.
Clear coat or clear coating is a coating in the clear form (no color). The coating is a finishing material made of the mixture of resin that can produce a hard film layer to coat and protect its substrate underneath. Clear coatings  are modern finishing material, together with oil varnish and shellac they have function to form film layer in the finishing. If shellac or oil may be obtained from the home industries, the clear coating is mostly produced by the modern industry of finishing materials manufacturers with the modern technology and  production system.
This material is available in many types and increasingly developing in accordance with the development finishing materials technology. According to its function, the clear coat can be classified into: top coat, flow coat, sealer and wash coat.
The type of clear coatings are determined by the mixture of resins in it, while the properties of clear coat are mainly determined by its main resins in the mixture.

Here are the types of clear coatings are the most widely used in wood finishing industry:

  •   Nitrocellulose clear coating, lacquer
It is a clear coating with the nitrocellulose resin as its major ingredient. It is a type of clear coating that is very easy to be handled and used in the wood finishing industry. The clear coating can dry fast at room temperature, easily to be resolve and revised if necessary. The dry film produced films have the highest clarity compared to the other types of clear coatings. This material can produce a finish with a clear, beautiful appearance with a thin, natural looked film finish.
This clear coating is very popular because it can produce the most beautiful finishing appearance. It is suitable for use in the furniture finishing that put priority to the appearance and such as indoor furniture products especially for high-end furniture.
The disadvantages of this material are a relatively low resistance to the scratches, heat and solvent. This clear coat also has a low resistance to ultraviolet light; its film layer will yellowing after a certain time. Find it more in our previous article: Lacquer finish for wood furniture

  •  Acrylic clear coating,  butyrate clear coating, non-yellowing lacquer
It is a clear coating made from a mixture of butyrate and acrylic resin as its main ingredients. The film layer resulted has a higher resistance to the ultraviolet light, so it won’t be yellowing as the NC clear coating film. This material has the properties similar with the NC clear coating. It is quick to dry at room temperature, can be resolved and produce a natural and thin film. The resulting film does not turn yellow, but not as clear as the NC clear coat.
This material is suitable for use in finishing the colors for white and light color when the yellowing of the film layer will disturb the appearance of the finishing color.
As well as lacquer finish, the coating film has a relatively low resistance to solvents, scratches and heat. See our article: butyrate clear coating

  • Acid curing clear coating, melamine, conversion varnish.
It is a clear coating that contains amino resin therein. The resulting film can not be resolved, hard, strong and has high resistant to heat, scratch and solvent. It is widely used for furniture finishing on products that require a more powerful film layer such as dining table, kitchen cabinets and furniture products to hotels or bars. This clear coat consist of 2 components the clear coating and the hardener. Both materials must be mixed with certain composition when it is applied.
This material will release a toxic formaldehyde gas in the drying process. The resulting film layer can be thicker than the lacquer finish. The application that is too thick tend to produce too thick film, resulted a plastic looked finish. Find it more in our previous article : Acid curing clear coating

  •  Precatalyzed clear coating.
It is the development of acid curing or conversion varnish. This material is similar to the acid curing but is packed in one component form, so it can be handled more easily.
The resulting film is stronger than the lacquer finish more resistant to the solvent, but still less strong compared with the 2 components acid curing. Find it more in our article: Precatalyzed clear coating

  •  Polyurethane clear coating.
It is a clear coating that is made of urethane resin as its main component. The polyurethane that is most widely used for wood finishing is the 2 component polyurethane coating. This clear coating produces a strong and hard film coating which has a high resistance to solvents, high heat and scratches. It also can produce thicker film compared with the NC or AC clear coating. The PU clear coating is suitable for the finishing on furniture products that require high durability, such as hotel furniture, bar furniture and even to wood floor. This material is also widely used for the process of finishing on furniture products that require thick and high gloss film finish.
This material consists of 2 components of material the coating material and the isocyanate as the catalyst. The isocyanate as hardener will spur the cross linking reactions to form the dry and hard film layer. This clear coating is relatively difficult to be handled since it has a long drying time. It also releases isocyanate gas a toxic fume in the drying process. See our article : Polyurethane coating for wood furniture

  • UV clear coating
It is a clear coat that the dry with a polymerization reaction that spurred by the ultraviolet light. This material will produce a very strong and hard film. Its film layer has a very high resistance to scratches, heat and solvent. This material is relatively expensive and somewhat difficult to be applied on furniture since it requires an UV lamp oven that only work effectively for the flat panel.
This clear coat is more widely used for flat panels. For the flat surfaces  the roller application will result on a high efficiency of material consumption. The UV clear coating is most widely used for finish the wood parquet flooring. See our article:  UV coating for wood finishing

  •   Water base clear coating.
It is a clear coating material that uses water as its main solvent. This material became very popular because it is the finishing material that is considered environmentally friendly. Many peoples use this material for finishing process to the furniture product replacing the thinner base clear coating.
Water based clear coating will produce a film layer that is stronger than NC but still less strength then the AC or PU or UV coating. This material is used water as its main thinner. It makes the drying process run slowly and highly influenced by the environment humidity. When the weather is dry and hot, the drying process can be very quickly, but when the environment air is wet and humid the drying process will be very slowly happened. See our article: water based coating for wood furniture

  •   Polyester clear coating.
It is the clear coating with the polyester resin as its main component. The coating consist of 3 components, the coating, hardener and thinner. They are must be mixed immediately before its application since it has very short pot life time. It is relatively difficult to be handled and very rarely used in the wood finishing industry. This material is able to produce a very strong finishing layer with high thickness. The material is mostly used in the finishing process to make a clean, high gloss finish with a thick layer of film. See our previous article: polyester coating for wood furniture


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Brushing the varnish in the wood finishing

The varnish as finishing materials is already well known. The varnish  as a clear coating can be applied by brushed. It makes the varnish is more flexible, it can be applied in a condition where there is no facility for spray application. But however, although the brush application is considered a simple process, it has to be done with the correct procedure to obtain good results. To master the skill of brushing the varnish, we need do lot of exercising and practicing.
Following are the things to be considered in the varnish application by brush.
The preparations.

  •  Preparation of materials.
Prepare the varnish as well as possible, choose a type of varnish that best suits to the finishing requirement. Now there are currently available varieties of varnish, each has advantages and disadvantages. Each type of varnish has different specifications and we have to choose the proper varnish according to the quality and requirement of the finishing layer. Consult with varnish suppliers about the specifications that we want so we can obtain the proper varnish.
Always check the condition of varnish before use. Read technical data; the expired date, the mixing method, the viscosity, drying time, and other technical data. Do a good stirring, and thin it with mineral spirit or turpentine if necessary.

  •  Preparation of the tools.
The brush is the main tool we need. This time there are also available brush in a variety of types and sizes. Choose a brush that is best suited for the application of the varnish. The lacquer or paint brush, a brush type with the flat and thick tip is the suitable brush for varnish application.
Make sure the brush is used in good condition and has the size matches with the surfaces that will be varnished. The brush that is too wide or too small will make the varnish application becomes more difficult.

  •  Check the condition of the environment.
An environmental condition is one factor that will affect the coating result. The ideal condition for the application of varnish is at a temperature between 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit. Varnish can be applied in the higher temperature but the temperature that is too hot it may cause some problem. Too low temperature will make the drying varnish will be slower.
The humidity is also the environmental factor that must be considered. Too high humidity will make the evaporation becomes slower happened, while the low humidity will make the varnish drying faster. The extreme conditions sometimes cause problems in the application varnish. We may need to adjust the varnish by adding some more solvent of additive to adjust with the environment condition. If it happens then we need to discuss with the varnish supplier to find the best adjustment.
To obtain good results then varnish applications also require a clean environment and free of dust room. The existence of dust and dirt in the air will stick to the wet varnish and produce a rough or dirty surface.
Although it must be free of dust, but the room for the varnish application should not be fully closed. The drying process of varnish always needs good air circulation. The drying is the release of varnish solvents into the air environment. The air that is already saturated with the solvent vapor cannot receive solvent vapor anymore so it need to be flowed and replaced with new fresh air.
  •  Preparation of the unfinished goods.
A proper checking should be done to the unfinished good accordance with the desired quality. Is the shape and size are correct? Are the doors and drawers already fit? Are the  leg are already flat? Etc.
Check also the sanding, make sure the surface has sanded and well prepared. Make sure that the surface is already clean, even and smooth. Do touch ups such as filling with putty or wood insertion in the dent, gap or crack.

Brushing the varnish.

After all the preparation is well done, then we can begin to do the process of brushing the varnish.

Dip the tip of a brush on varnish mixture. Brush must be dip until the whole tip is wet and load  enough amount of varnish. The load of varnish need be able to produce the wet and average coat. But the dipping a brush also can not be too deep because of too much varnish on the brush will cause the varnish to flow and drip.
Then brush the varnish to the surface evenly. First time stroke the wet brush in direction along the grain to the whole surface, and then follow with brushing in opposite direction (stroke the brush across the grain direction). Then use a dry brush to smooth the wet varnish with the brush stroke along with the wood grain direction.
Wait until the varnish coating is dry. Usually it takes 1 hour to 2 hours. The drying time of the varnish may vary depends on the type of varnish and environmental conditions.
The first application of varnish usually produces a film layer with uneven thickness and rough surface. This is very normal since the wood surface usually has variety porosity. The more porous surface will absorb more varnish and leave thinner film. Rough surface is due to the raising up and harden of the wood fiber with dry varnish.
Several coat of varnish is required to obtain a smooth and even film. Sand the dry varnish with #360 or #280 grade sandpaper to cut the stiff wood fibers and get the smooth surface. Then re apply the varnish with the same method as the first application.
Two or 3 times varnish applications is usually needed to produce a smooth and even surface, but it also depend on the quality of varnish and the porosity of the wood surface.


Monday, November 22, 2010


What varnish is
According with the wikipedia, varnish is defined as a transparent material, hard, and protective finish or film primarily used in wood finishes and other finishing. Based on this definition, the varnish has a very broad scope. All finishing materials that produce a transparent layer and protective film are included in the category of varnish. The modern clear coatings such as: Nitrocellulose, Acid curing, PU, Acrylic, Water based can be referred as the varnish, together with film-forming traditional finishing materials such as shellac and oil varnish.
It can be explained easily by looking at the historical of finishing materials development in the past. In earlier times when the technology of finishing materials was still developing, the wood finishing material that could displayed the beauty of wood grain and color were only the oil and wax finish. But the oil and wax were not able to generate a layer of film that can give protection to  the substrate underneath. While the other finishing that could provide better protection was the paint finish. Paint finish might give a better layer finish that can protect the substrate underneath but could not produce a transparent appearance to show the beauty of the natural wood grain and color. Until when people found varnish, a material that is developed from the of oil varnish finish. The varnish is a clear film layer that can make a transparent finish that can show the beauty of the natural base color and the grain of the wood. Since then, every finishing with a transparent film is associated with varnish.
Varnish (oil varnish) is made from oil finish that is cooked and chemically processed with some additional material, resin, solvent and other materials. The mixture composition of the varnish will determine the strength, quality and character of the varnish. A varnish with a large percentage of oil is called as long oil varnish and will produce more elastic and durable film finish. Meanwhile the varnish with little percentage oil is called short oil varnish. This varnish will produce tougher but less elastic film finish. Between the short oil and long oil varnish there is a medium oil varnish the general properties is between both.

Various kinds of varnish.

Varnish materials are available in many types and also various grades of quality. The higher grade varnish, the more transparent and more serviceable but usually is also more expensive. Varnish is also available in various types which each has its advantages and disadvantages. But, to do the proper selection we need to know the types of varnish and the basic character of each. 

These are the following types of varnish which mostly used in the wood finishing.
  •  Spar varnish.
As the name implies spar varnish was originally meant to be used as materials to coat the wood on the ship. Therefore, the varnish is designed to withstand the hot sunlight, cold nights, and rain in the extreme outdoor weather and even against salt water. Now spar varnish is also widely used to coat furniture or wood products that are used for outdoor purposes. Garden furniture, windows or doors that are exposed to the sunlight and outdoor weather are the items that are suited with this finish.
Spar varnish is a long oil varnish. It will form a film layer that is elastic, durable and high resistant to the outdoor weather but it requires a long drying time.

  • Floor varnish.
This is a medium oil varnish. It has a high strength and elasticity, although not as good spar varnish. This material is designed for finishing for the wooden. It is strong enough to withstand the severe abrasion due to the foot and shoes and also a strong enough to hold heavy objects like furniture that are placed thereon. This varnish also resist to the moderate use of cleaning water. This material requires a relatively long drying time, but still less then the spar varnish. Although quite strong, but this varnish will fade after the floor is used for some time, since that a re application of this varnish is often needed.
  •  Finishing varnish (furniture varnish)
This varnish refers to the varnish for furniture finishing. This is short oil varnish. It is drying faster and tougher but less elastic. This varnish is hard enough to be rubbed to make a high gloss finish. This varnish is more proper to finish for the indoor furniture. The use of this varnish is mostly in the combination with other finishing material. The finishing process with varnish combine with stains, glaze, shellac and other modern finishing materials are quite commonly found in the furniture finishing industry today. 

Friday, November 19, 2010

Oil problem on teak wood furniture.

Have you ever met the problem of oil coming out of the wood or veneer? Some types of wood such as rosewood, teak, and pine contain oil therein. The oil will come out and interrupt the  finishing result. Teak is one type of wood has very strong oil inside. The oil in the teak wood is very strong and sometime ruins the finishing on it. Here is my experience with teak oil from the teak wood. Please read this story and feel the experience.

One day I was called by a furniture factory to make some color on the teak wood. He sent some teak wood panels to our office. He asked me to make some color panels to be shown to his buyer. The factory was located in Semarang and exports its products to England. After few years sending the unfinished product, he wanted to try sending the finished furniture product. He was going to make some finished product to his buyer and called us to make color finish to his furniture. I received the panels and made two color to him.  One panel was dark brown  and another panel color was light brown, both are transparent finish. I sent those two panels to the factory to be reviewed.
The furniture factory was immediately approved the color that I made and he chosen a color that was a transparent light brown color to be used in his furniture product. He asked us to finish some sample products.
Then we went to the factory to do finishing process on some goods. There were 2 chairs and a small table that were ready to be finished. We finished the samples in 2 days. And then they were sent to England to be reviewed his buyer. It was taken about 1 month by the sample to arrived in England.
About 1 month later we got word that our samples look nice and well liked. Since that his buyer asked for more finished product. He sent some new color panels to be matched and used as a color guide to some other products.
The factory then called us to do the finishing process some more products. There were about 200 products that need to be finished.  All were made of teak wood. There were three colors we need to do. One color is the light brown transparent color we had already made; the other two were new finished. One id dark brown and the other is wash white finish. They all  are done in NC finished.
Finally we finished the process in about 1 week. In the end we could complete the project on schedule. All products were sent in accordance with the schedule.

That project was our regular works as a service company, so after we finished that project then we started to forget it and went through on other activities. Until then we got massage that there was finishing problem on the furniture we sent. There was oil that came out and damaged the finish.
I went to the factory to meet with the owner to discuss about this problem. We observed the furniture we sent and check the finished we did. We reviewed the color panels that we finished together with product samples. And in fact was true, in our color panel with white wash finish there was oil coming out from the grains. The yellow brownish color oil was obviously looked and very disturbing the appearance of the finishing. The oil actually was also come true from other brown color finish. But since the finish was transparent brown then it was not so obviously and was not disturbing the finishing looked.
It matched with the information we got from our buyer. Then we took the conclusion that the teak oil was out and disrupt the performance in the white wash color. Fortunately, the product were prepared for exhibition, finally the sample with white color wash was not exhibited and replaced with another product.

Since this
incident I am always careful in do finishing on the teak wood and some other oily wood. I already did some research about the teak oil, but until now I still prefer to not finish the teak wood and even teak veneer in the finish color at which has high risk of oil problem.  The solid color or wash color finish especially the white color is very high risk to get oil problems. Some finishing material supplier already makes a special material called oil block to block and stops the teak oil. But as my experience the materials still cannot guarantee that it can 100% omit the oil problem. If there any customer come to me and asking for solid color on teak wood I always suggest him to make another color or use another wood instead of teak wood.
In my opinion, the teak wood should nod be finished in solid color.  Solid color finish for teak wood instead of the high risk of the oil problem is also will kill the nice, beauty and natural grain looked. The teak wood is also too expensive to be finished in solid color, since there are many other wood can substitute the teak wood with less risk. 
The same thing with the wash finish for teak wood.  The wash finish may  give a nice finish, since it will enhance the beauty the teak wood grain and pores, but since its oil risk it also should be  avoided. 

 Unique Arts Smudge Pot - Medium

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Water base stain

Water base stain is a type of stain which is used water as its main solvent. Water base stain one of the water base finishing materials which becomes trend in the finishing industry today. The material use water as its major solvent. It is considered as the environmentally friendly finishing material. The issue of environmental degradation and climate change has force the finishing industry society to use the materials and system that is considered as more environmentally friendly. This reason makes the water base finishing materials become increasingly popular. Water based stains as the part of the water base finishing material also become popular and be  liked by many peoples.
Actually the water base finishing materials technology has been known since long time ago. Started in about 1970, there many water base coating or waterborne materials are introduced to the finishing industry, but there are lot or limitation that restricted the uses of the material. Today,  after much development have been carried out. The finishing material have much better performance than when it was first introduced.
The water base stain is a finishing material used to form a color in a process of finishing. According to the type of finish that is produced then there are 2 types of water base stain that are the water based wood stain and water base paint.
  •  Water based wood stain, water based stain.
That is a water based stain used to color the wood to make a transparent color finishing. It is thin and usually applied directly to the wood. It is made from organic pigment as its main ingredient diluted in water and little amount of solvent. This stain produces a bright and transparent coloration. This stain will also penetrate and absorbed by the wood as well as other organic pigmented stain. This stain can be applied in various ways such as: by spray, brush, dipped or wiped. It is can also be applied under many type of clear coating such as: NC, PU and AC as well as the water base coating. The stain is available in various colors except white. We can mix this stain can be mixed to produce the desired color if necessary. The principle of this stain mixing can be done by using the triangle color theory.
  •  Water based paint, water based base coat.
It is a stain that is used to make solid color (opaque color) finish. This stain is thick form as well as the other base coat, paint or enamel. Water based paint is made from inorganic pigment mix with a water based clear coating as binder. This material can be applied over raw wood or sealer to generate a solid color. It is available in a variety of colors including white. If necessary, it can be mixed to make the required color using the color triangle theory principle.

The uses of water based stain.

The water base stain principally is the same with other stain, but since the stain use water as its major solvent then he has some unique characters. 

  • Choose the appropriate color stain according with the desired color.
The stain is applied in the finishing process to form color. Therefore, the stain must be selected in base on the basic color of the wood and the final color desired. Use the triangle theory to choose the right stain color.
  •  The unfinished wood should be dry.
Water based stain contains water in its mixture.  The application to the wood means that the wood is wet with water. The dry wood will make the drying process can occur relatively easy and fast. But if the wood is still wet, then drying stain will be difficult and slowly happened.
  •  The environmental conditions.
Drying process is the evaporation of water into the air. In a hot and dry environment, the water evaporation process can easily and quickly happen. But at the humid weather the environment air is full with water vapor and no longer receives water vapor. In a humid or rainy weather the drying process of the water base stain becomes very slow. To do better control the finishing process with water base material, an oven should be installed in the finishing room.
  •  The sanding in unfinished wood.
Water based stain will be more wet the wood compared with thinner base wood stain. The water in the stain will wet and lift the wood fibers to make the wood surface tend to be rough. Generally the water base stain will lift more wood fiber and need more sanding process. Water base stain also has a high risk of blotchy and uneven color if the surface underneath has porosity variation. To minimized the uneven porosity then the unfinished wood surface should be well prepared. The proper sanding is needed to ensure that the wood surface is even and smooth. Do glue sizing (sealer sizing) if necessary to do better preparation in the unfinished wood.
  •  Use non corrosion equipment  to handle this material.
Water base is corrosive materials. The water in the mixture will attack the metal especially the iron. The container to place this material and the equipment used to handle this material should be made of non corrosion substance. The plastic bucket and drum are the most used to keep and place this material. Meanwhile the tip and nozzle for the spray gun used should be made of stainless steel. 

 Water Based Wood Stain 1/2 Pint-Rosewood

Monday, November 15, 2010

Oil stain for wood finishing

Oil stain is quite popular and widely used in the wood finishing. By its name the oil stain is stain that use oil as its solvent. The solvent for oil stains that most used are mineral spirits and turpentine. Based on that definition, the glaze is actually included in the oil stain, but in this article we don’t discuss about the glaze. The explanation about glaze can be viewed in our previous post  glaze for wood finishing.  What we mean about the oil stain in here is the oil stain a kind of wood stain that is applied directly on raw wood. 

According to the type of pigment that is used there are 2 types of oil stain, the inorganic pigment oil stain and organic pigment oil stain oil. Both have different characters according to the nature of its pigment. Organic pigment oil stain has brighter, more transparent, but provides a stronger coloring. His molecular pigment will come in and soak into the wood and color inside the pores and grain of the wood. While the inorganic pigments has a larger particle size. Inorganic pigments will not be absorbed and enter into the wood, but will stay and coat the surface. For wood with big and large pores and grain, the pigment will come in and fill in the pores and grains to provide highlights staining and shows the darker color in the pore and grain. The comparison between inorganic and organic pigment can be viewed in our previous article: stain pigment for wood finishing. 

The inorganic pigments are always in need of a binder to get mixed well. Binders that are widely used in the oil stain are the type of alkyd resins, oil finish or varnish which dissolve in oil. Oil stain that uses oil binder can be mixed with oil finish and produce colored oil finish. We can mix the oil stain and oil finish to make the colored oil. Also there are many colored oil finish available and can be selected according to the required finish.
Oil stain that use varnish as its binder can be mixed into the varnish to create a colored varnish. Colored oil and vanish will be able to make a thicker coloration depending on the thickness of the layer applied to the surface. The uses of colored varnish or colored oil could be advantages since its less material used and shorter process. But this system is also less control in result. The resulting color will be highly depending on the color and condition of the wood substrate.
Oil stain can also be mixed with a thixotropic agent to produce a stain in the form of gel known as gel stain. Gel stain in the form of gel is designed to be more easily applied by wiping. The gel stain is specially made to be poured, wiped and cleaned easily than the liquid stain that tends to flow and wet everywhere.

 Tips in using the oil stain.
  • Identify the type of the oil stain used.
There are many different types of oil stains, each of which has different characters.  With many brands available today there are more variation of oil stain available. Each brand and type of oil stain can provide the different effects and results. Therefore, always do the testing of the stain. Make some applications on a wooden panel and see the results until we can identify the properties and character of the stain before deciding to use it for big furniture products. Some experimental in diluting, blending and mixing sometimes is also necessary to produce the desired effect
  • Provide sufficient time for drying.
Every layer of finishing material must be ensured that it is dry before continuing with the next process. Oil stains which use oil will takes longer time to dry. The time needed for the oil stain to dry can be vary depending on the type of binder and solvent and the composition in the mixture, but in general the oil stain takes a relatively longer drying time compared to the thinner base stain or even with water based stain. See specifications and technical data are written from each material to ascertain the drying time required of each materials.
  •  Preparation of the unfinished wood.
To produce good staining the wood surface should be prepared as well as possible. Wood surfaces must be cleaned and sanded as well to make smooth and even surface. Uneven surface will affect to the stain absorption and resulted in uneven coloring, blotchy or splotchy.
  • Use the application technique according with the need and conditions.
Gel stain is the oil stain that can only be applied by poured onto the surface and wipe evenly. Meanwhile, the other oil stain can be applied in some way such as: sprayed, brushed, wiped and even dipped. The spray application is most widely used now since it’s practical, flexible to get the desired results. But the other applications can also be used in accordance with existing conditions.

 Flexner on Finishing: Finally - Answers to Your Wood Finishing Fears & Frustrations 

Friday, November 12, 2010

Walnut wood for furniture.

walnut furniture

Walnut wood is very popular in the wood furniture industry in the past. Walnut is hard, strong and has dark color wood that very ideal to make high quality and high-priced furniture. Now the use of walnut wood is no longer as much as before. The availability of many other types of wood which are cheaper has reduced the uses of this wood. The advanced wood finishing technology has made the dark colors can easily be made by the stain application also reduced the popularity of the walnut wood. Walnut wood is still widely used to make furniture with premium price.
The veneer technology today has also greatly increased the flexibility in the uses  of the walnut wood for furniture. Veneer have made the walnut furniture can be made with less price. Walnut veneer is also can be combined with many other veneer to form special pattern. The combination of dark walnut veneer with a light-colored veneer can make make a nice 2 tone furniture product.
There are many different types of walnut that used in the woodworking industry. The American walnut, English walnut, Italian walnut, French walnut and Turkish walnut are most used in the furniture industry. American walnut is the most popular since it is a superior wood, strong, hard and has dark color with nice gain. It has strong grain character with black stripes in it. While the other walnut has some slightly light color, but the walnut wood is still a proper wood to make the luxury and expensive furniture.

Finishing for walnut wood.
The walnut wood has a dark brown base color with black stripes inside its grain. Its dark color makes the color choices is a relatively limited. The wood can not be finished in light color.  Actually the dark wood color can be an advantage since it can produce dark finish with less stain. The application of traditional finishing materials such as oil, wax or shellac will be able to produce dark finish. A clear coating application with just a thin stain or no stain already make a nice dark color finish.
However at this time the advanced of finishing technology has make the dark color finish is easily formed with the stain application. The dark color of the wood is more limit the color choices instead of an advantage. When a light color finish is desired than the dark wood has to be bleached to lighten its base color.
The walnut wood sometimes has color variation which can be very contrast between the dark color in his heartwood with white color on his sap wood. To make an even finishing color, a good color equation is needed. A dark brown sap stain can be used to bring the white wood to the dark brown color.
This wood has a regular straight pattern grain with a strong character with a soft texture and small and shallow pores. This wood is easily finished in close pores finish. One-time filler application will fill the pores and grains to produce a close pores finish quickly. The transparent is the most proper finish for the walnut wood. Its grain patterns and strong base colors can be maximally explored to make an attractive appearance wood furniture. A transparent finishing with
dark color, close pores, clean, and high gloss will generate a furniture product with elegant, luxurious and expensive looked.
This wood can also be bleached to make light colors. The light color could have more models and variations. Walnut-colored wood still have the beautiful grain pattern and can be finished in many models and color. A light brown color with antique style can be chosen to make an interesting furniture product.
This wood has shallow and small pores and grain textures; it is relatively easy to be finished in close pores. The application of thick sealer may close the pores and grains, but the use of filler is still a better choice especially for finishing system with non-catalyzed clear coating. Non-catalyzed clear coating such as NC or lacquer has a relatively low solid content will require a lot of sealer and top coat application to close the pores. The uses of catalyzed clear coating such as PU or AC can close the pores and grain with thick application and sanding sealer but the filler application is still recommended to speed up the finishing process.

Executive Home Office Desk Walnut Furniture Search Amazon.com for walnut furniture
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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Finishing for baby furniture.

The baby furniture needs a special finishing material. While the style of the finishing for baby furniture is also need to follow its simple models and structure. The clean transparent colors with one or 2 stain with sufficient film layer is the finishing model most often found to the baby furniture products. The glaze application if any is normally done by sprayed and wiped clean or brushed evenly without any special effects. Finishing with solid colors is also widely used with light and calm colors. The white is the mostly used as well as other baby color such as; pink, light blue, light green, etc. The solid color combine with a hand paint or stencil with some images or pictures can also be used to produce more attractive appearance baby furniture.
Finishing for baby furniture is generally much simpler model than other furniture. The finishing process for this product usually can be done on the finishing room with standard facilities. A finishing shop with good condition with adequate spray booth and spray equipment  can be used to do the process of finishing on the baby furniture products. But a baby furniture manufacturer with large production volumes should build a finishing line that suitable to serve his finishing process.

 baby box 

Finishing material for baby furniture.

The special finishing material is needed for baby furniture. The regulation regarding safety and security for the baby products has limited the finishing materials that can be used. Finishing materials used for baby furniture should be able to meet the standards of security and safety for baby. The water based coating, UV coating and PU normally can be used as finishing material to finish this product, but somehow a standard testing must be done to ensure that the product meets the required safety standards. Most of finishing material manufacturers has provided the a special finishing materials in various types that can meet the required safety standards for baby products. With this specially made material the baby furniture products can be finished with almost any type of finishing material. Finishing process with the NC, PU, or even Acid Curing can be used as well the Water based, or UV coating
A standard for finishing materials can be different for each country. In general, the finishing materials must be lead free, phtalate free and toxic free.

The equipment and facilities that mostly used for finish the baby furniture products.

  • Hanging conveyor.
Baby furniture products usually made of lot components with small and simple form, but require good finishing layer on both sides. A hanging conveyor line is more suitable to do the finishing process on such products. Hanging conveyor is a proper facility to facilitate the spraying on both sides in the same time.  The small parts and all component of baby furniture can be hung in a moving line and sprayed in each booth according to the finishing process.
  • Electrostatic spray gun equipment.
Most of the baby furniture products components are formed in crib, posh, rod or panels. The components are small surfaced form. For this particular form the use of a conventional spray gun will tend to waste the finishing material. The spray application will hit more on the empty space then the objects, and resulted low efficiency in material usage. The electrostatic spray equipment is the right equipment to increase the efficiency of finishing material for this product. Electrostatic spray equipment is considered expensive and complex equipment that requires special handling, but with the amount of material savings it will be an attractive option. For a production with a large amount then automatic spray equipment such as rotary disc spray can also be considered to be used. But for a small or medium scale production the electrostatic spray equipment that is run manually is a reasonable choice.
  • Flat line finishing for baby furniture.
Baby furniture product also many are in boards or flat panel. For these products then a flat finish line is better alternative. A flat line finishing with a series of roller coater or curtain coater equipped with oven for curing can do the finishing process on flat forms quickly and consistently with high efficiency.


Monday, November 8, 2010

Baby furniture.

baby furniture

Baby furniture is a big business in the world. Every day there are about 490,000 babies born in the whole world. And every new baby needs equipment for his life, including furniture to his bed. Therefore there is always demand for baby furniture, make the baby furniture industry is a relatively stable. The crisis economic that hit many furniture business just give little effect to the baby furniture business. In the crisis conditions every family might think to reduce expenses but not for their babies. Even in the difficult conditions, each family will always prioritize their expenses to their baby needs. So as long as there are new babies born, there always good news for baby furniture products.

Baby furniture has different specifications than the furniture products for adults. Baby furniture usually has a relative simple form. The models, form and style are relatively limited with the sizes is also about the same standard. The baby furniture products are used for infants who are relatively weak and susceptible to the chemical and its surrounding.  The security and safety are the main factors that first be considered in making and design the baby furniture. The forms, construction, the materials used are all selected with a safety factor for  baby as the main factor. The height from the floor, distance between the crib, shapes and sizes of each part must be made with standard size that is considered safe for the baby with all his activities. The materials substrate is used, the finishing materials used, hardware and other supporting materials must also use standard materials that are safe for baby.
Every country usually has set a security and safety standards that must be met for the product baby furniture. For baby furniture products in the U.S. they usually refer on the standard ASTM: http://www.astm.org/Standards/F1169.htm.
While the standard for other countries it can be seen at: children's products  standard.

Finishing for baby furniture.

Baby furniture products are usually made with a relative simple finishing. A dark brown or light brown color transparent finishing is the finishing model that widely used. The light and soft solid colors are also commonly found for this product. The finishing process is relatively simple with 1 or 2 stain without using the any special effects such as to the adult furniture. But the finishing materials used have to be safe for the baby. The finishing materials can not contain toxins and other substances that can interfere with infant growth. Finishing materials cannot contain the harmful substance for the baby such as: lead, formaldehyde, phthalate, etc.
Each country or region usually has set standard regulation that must be followed regarding finishing materials to baby this product. For American products, the rules used are usually referring to the ASTM 963-08, while for European countries refer to EN 71 Part 3.

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Friday, November 5, 2010

PT Saniharto Enggal Harjo, high end furniture manufacturer

Central Java is the place for many furniture factories in Indonesia. In this area there are many furniture manufacturers who each have their own specific product. One of the well known furniture factory in Central Java is PT Saniharto Enggalhardjo. The furniture factory which is located in Demak, Central Java is one of the furniture manufacturers who is specialized in produce high end furniture products.
The factory started to operate in early 1990 by making parquetry veneer and until know is still regarded as one of the highest quality veneer maker in Indonesia. Furthermore, this factory has developed as a furniture maker for the high end product with best quality. Now this factory mostly does the job for project furniture. Furniture for hotels, apartments or houses with high prices and high quality with premium price are his product specialty.  Furniture with clean looked models with high gloss finish that is relatively difficult to be produced in Indonesia can be ordered from this factory with  best quality assurance.

The factory is also available to produce furniture for the regular market with a variety of models including antique and special design. He is also experience to work with some American furniture company such as: Baker Furniture, French Heritage, Hickory chair, etc.
The complete profile for this factory can be viewed by go to thus link:  PT Saniharto Enggalhardjo

If You interested to do business with him you can also visit the factory at these following address:
Jl. Raya Semarang - Demak Km. 12,9
Semarang 59563 - Indonesia
T 62 24 6582 380
F 62 24 6582 381

Show Room
Jl. South Kemang Raya 109B
South Jakarta 12730 - Indonesia

Design Secrets: Furniture: 50 Real-Life Projects Uncovered 

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Silver finish for furniture

full close silver leaf table

Silver finish is quite popular in furniture finishing. Some peoples like the silver as the finishing color for the whole surfaces or as the accent at furniture product. There are many models of silver finishes can be generated according to the furniture style. A silver finish with a clean appearance, neat and high gloss can be applied to the contemporary-style furniture products. It will give furniture product with elegant appearance, luxurious and expensive. Conversely an antique silver color with color and glaze application also can produce antique furniture with also be attractive and beautiful looked. Silver is also widely used in combination with the other finishing colors. The silver as accents and highlights in the transparent or paint finish furniture will make the more alive and attractive looked to the furniture product.

Silver leaf finish 
The silver leaf is the finishing materials is specially designed to make high quality silver finish. The process of applying the silver leaf is more complicated than the application of silver paint.  But silver leaf can produce more lively and interesting appearance finish than the silver paint. Silver sheets are also available in many types and quality that will determined the finishing looked. The leaf is attached to the surface using special glue which is known; as gold leaf sizing. The process of silver leaf finish is very similar with the process for gold  leaf finish, but with the used silver leaf instead of gold leaf. 

Here is the step by step process of silver leaf finish
  •  Application of base coat.
Base coat is used to form the base of color and also to produce the smooth surface as a base for silver leaf. Apply 2 layer or 3 layer base coat on the wood surface. Then wait until the base coat layer is dry. After the base coat is dry, usually all the problems and imperfectness in the unfinished products will be more visible. Uneven surfaces, the existence of holes, dent, gaps or sand and scratches mark  that is difficult to be detected in the unfinished will appear and clearly visible after the application of base coat.
After base coat application the touch up on this surface can be done more easily. Put putty to fill  every holes, dents and gaps.  Let it dry, then do a good sanding to make smooth and even surface.

  • The  2nd base coat application.
The first base coat application is usually not enough to produce a smooth and even surface and color. The wood fibers will rise and harden to produce a rough surface. The touch up and sanding that is done on the first base coat will produce a surface with uneven color. Another layer of base coat usually is necessary to produce a smooth surface and even color.
Apply the 2nd base coat 1 or 2 layer wet coat evenly to all surfaces. Wait until the base coat is dry, if a flat surface is obtained then we can continue the process with the application of silver. But if a flat surface is not obtained yet, we need to repeat the application of base coat. 
  • Application of glue.
Special glue is needed to attach silver to the surface. The glue, known as leaf glue sizing is applied to the surface evenly. There are several ways to apply glue to the surface.  The glue can be applied by spray, brushed or by dab with a cloth. The glue application should be done carefully since it will affect the appearance of silver finish looked resulted. The way of glue application will form pattern when it is dry. The glue pattern such as brush line or dab pattern will be looked at the silver finish appearance. If you want to make antique looked, the glue application by brush or rag may good option, but if you want to get smooth and clean finish the glue is better be sprayed to make an even and smooth surface.
Once the glue is applied evenly then wait until the glue is dry. Place the glued product in a room which is clean and dust free. Dust and dirt on the surface will block the surface making that the silver leaf cannot well stick to the surface.

silver leaf is attached on the glued surface

  • Annealing the silver leaf.
Wait until the glue dry before you start sticking silver leaf. Usually it takes about 30 minutes to make the glue is dry and ready to be silvered. Put the sheets of silver one by one and press with brush or cloth until it is well attached to the surface. Do this process of attachment until the silver leaf fully cover the entire surface.
For a finishing with clean, even and fully close silver color, the silver leaf application should cover the entire surface. Some touch up is needed to solve the parts that are still not covered by the silver. Reapply the glue on the open parts and pasting the silver leaf until the entire surface is covered by silver color.
For silver with antique finish some open parts is usually is accepted. For antique finish the silver layer is usually need to be sanded trough to show the base coat underneath. In this case the open parts will even help to make more antique effect.
  • Application of clear coating.
After the base coat surface is coated with silver leaf in accordance with the needs of the next procedure is the application of clear coat. Clear coat is applied to protect and coat the silver underneath to make a smooth surface. Dry spray or medium dry spray technique many times is better option to apply the clear coating on the silver leaf instead of 1 times wet coat application. Silver is like a metal surfaces with little absorption of finishing material. Too thick coat is highly risk of sagging.  

 first silver leaf application will leave some open parts
  • Application of glaze
Glaze can be applied if necessary. A glaze application will form more life and antique looked for the finishing. Glaze can also be used to form the impression of antique and dirty when necessary. For a clean and even finish, then the glaze is not required.
  • Application of top coat.
Top coat is the final finishing layer which serves to protect its underneath finishing and to form the finishing gloss. Wait until the glaze is completely dry and apply a wet coat layer of top coat with the required sheen.