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How to brush the wood stain.

Brush has been used in the finishing process since a long time. It is a traditionally equipment that is mostly used when there was no modern equipment yet. At this time, although most of the furniture finishing process are carried out by spray, it is still lot brush uses. Some finishing materials such as: glaze, oil finish, wax are designed to be applied with brush. Some wood stain are also can be applied by brush with good result. The brush application has several advantages compared than the spray application. The brush is be able to wet the wood and let the stain coloring into the wood grain and pores. It will produce more naturally looked and enhance the beauty of the grain and pores. The application by brush  also has a higher efficiency since no material is wasted due to the dust spray as the spray application.
However, the
brush application must be done in the right way to obtain the optimal results. Here are the things need to do due to the brush application for wood stain:
  •   Use the appropriate stain.
Stain applied by brush requires a special character, different then the stain for other application. Actually the finishing material industry now has provided many wood stains that are designed to be applied by brushed, so what we need to do is find the right stain and apply it in the correct way. The stain for brush application usually is designed to be dry longer to make even coloring. We also can use the spray stain with some modifications to make it brush-able. The addition of a slow dry solvent as mineral spirit or butyl cellusolve can modify the stain to dry slower and better suited for brush application.
  • Use the proper brushes
Brushes have many kinds and types, and currently are designed to be used as special purpose. For the wood stain application we need a brush that can coat the stain evenly to the wood surface. The brush with thick and and elastic tip is the best choice. There is also brush with the cloth tip can be used with good result. Choose a high quality brush with proper size according to the size and shape of the good.
  • Preparation of the unfinished wood.
Application by brush is going to let the stain wet the wood more than the spray application. Therefore, the wood stain will soak in and coloring the inside pores and grains. Some types of wood could have a risk since this application. Too much absorption stain is high risk to result in the too dark color. The wood with uneven porosity will result to the uneven coloration (blotchy). The imperfectness surfaces such as: dents, holes, scratch or sanding marks will also be very visible.Since that we need to do good preparation to the unfinished wood. Do a good sanding to remove the sanding marks, chatter mark. The dents, hole or gap should be fixed first. Make sure as much as possible that the wood surface has an even porosity. We may need to take care the soft wood with  glue sizing or wood conditioning to reduce the risk of blotchy.
  • The application of stain with a brush
The brush application is actually quite easy to do but the results is difficult to be predicted. Since that we better do some trials on wood or veneer panels before do on a big product. Brushing the stain on the panel with the same type and similar condition with the goods and see the results.  After we are sure about the results then  we can do the application on big items. The applications on a small panel can also be used as an exercise to familiarize our hands and feeling according to the results obtained.
  • The brush application techniques
Dip the tip of the brush on the stain until about ¼ of its head wet with the stain. lift the brush carefully and move and stroke the brush to the wood surface until the stain wet the wood. Stroke the brush from one end to another with the direction along to the grain pattern. Repeat the brush application side by side with the first stroke, do repeatedly until the entire surface to get an even stain coloration. The brush stroke should gone smoothly and continuously from one end to the other end. Avoid the interrupting of the brush stroke in the middle movement, since it will generate broken color staining. The brushing technique is relatively easy to be done in the small surfaces area, but it is quite difficult in a big surface area. The exercising and practicing is the key to get the best result.  We may need to modify the stain to be dry slower to make it easier in application.
After the entire surface
has been stained, then we have to check the color results. If an even and appropriate color is obtained, then we can continue with the next finishing step. But if it is not,  then the stain should be revised. The  stain layer can be removed with paint thinner easily when it has not been coated with clear coat on it. Use a cloth dampened with paint thinner or acetone and wipe the stain until all the stain removed and we get surface with the even color. And then we can redo the application of stain with better techniques to obtain the color we need.

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