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Solid white finish on wood furniture

The white color is a color that is widely used in the finishing process. Compared with other solid colors, the white color is the most widely used. White is a neutral color that impresses the cleanliness and neatness. White color can be combined with almost all colors with a good coherent combination. White color on the wood furniture is also used many, either alone or in combination with other colors.

At this article we will discuss about the finishing process to make white color on solid wood furniture with a clean looked.

There are many options of finishing processes and materials can be used to produce the white finish but
the basic step is as follow: 

1. Filler
2. 1st Base coat, touch up  
4. 2nd Base coat
5. Enamel
6. Top coat

  • Filler application
Filler application is intended to fill the wood pores and g rain to produce a close pores finish. Apply wood filler evenly then wipe it clean. Let it dry then do a good sanding to obtain a flat  and smooth surface. Wood filler is needed as first step in the wood with big pores and grain such as: teak, oak, mende, mahogany, etc. If the wood used has no pores and grain, then filler is not required. If the wood with small pores and grain such as: maple, ash, pine, etc. we can close the pores by sealer application.  We can use the catalyzed sealer such as AC or PU as base layer. The PU or AC sealer is also recommended when we use M.D.F. as the substrate.
  •  The first base coat application
White base coat or white paint is a stain to make the solid white color. The white base coat will form a white layer film that will cover the wood underneath.  Apply 2 layer of white base coat by spray to overall surface evenly. Let the base coat layer dry and then check the wood surface and color resulted.
In the first base coat application usually the white base coat cannot cover the wood base color. In the first application of base coat, usually all the wood defects and imperfectness of the unfinished wood can be viewed easier. The gap, holes, crack and sanding problem such as scratches, chatter mark, sanding mark are more visible on the coated wood. 
Do touch up and correction to the defects and imperfectness. Fill the gaps, cracks and holes with putty; if the gap is too big, we can insert piece wood. The scratches and sanding mark or chatter mark must be cleaned up by sanding process. Sand the base coat with # 240 or # 280  grade sandpaper to clean all the defects and putty excess to make a smooth and even surface.
  • The second base coat application.
After we do sanding well, then we can apply the second base coat. Apply 2 layer base coats by spray wet evenly. Let it dry and do sanding. We need to do apply the base coat and sanding  until a smooth surface and even color is obtained.
Usually we can get the smooth and even color surface by two times base coat application in this step.
  •  Application of enamel
Enamel is a top coat that that is mixed with pigments. The enamel is almost like base coat, but it can produce more smooth surface. The enamel is work as top coat but it has color inside. The enamel should be applied when the base coat layer is already flat and smooth with even color. Apply the white enamel by spray to the entire surface. Let it dry and do sanding to the enamel.
  • Application of top coat
Top coat is the last layer that serves as the last layer that will provide protection against to the finishing underneath and simultaneously form sheen for the finishing. Since we already apply enamel that is act like top coat, so in this step we can apply a flow coat as the last coat.  Flow coat is a top coat that is cut little bit to make better film flow.

Some things that need to be considered in the solid white finish
  • White color finish needs a clean room and equipment.
The white color is very sensitive to the dirt and stains. The bright of the white color will make the stain or dirt will clearly visible. We need a clean room and equipment to do the white finish. If we have finishing job with white color and other color, then we better to do it separately. We better don’t do the white finish together with other color.
  • The white color is very sensitive to the color changes in the film built.
The white color is very sensitive to the color changing in the film built. The color of the film layer  will influence and could change the final color of the finish.  The thicker film and the stronger film color, the more color changes. The yellowing process in the NC clear coating will highly influence and change the finishing color. The other type of clear coating will affect differently. The AC clear coating and precatalyzed clear coating usually has slightly reddish color. The regular PU clear coating will turn to yellow as NC clear coating.
To minimize the color changing we have to use the non yellowing clear coating. The non yellowing clear coating is special coating that is better resistance to the UV light. The non yellowing clear coat are: butyrate lacquer, acrylic lacquer or water based coating. But if we want stronger resistance we can use the non yellowing PU.

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