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Old 01-21-2011, 04:39 AM   #1
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peglegs's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: grants pass, oregon
Posts: 390
Wood Bed Finishng 101

By trade i was a Custom Cabinet Maker, Designer/Refinisher i owned and operated several Unfinished Furniture Stores, cabinet shops, furniture stripping & refinishing shop, furniture finishing shop, appliance finishing service and fortunately imho i attended the finest Vocational High School in the country for wood working . i have designed & built many consoles, dashes, veneered several 55-56 chevy dash trim pieces with wood burned roses, arm rests, wood beds, custom vans on & on .

Wood finishing tends to be controversial, falls somewhere between religion & politics, lol, and as long as it looks good and you win the trophy alls well but there's more than that, much more. many publications have been written on each & every point here but the intention here is only to get you going on your project so good luck.

* Do you want to recoat every year? To much is not good either ie cracking, crazing & peeling
* Is the top coat protecting your wood from moisture?
* Does it offer enough protection from the sun's harmful UV rays.
* Is the sun bleaching it out?

#2 Color of your wood
* Natural, clear coat
* Tinted clear coat over natural wood for the translucent look
* Stained wood with regular wood stain. wood stain fills the wood pores
* Painted, bold but different, thin coats? so the grain pattern is prominent then top coat with thin coats also to maintain pore visability
can match trucks color
*Dye, coats the walls of a pore, leaving exceptional grain accentuation, water soluable is the best colorfast, must be top coated
with several of the better UV protected top coats
*Colored, yes you can "color" wood dang near any color of the spectrum, use your trucks paint.
seal, sand & tack, "stain" with your trucks paint.... thinned , apply several top coats,
experiment for application & uniformity a must.

#3Top Coats
* Danish oil finish & will allow the sun to bleach out your wood this is probably the worst choice as it offers little or no UV protection, possibly ok for some interior, not for the top of a dash, thats shielded away from the sun, needs frequent re coating to look good.
*Marine boat varnish is probably the best choice of all available finishes for exterior use. EpifanesVarnish, imho, is the better
*Automotive clear coats >>>>>>>>
>> yes on wood , think about it, its flexable & moves with the wood, UV protected ! your
trucks paint didnt fade, well unless its a Ford , its a tough finish!
*Automotive catylized clear coats>>>>>

#4 Finish Application 101
*For stability always apply equal number of coats on the top and bottom (for bed wood) this will minimize warping, twisting &
* Never use the sandpaper in your hand other than in tight spots, profiles etc.
* Dont paint it on back & forth, flow it on useing longer stokes , apply 1 or 2 thinned coats or if available the compatable sealer.
* Wet sand with a wet & dry 220 or 240 grit whitish looking or black sandpaper & a sanding block, without sanding through to the
wood, wipe off excess water, let dry, then tack it, Tack Cloth is a cheese cloth impregnated with linseed oil and will wipe off all the
dust easily these are the most important steps!
* 15 coats to fill in the pores is a total waste of finish & time, period. If you want a "poreless" finish use a wood pore filler & follow
the instructions it also can be colored to accentuate your pores. Wood filler is rubbed in before the sealing coat
* apply 2-3 more coats wet sanding & tacking each one.

The photo is my all time favorite piece of work a 28 model a ford dash made with quilted walnut and finished with Epifanes varnish.
This post was finished after midnight so i hope its all good
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1990 chevy 4x4 with a 1940 IHC body
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