Rostov Upholstery Supplies Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
November 14, 2018, 05:51:37 PM
How To Reupholster A Couch, Chair, Ottoman.
Recover Car And Boat Seats. DVDs
Foam Cutters $130+
1/2" and 3/8" crown staple guns- air and Maestri electric.
Upholstery Tools
Long Nose Staplers $124
Sunbrella Fabric     Complete line of Sunbrela fabrics. We also custom sew beautiful cushions from Sunbrella.
Custom Cushions     Custom cushions sewn at a high level of craftsmanship. Choose from fabrics and a range of quality foam.

: Check out CoachTrim's Advanced Leather Workshop and Basic Sewing Course on Suppliers Page
***Please click here www.facebook.com/upholster.upholstery and click "LIKE" for our UPHOLSTER Facebook business page (it will help me promote this free site)-Ken***

 EZ Foam Cutters with 240 volts and plugs for Australia, New Zealand and UK and EU.
SPECIAL 110V MODELS $130 (limited time!!) http://www.upholster.com/toolkits/Foam-cutter.html

+  My Community
|-+  The Business Of Upholstery
| |-+  The Business Of Upholstery
| | |-+  An observation in furniture wood grain
« previous next »
: [1]
: An observation in furniture wood grain  ( 2084 )

« : January 12, 2017, 09:00:49 AM »

The furniture is a wood kitchen table with chairs, 35 t0 40 years old.

What is noted;  

       1.  Table top is formica with a beautiful oak grain, essentially with same oak grain and color pattern observed in the wood chairs.  The formica matches the table wood parts, as well as the oak chairs.

All components match, that is.  

       2.  The other observation has to do with how well the wood finish reveals the grain in the oak.  It doesn't mask out the grain.  Makes an observer wonder about the finish specifics used by the factory some years ago, as given above?

I wonder if they used an oil stain and perhaps an oil clean coat?  Or was there some kind of coating applied to the wood that caused the grain to be high lighted then a clear coat applied, which could have been clear lacquer?  Whatever, what was applied over the raw wood, didn't opaque out the beautiful oak grain.

Are there any accurate assumptions that help determine what and how the factory might have finished oak used in tables and chairs (about 35 years ago)?

Like I have tried to point out, whatever was the first thing put on the wood, did not opaque out the beautiful grain.

Part of what drives my curiosity is what approach would one use to touch up or even enhance the finish on something like this?

Perhaps the final step was merely a lacquer clear coat?

Now, focusing on my underlying curiosity is what possibly could have been the finishing procedure, and with what chemicals the factory used to render a finish that shows the grain, maybe added a little bit of coloring and gloss to the oak wood?

All this perhaps will enable a good understanding of how items like this were finished at the factory?

An old time finisher could enlighten.
Thanks in advance,

By the way my assignment is to make small cushions for the chairs.

« : January 16, 2017, 09:40:18 AM DB »
YaBB God

Karma: +0/-0
: 599

« #1 : January 16, 2017, 12:14:28 AM »

This company may have some ideas for coatings, as you know it may depend on the application area you want or may need to work in, be it the shop or a remote job location.
There are many water based systems now days that have really stepped up in quality and actually lead in systems im not familar with. I feel confident they are now great and will say this company could well be at the tip.
Here's a PPG link and may have applications for interesting read.


good day
YaBB God

Karma: +0/-0
: 1925

"By hammer and hand, all arts do stand."

« #2 : January 16, 2017, 09:03:10 AM »

Ah, my specialty :-)

There are lots of techniques and products used in wood finishing.  A lot depends on when, where, and how much time and expense they wanted to expend.

Of the literally 10s of thousands of wood pieces I've worked on, I can count on one hand the ones that were not lacquer.  Water-borne finishes are becoming more common in the US, but in Asia, they spray on the lacquer and the workers just quit after a year or two because they can't breathe.  One of my business associates has made trips to China to try to bring them up to date.   I've also seen a couple of conversion finishes that are much more difficult to apply and can be nearly impossible to repair (or even strip).

Note that "Water-white" is a color (or more specifically, lack thereof) and does not indicate a water-borne product.

Generally to get a non-obscuring finish, a dye (vs. pigment) is used. In the small shop, this would be applied to the wood, then a finish applied.   In a production shop, it may be a toner (where dye (or pigment) is added to a finish and applied as a coat of finish).   Two or three coats like this and out the door it goes.  Using a dye will minimize the contrast of early- and late-grain in ring-porous woods like oak; pigments will tend to enhance the differences.

Realize there are only a handful of coatings manufacturers that comprise about 90% or more of the finish markets world-wide -- Azko-Nobel, PPG, Sherwin-Williams (that is acquiring one of the other big ones, Valspar). RPM, DuPont, ICI, BASF.

I could go on and on (I just gave an hour presentation this weekend on ways to color wood).   So I'll stop now.


"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." Thomas A. Edison

« #3 : January 16, 2017, 09:37:42 AM »

Oh!  I believe in my limited dimensions, there is something coming through the screen that perhaps is starting to explain what I am seeing in the wood/finish.

Yes, I can related to the word "toner".  As previously explained, the grain is so beautiful and
I am understanding a toner is what (possibly) was used to enhance it (opposed to start blocking it out). 

Would one think the toner (remember finish is maybe in the range of low 30's to upper 30's old) would incorporate some kind of glossing chemical (simple people like me are probably relating to a "clear coat" agent)?

Information is building with what maybe there is to work with on these items.  After digesting and learning more information the next stroke will be how to touch up a spot or two for on a chair inside back, where it had contact with edge of table, there is a worn spot in the finish about 1/2 inch by 1 inch (the width of the sweeping windsor back frame.

A touch up - definitely not a refinish!

Thanks guys,

YaBB God

Karma: +0/-0
: 3059

« #4 : January 16, 2017, 11:12:18 PM »

There's a guy who works across the street from me who makes cabinets. He sprays everything with lacquer. Several years ago someone found him in his shop unconscious. After 25 years of making cabinets, he had crossed that critical point of how much lacquer his lungs could take in and still function enough to keep him on his feet. Fortunately, it was not a point of no return.

He seems to be doing well today. And the one time last year that I saw him spraying a large project outside his shop, he was not wearing breathing protection.


« : January 16, 2017, 11:13:57 PM gene »

YaBB God

Karma: +0/-0
: 1925

"By hammer and hand, all arts do stand."

« #5 : January 17, 2017, 08:50:06 AM »

There are multiple ways to color wood

- In the wood (dyes. chemical reaction)
- On the wood (pigmented stains)
- By the finish (natural color of the finish -- clear to amber to garnet, etc.)
- In the finish (dyed or pigmented toners)
- Between the finish (pigmented glazes)

They all have their pros and cons -- it's all a matter of trade-offs, i.e., competing characteristics and target color/look.

A toner does not guarantee clarity.   A lot of the "espresso" type dark finishes these days are toners that mostly obscure the wood figure.


"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." Thomas A. Edison

« #6 : January 17, 2017, 09:28:23 PM »

So, step one would be to determine the type of finish?  For example which one of the 5 is on these oak chair?

#1 -- I doubt it is that because it appears mostly on the wood.
#2 -- Maybe, but what type of stain?  What are the types to consider?  Oil, lacquer come
         to mine.  Lacquer is usually on surface, which leads to the question if Oil can be
         on surface?  
#3 -- This offers possibility because color looks natural, but has more gloss.  
#4 -- In the finish..  could be very possible type of finish because finishing materials
         whatever it is does appear on surface and doesn't mask out the wood grain.  As it
         wears, it seems to leave just the wood in it original state before coloring was        
#5 -- Between the finish, pigmented glazes??  Does this mean a color between two clear
         shiny coats?

Wow, this a person has to get a feel for all the meanings, don't they?

Given the age of these chairs help in determining the original?

These chairs were made by Virginia House, I believe it states on the bottoms.


« : January 18, 2017, 09:16:56 AM DB »
YaBB God

Karma: +0/-0
: 1925

"By hammer and hand, all arts do stand."

« #7 : January 18, 2017, 08:54:30 AM »

Two things to consider
A.  Oak is generally a very easy wood to color.   It does not have the blotching problems that other woods like cherry, maple, poplar and pine have.

B. If this is factory made, it's their goal to get it in and out of the finish room in a short amount of time.  So generally fast-drying and sprayed.   If it's been re-done in a custom refinishing shop, where they might be working on a handful at a time, they might be able to afford to apply a coat, put it to the side and let it dry overnight while working on one of the other pieces.

As to what you have:  Can it be--
#1 Dye - if there is little contrast between the earlywood (open pores) and latewood it would tend to indicate dyes.  The dyes I'm familiar with are dissolved in water or alcohol.   There are others that are dissolved in other solvents, but the only ones of these I'm aware of are in canned stains.

#2 Pigmented stain - gives more contrast between early- and late-wood, generally.    Note also that some (consumer brands) stains contain both pigment and dye.  Could be the same with commercial, too.

#3 Finish itself.   Sitting beside me is a cherry keeping chest I made recently.  I put on a coat of boiled linseed oil, let it sit on the patio for a week to get sun exposure and let the BLO cure.  Then I applied a blonde shellac.   It created a 10+ year patina in the matter of a few days.   But factory furniture, consider point B, above.  On  other pieces, I've used water-borne finishes that are clear, often cool bluish, to perfectly clear lacquer, to a variety of varnishes and shellacs that impart little to a lot of color

#4 Toners - often used in factories, add color and finish, two coats, slam-bam-thank-you-m'am dry 30 minutes and package.  Since the color wears off on high-wear areas, this seems likely for that reason, too.

#5 Glazes - time consuming both because of dry time and need to hand manipulate.  Likely only seen on custom work, high end work, or to achieve a specific look -- glazes over paint, "dirty up" or highlight details, carvings, distressing.  Normally it takes overnight for these to dry unless you hit a very specific window (say 30-90 minutes) and apply lacquer   known as "shooting through the glaze."   And yes, this requires one or more coats of finish or sealer, a glaze coat and one or more coats over the glaze.


"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." Thomas A. Edison

Karma: +0/-0
: 3

« #8 : February 22, 2017, 04:38:11 AM »

varnish or lacquer or say shellac mightblook nice first  but Danish oil is the best. 3 coats of sanding sealer and 3 coats of lacquer (white oak)
: [1]  
« previous next »

Latex Mattress    Foam Order allows you to design your own latex mattress using layers of certified natural and organic components.
Organic Mattress     Foam Order makes a wonderful organic mattress using certified natural and organic components. Choose your own firmness.
SMF 2.0.14 | SMF © 2017, Simple Machines