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  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Basic Decorative Finish

    OK I'll start the ball rolling with a pretty basic Decorative Finish.

    DECORATIVE SHELLAC FINISH
    This sort of finish can be done on almost any timber surface, however my suggestion is that you do it sparingly to enhance and show off the natural beauty of the timber to which it is applied. It is particularly suited to woodturners, and works extremely well on the outside of bowls and for the rim of platters etc.

    Also works well on small sections of furniture, faux marble front of fire place surround, skirt of half round hall table and other bits n pieces.

    The finish is simplicity itself and with just a couple of practice goes, anyone can do it.

    You will need two small containers (jars) with a small amount of fresh shellac (polish) in each. This can be either white, blond or regular orange shellac. Some universal tinter of a colour that will contrast with or enhance the colour of your timber. For the example shown below I used green and black.

    If you are working with a dark timber you will also need a spray-can of white undercoat. If you are working with a white wood you probably won’t need the undercoat. You will also need a good paint brush or preferably a polishers mop, and a crumpled plastic bag.

    The piece shown in photo is done on a 150 x 150 (6" x 6") piece of chip board that was fine sanded and had a base coat of whit sprayed onto the surface.

    Applying the finish
    The first step is to make the outside of the timber is as light a colour as possible. This will be done by spraying with the white undercoat. Once this has dried the rest of the job can be done in a relatively short time. It is a good idea to allow the undercoat to dry overnight and lightly sand with fine paper before continuing.

    To your first jar of polish add a few drops of green tint. Just enough so as to make the white undercoat turn a bright green when it is painted on. Quickly paint the entire outside surface with this mixture making sure not to get any runs. This will take about ten minutes to dry depending on the weather.

    To the second jar add some black tint to make a more intense black. When the first colour is dry, quickly paint the intense black onto the surface and whilst it is still wet tap over the whole surface with a crumpled plastic bag. You will see patterns begin to form on the surface with random lines running in all directions. Leave this to dry.

    You have finished. Simple wasn’t it? Look at the effect you achieved.

    Experiment with different colour combinations: yellow and red to give a hot fiery look, pale blue and deep blue for a cool watery effect, light and dark greens for foliage, etc. Also try different techniques. Try a sponge or newspaper instead of a plastic bag, stipple with a large, long bristled brush. Let your imagination run riot and reap the rewards.

    Cling wrap2.jpg

    Hope this inspires others to have a go.

    Cheers - Neil

    PS The above was loosely taken from my book "A Polishers Handbook" pages 81-82 with some omissions and changed from doing it on the rim of a bowl to doing it on a flat practise piece for sake of ease, simplicity and this post.
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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Murray Bridge SA
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    Default

    Thanks for that Neil, will have to get the book out and read that section again.
    Kryn
    To grow old is mandatory, growing up is optional.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    moonbi nsw Aus
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    Default

    Thanks Neil I will definitely have to give it a go
    Years ago I made up a circular "tube" about 250mm diameter using coopering methods out of some pine gluts. I turned up an urn about 450mm high. I did it mainly for the exercise in coopering. OK now what? I undercoated the outside and that is as far as things went. I always had in mind to do some sort of "decoration"/paint to finish it. Well now I will have to have a play with this new found knowledge. I will keep you posted. Don't be in too much of a hurry.....I work slow

    Edit Add....I just went away from the computer to make a coffee and was thinking about the coopering and turning of the piece. I turned one but have enough left for a second one. A matching pair. then I started thinking about when I made it....I was working, so it would have to be around 25 years ago????!!!!.....I told you I worked slow. I also don't throw much away. Even back then I had intended to colour/finish the Urn/s to look like they may have come from a Pharaohs Tomb. With Neil's tips I think I can continue the theme
    Just do it!

    Kind regards Rod

  5. #4
    Join Date
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    Default

    I will put a couple of other decorative finishes on when I get the urge and time.

    Anyone who can't wait they are quite a few different ones in "A Polishers Handbook" from dead simple to slightly more complex. All relatively easy to do and all quite stunning in their own way.

    Cheers - Neil
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