Polish, Varnish, and Paints: Types and Uses in Woodworking

Polish, varnish, and paints are essential finishing materials in woodworking. Before making, apply and use them, you should know some necessary information to help you in better woodworking.

Polish, Varnish, and Paints

In this article, we’ll know ingredients, how to make, how to apply, types, uses, and defects of polish, varnish, and paints. This excellent writing will make you very confident in your woodworking.

Polish in woodworking

Polish is a mixture of resin, shellac, and methylated spirits. It is used to enhance the beauty and durability of fancy furniture and exquisite woodwork. Two types of polish. E.g.

  • French polish
  • Wax polish

1. French Polish: 

Ingredients for French polish are-

  • Shellac 0.56 kg (20 ounces) per gallon of methylated spirit,
  • Resin 0.112 kg (4 ounces), 
  • Rumisstaki 0.112 kg (4 ounces) 
  • methylated spirit 4.5 liters. (1 gallon).

The above products are immersed in glassware or porcelain for three days. The polish is made by completely dissolving these products. This polish is usually white, so you have to make the polish by mixing your choice of colors. After mixing the colors, the polish should be kept in a clean bottle after filtering with a thin cloth. Otherwise, the spirit will dry up.

Note that one gallon of spirit polish is more than 10 bottles of polish. Polish is usually mixed with mahogany, yellow. A bottle of white polish is mixed with 8 grams of mahogany powder to make mahogany color polish. In this way, you can make a particular colored polish by mixing the particular color.

How to apply French polish

Before applying the French polish, the surface of the object has to be smoothed by rubbing with sandpaper. The object is then wiped with a clean cloth and coated with zinc oxide to close any small holes in the wood oxide fibers. After that, you have to send it again.

If there is a large hole in the wood, the wood should be smoothed by closing the hole in the putty and giving a putty scraper, and rubbing with glue paper or save paper in place. Then apply light polish on the object with the help of a pad or putty, thus giving three or more coatings enhances the object’s beauty. Pads or putty can usually be made by wrapping cotton in cloth.

The following precautions should be taken while applying the polish.

  • Shake the polish properly before using it and pour lightly into glassware or porcelain containers.
  • Polish the pad or putty accordingly. Be careful! Don’t apply too much polish.
  • Don’t press the pads too much while applying polish.
  • Move the pads in a circular motion along the fibers. If you apply the polish in the same place continuously, the polish will thicken in that place.
  • Apply mustard oil lightly applied to the pad to work faster.
  • After the first application, let the polish dry properly.
  •  After drying the first coat, rub the object with sandpaper to remove the unevenness. After each coating, you have to rub on the object with more fine sandpaper.
  • Dilute the polish by mixing spirit when applying the last coating.
  • Use glue paper or sandpaper After applying the last coat.
  • More coating will make the object more beautiful.

(Note: 2 kg (5 lbs) of chalk powder is mixed with 1.5 liters (gallon) spirit in the ratio of filler mixer ready)

2. Wax polish: 

Wax polish is made by mixing beeswax or paraffin oil produced by beeswax, and the ratio of the ingredients is- 0.26 liters (pounds) of turpentine oil, about 0.45 kg (1 pound) of wax. 

How to apply wax polish: Applying wax polish is difficult and time-consuming. Applying wax polish is just like French polish. Still, here you have to polish by using the pad and applying pressure on the wood or cloth. After applying the polish three times, you have to stop the work for one day, or you have to wait until the polish dries. And everything else is like applying French polish.

Varnish in woodworking

The varnish is used to enhance the beauty of the woodwork. The use of varnish enhances the luster and clarity of the wood, and the fibers look beautiful. The beauty of varnished furniture reflects the taste and civility of the people.

Varnish in woodworking

Ingredients of varnish:

  1. Resin: such as- Copal, Lac, Shellac, etc.
  2. Dryers: such as lead, zinc, iron, etc.
  3. Solvents: There are several types of solvents used to make varnish, such as methylated spirit, turpentine oil, alcohol, linseed oil, etc. The varnish is made by mixing varnish, linseed oil, turpentine oil, alcohol, and resin.

Types of Varnish

Varnish can be classified into four types based on solvent. E.g.

  • Water varnish
  • Oil varnish
  • Spirit varnish
  • Copal varnish

1. Water varnish: Water varnish is commonly used on paper, covers, wallpapers, maps, etc. Water varnish available in different colors. It is made by mixing any amount of ammonia soda, potash borax in hot water.

2. Oil varnish: Oil varnish is made by melting amber, copal, hard resin, and mixing hot oil. These ingredients dry slowly. You have to add turpentine oil when the mixture will be cold. The resulting varnish is thin and can dry quickly. It has a dense color and creates a rigid and permanent coating on the wood, making the wood fibers and color dull. This varnish is quite suitable for furniture, books, and woodwork.

3. Spirit Varnish: This varnish is made by mixing one or more resins with methylated spirits. It dries quickly, creating a shiny concrete coating. French polish cell varnish belongs to this category. It is used in furniture and interior work.

4. Copal Varnish: This varnish is made by mixing copal with linseed oil. Turpentine oil is also mixed with it. It is used for much better purposes. This varnish takes about a day to dry. It is used in furniture and interior decoration.

Different types of varnish are available in the market nowadays. The advantage of using all these varnishes is that you do not have to make anything new (They are readymade).

Read this article on how to apply varnish.

Paints in woodworking

Paint is usually applied to all furniture, appliances, and other surfaces made of wood that is likely to be damaged by sun and rain. Such as- doors, windows, less expensive furniture, the surface of the structure, etc.

Paints in woodworking

Components of paint:

  1. Base
  2. Medium
  3. Pigments
  4. Solvent
  5. Drier

1. Base: Ingredients used as base are white lead, red lead, and iron oxide.

  • White lead: It is used to paint wood and wall surfaces and available in powder and paste form. Paint is prepared with 8% linseed oil. It is cheap in price, easy to apply.
  • Red Lead: It is available in powder and paste form. Its color remains permanent without contact with acid-mixed lead or other lead. It is used as the first coating in heavy woodwork.
  • Iron oxide: Used as the main ingredient in iron and steel. It prevents rust and is cheap in price.

2. Medium: The medium commonly used to mix paints and pigments. Such as linseed oil.

3. Pigments: Insoluble substances combine one or more pigments to make the desired color. Pigments can be of various types such as red, black, white, yellow, green, blue, etc.

4. Solvent or thinner: It is a liquid substance of color. It has a pungent odor, is colorless, and quickly evaporates. The paint is to be mixed with solvents before use. It thins the paint products and helps to smooth the wood surface quickly. Turpentine oil is widely used as a solvent. It flies easily.

5. Drier: By collecting oxygen from the air, it helps the paint to dry faster, such as the Litharge Massey, etc.

Use of different types of paints:

S. LPaintsUses
1Oil PaintUsed on wood, steel, surfaces, and interiors.
2Water PaintUsed in ceilings and interiors of rooms.
3Enamel PaintUsed in doors, windows, metal grills, stairs, etc.
4Cellulose PaintUsed in the motor vehicle, aircraft, cosmetic field, etc.
5Aluminum PaintUsed in ships, oil storage tankers, hot water pipes, etc.
6Water Repellent CementUsed as a waterproof coating on exterior walls.
7DistemperUsed in the interior of the room and for beautification.
8Ready Mixed PaintUsed as a finishing coat in woodwork.

How to apply paints

  • Shake the pot properly if any sediment falls on the bottom of the pot during mixing.
  • Stir occasionally when using paint.
  • Don’t make the solution by hand; use the painting/spraying equipment for mixing and applying paint.
  • Don’t keep the mouth of the paint pot open.
  • After applying one coating of paints horizontally, then apply vertically.
  • Clean the brush regularly and keep it workable.
  • Apply second of paints after drying the first coat of paint.

Use of paint and varnish

Different types of paints and their uses are mentioned below.

1. Solignium paint: It is a costly paint. These colors contain several termite repellent ingredients.

2. Cellulose paint: Cellulose painter dries in solvent vapor without any chemical reaction and is made from nitrocotton celluloid sheet, photo film, etc. As a result, unique qualities like hardness, smoothness, heat tolerance, and flexibility are obtained. Cellulose dyes can be washed and cleaned.

Uses: It is used in cosmetics, automobiles, aircraft, etc.

3. Oil paint: To make oil paint, the main ingredient of the paint is linseed oil, turpentine oil is dissolved well, and the dye is dissolved in oil separately, and both the solutions are mixed in the required proportions to make the dye workable.

Uses: It is used on steel and wood surfaces.

4. Watercolor: Water is the medium of all these colors. This is why it is called watercolor. The water is mixed with essential oils like dyes etc., in the liquid state. Distemper and a kind of watercolor.

Uses: It is used in walls, ceilings, special decorative work inside the room.

5. Aluminum color: It is prepared by mixing aluminum powder or spirit varnish-like fine powder. These prevent corrosion of iron and steel and are better than any other paint. The heat resistance of this color exists.

Uses: Aluminum paint is used in marine piers, oil storage tanks, gas tanks, radiators, hot water pipes, etc.

6. Distemper: It is a kind of watercolor. It uses water and oil as solvents and glue, dye or glue as the base ingredient. To get the required color, you have to mix the dry resin.

Uses: It is used in the interior and beautification of rooms, used by artists in watercolors, etc.

7. Water-repellent cement paint: This paint is made by mixing white cement with water and antifungal ingredients such as soap, heavy mineral oil, lime, micol, coptex emulsion, etc., and quantitative additives (glue, glue, gum, etc.). Different components have to be mixed for the required colors.

8. Enamel Paint: This paint is made by mixing metal oxides, oils, spirits, and resins. It has a hard, durable, elastic, smooth, and shiny surface after use but takes longer to dry. Enamel paints of different colors are available in the market. Not easily attacked by fire and vapor alkali etc.

Uses: Used on doors, windows, grills, decks, stairs.

9. Readymade paint: A mix of color elements requires skilled hands. It is convenient to use the ingredients made under the supervision of an experienced manufacturer. Different solvents, ingredients are to be mixed according to the manufacturer’s instructions for the readymade paint. The colors include in readymade paints- Bituminous paints, Emulsion paints, Graphite paints, Plastic paints, Asbestos paints, Bronze Paint, Anti-corrosive paint, etc.

Uses of varnish:

  • Preserving wood, enhancing beauty, protecting from adverse weather.
  • To make less expensive wood like more expensive wood.
  • Creating new colors by changing the wood’s own color
  • Demonstrate the brightness of the wood surface
  • Enhancing the beauty of interior decoration work
  • Creating new hard coating on wood.
  • The varnish is used in the woodwork to stabilize the wood surface.

Problems and defects in painting

The following defects are usually seen in the painting.

  • Flaking or peeling: Due to this defect, the painted surface part falls off or becomes loose. This happens when the adhesive in the dye solution is bad or weak.
  • Chalking: This defect can occur if the oily substance or oil in the paint solution is damaged due to natural or chemical changes.
  • Alligatoring: This defect occurs when you apply the second coat of paint before drying the first coat, or if the paint is coated with a soft or liquid color, or if one layer of paint does not stick to another layer of paint. So, you have to apply the second coat of paint after drying the first coat properly.
  • Blistering: This defect can occur if watery parts or air gets stuck on the surface of wood or metal products while using the paint.
  • Fading: This defect occurs due to the heat or sunlight while using paints on wood or metal. Heat changes the color, and they become pale.
  • Checking: Checking occurs on surfaces used when painting on a plastic surface.
  • Cracking: If the color layer is thick or thick, or as a result of the expansion of wood or metal material, cracks may appear on the painted or varnished surface.
  • Scaling: The cracks that form after dyeing on wood or metal material. Moisture enters the crack path, and gradually the color layer falls off or becomes scaling.
  • Blooming: If there is a defect of airtightness in the paint, then the defect shows flower-like faded spots on the painted surface; then this defect is called bloom.
  • Spotting: This defect occurs if the oil is not used in the required proportions during the initial coating. Also, this type of defect occurs if the oil in the final coating absorbs the wood or construction material.
  • Greening: This defect occurs when the final coating of paint creates sufficient opacity and spots appear on the main surface.
  • Washing: If water-soluble ingredients are used in the paint solution, the paint is washed off with water, and this defect is created.
  • Running: If you paint on a very smooth surface and if the color applied material such as brushes, pads, noodles, etc., are not correct, then small colored blank parts can be seen on the painted surface, and this is the running fault.
  • Flashing: The use of inferior quality paint and the use of paint by incompetent hands causes sudden brightness on the applied surface. This fault can also be due to the action.
  • Saponification: If the paint contains alkali, it will look like soapy foam stains on the painted surface due to chemical reactions. These are saponification faults.
  • Fungus attacking: In humid weather, fungus-like spots are formed on the closed room’s painted surface.

Problems and defects in varnishing:

The following defects can be seen while applying varnish-

  • Washable: Varnish in water does not last at all. If it stays in the rainwater for a while, the varnish is thoroughly washed away.
  • Fading: Varnish does not last even in the sun. If it stays in the sun for some time, its color fades.
  • Fungus formation: When varnished in a closed room in humid weather, fungus-like spots are formed.
  • Uneven surface: The situation arises when you do not apply varnish evenly on all parts of the surface.
  • Fading: The situation arises by applying varnish on a wet surface.
  • Dusting: This defect is seen when using soft grade resin in varnish solution.
  • Color contrast on the varnished surface: This type of defect occurs when the varnish solution does not mix evenly or if there is any other color or soluble impurities on the varnish application pad.
  • Fine cracks on varnish surfaces: This condition can be caused by the use of hard resin varnish on wet surfaces.

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