Archive for Saturday, March 25, 2017

Fix-It Chick: A hand-rubbed finish

March 25, 2017

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Rotten stone is an old-school powdered rubbing compound made from finely ground limestone. Finer than pumice powder, rotten stone can be used to achieve a glass-like high-gloss shine on lacquer or shellac wood finishes.

Step 1: Start by sanding down surface imperfections using a quarter sheet of 600-grit wet-dry sandpaper folded into thirds. Use your hands to rub some mineral oil or linseed oil onto the wood surface. Rub the sandpaper along the grain of the wood, lifting the paper up and off the wood at the surface edges to avoid sanding off the thinner finish found along the edges of any wood piece. Add more oil as needed. Continue the process until a uniform sheen has been achieved.

Step 2: Wipe the surface clean with a soft rag soaked with mineral spirits. Look for shiny spots in the finish and sand those again, using the oil and 600-grit wet-dry sandpaper. Allow the surface to dry 24 hours before proceeding.

Step 3: Soak a soft cloth or piece of rubbing felt in mineral oil or linseed oil. Wring the cloth out and dip it into a pile of pumice stone powder. Shake off the excess powder. Rub the cloth along the grain of the wood, using firm uniform pressure. Go over the same spot six to eight times before moving onto the next section.

Step 4: Wipe away the pumice residue with an oil-soaked cloth. Wipe away the oil residue with a dry cloth. Wipe the surface clean with a cloth soaked with mineral spirits. Wait 48 hours before proceeding.

Step 5: Soak a soft cloth or piece of rubbing felt in mineral oil or linseed oil. For a high-gloss finish, use water instead of oil. Wring the cloth or felt out and dip it into a pile of rotten stone powder. Shake off the excess powder. Rub along the grain of the wood, using firm uniform pressure. Go over the same spot six to eight times before moving onto the next section.

Step 6: Wipe away excess rotten stone with an oil or water soaked cloth. Wipe the surface dry with a clean cloth.

Step 7: Sprinkle the dry surface with a light layer of rotten stone powder and rub along the grain of the wood one final time for a beautiful glossy hand-rubbed finish.

— Have a question? Email Linda Cottin at hardware@sunflower.com.

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