Even when I’ve applied a certain finish 100 times, I still make a sample board. There are just too many variables.
The wood might have some interesting chemicals and colors in it. A finish manufacturer might have changed its formula (looking at you Lily/Valspar). Or you are dealing with shellac, which can be old or have some unexpected hues.
Yesterday I made a sample board using teak that was left over from building the chest. I planed it using the same tools I used on the chest – then lightly scuffed it with #220-grit sandpaper. Then I applied one coat of Liberon Bison Wax, the Tudor Brown color. I call this wax: Creepy Janitor.
I love this wax on open-grained woods. The wax gets into the pores and adds brown tones to the garnet shellac. It is easy to apply and buffs to a low lustre that never looks like someone fingered your project after eating a large basket of greasy Freedom Fries.
But the smell – until it dissipates – gives me the creeps.
It’s a very odd perfumy smell that is mixed with cleaning fluids. I have some more descriptive words for it that involve armpits, a greasy rubbing compound for sore joints and glass kittens, but I know it would get me in trouble with the readers.
The sample board looked great, so this morning I removed all the hardware from the chest. (This takes more than an hour. It’s like undressing a Victorian woman.) I applied the two coats of garnet shellac, sanding between the coats with a #320-grit sanding sponge.
Now I’m just waiting for the shellac to harden up a bit more before I apply the wax. And I’m going to first make dinner so I don’t have that brown goo in my nostrils when chewing.
Really, I love the wax. It’s worth the smell.
— Christopher Schwarz