Thursday, April 7, 2011

Wedding Cake Topper Part 3

Another day of sunshine and time to get out the Scotch-Brite Pad again as we get into the third part in our series on the wedding cake topper.
So far we have sanded, painted, painted again, and then patiently waited for everything to dry. The next step is to finish the piece before it is all cut. My next step is to apply another light sanding/polishing via Scotch-Brite and then mix a concoction of low-odor mineral spirits and 100% tung oil. You should note that tung oil is derived from a tree nut and people with nut allergies should maybe not test out whether or not they will react.
Back to the mixture- tung oil needs to be mixed with a solvent in a 1:1 ratio to allow the oil to penetrate the pores of the wood. Even though we have added two coats of paint, the surface is not sealed and this penetrating layer will be the first step.

Tung Oil : Mineral Spirits (1:1)

You should also note that unless your product specifically states that it is 100% pure, you are likely dealing with a product that has tung oil as an additive to other chemicals. If you are wanting an environmentally friendly finish, you must be careful in selecting 100% pure oil.
Tung oil, when applied in multiple thin coats, will slowly cure to a stain finish and be more resistant to water than other oil finishes.
When using milk paint, I use tung oil not only for it's natural finish but also for color changes in the milk paint, Tung oil will deepen the milk paint color by about 2 shades. If this is desirable, tung oil is an excellent thing to use as it does not darken or yellow with age and you can be more sure of its staying power than other finishes.

Here is our green piece with its first coat of oil/solvent. This will need another 12-24 hours to finish the job before we add another coat. One more note- you want to make sure you do NOT leave a light sheen on the wood of oil. In this case it should be applied with a soft cotton rag that is fuzzy-free. After application, take a clean part of that cloth and try and remove any extra oil that is left over from the application. It's unnecessary and can lengthen the next step.
Milk Paint Deepened with Tung Oil
The color here looks impossibly dark as the oil is drying. I think we will see another color change by tomorrow as the oil dries and penetrates the wood pores.

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