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Liquid stain«» (top row) cause splotching on pirn* (left) anil cherry (renter), lint hi-lili-lil llir figure of eurl> maple (riizlil). (¿el »tain* (bottom) »tain all three evenly becauw they penetrate less.

mahogany, curly maple and burls. (See photo, above.) Since gel stains don't penetrate, they don't bring out the wood's depth and richncss or highlight contrasting figure. This is just as true for gel stains that use dye as the colorant as it is for those that use pigment. In both cases, the thixotropic gel prevents the colorant from penetrating.

If you used a gel stain on curly maple, mottled mahogany or any other figured wood, you would lose almost all the beautiful definition vou were w l<K)king for in choosing these woods.

Applying Gel Stains

Applying gel stains is no different than applying other stains. First you brush, wipe or spray the stain on the wood. Then, before the stain dries, you wipe off the excess. Because gel stains dry fairly quickly, you should begin wiping off the excess stain within a few minutes of application. Make your last wiping strokes follow the direction of the grain. This way, any streaks you might leave will be difficult to distinguish from the grain itself.

On large surfaces you may have to apply the stain to smaller sections, overlapping as you go. The areas where you've overlapped the stain often show up darker than the rest of the surface. These darker areas are called "lap marks."

You shouldn't have any trouble wiping off lap marks as long as the first application is still wet. But if the first coat has begun to dry and you do have trouble, immediately dampen a cloth with mineral spirits (for varnish-based stains) or water (for acrylic-based stains) and trv to remove some of the stain. Then feather the lapped and unlapped areas together with more stain. If the gel stain has dried hard before you remove the lap marks, you'll have to strip the entire surface with a paint-and-vamish remover, and restain. (See "Faint Strippers for Furniture," aw *22.) It's not necessarv to remove all the color

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Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

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