Shellac And Glaze

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Cost: Shellac; $8 per qt

Glaze (artists' oil color and liquid medium);$l5 Topcoat; $5 to $8 per aerosol can Coverage:A little glaze goes a long way

PROS: Rich color

Minimizes mottled figure Goof-proof because it's reversible Disguises sapwood End grain matches face grain CONS: Additional steps take extra time Added cost

Finish topcoats necessary

STEP 4 USETWO RAGS FOR WIPING, one that's fairly loaded with glaze and another that's fairly clean. Between the two you can feather the glaze however you want.

Step 5 (optional) MINERAL SPIRITS REMOVES GLAZE. If your glaze doesn't look right, you can take it off (before it dries) and try again.

COPING WITH CHERRY'S LIGHT-COLORED SAPWOOD

My best advice, which is to cut off all of the sapwood, isn't always practical. If you can't remove all of the sapwood, hide it on the underside or turn it to the inside whenever you can.

You can disguise sapwood with pigments or dye (photos at right). These cover-ups look best when they're fresh. Here's why: Pigments retain their color over time, but dyes fade (water-based dyes last the longest) and cherry's color changes.

If you color sapwood with dye, it'll gradually get lighter while the surrounding heartwood gets darker. Matching the sapwood with pigment works better. Over extended lengths of time, however, exposure to sunlight can actually bleach cherry, so sapwood colored with pigment will end up being too dark.

The best way to color sapwood is to tone it with diluted golden-brown-colored dye, seal the surface with shellac, and glaze over with burnt-umber-colored pigment.

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