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Thread: Tired of cleaning varnish brushes?

  1. #1

    Tired of cleaning varnish brushes?

    I thought I finially had something important to say, but Fine Woodworking beat me to it.
    For those who have not read this month copy I will repeat it.

    Substitute gauze pads from your drug store, 4 inch pads worked fine on my picture fame. Wad up a pad, dip it in your varnish and spread a nice even coat on your project. Notice how evenly it goes on with no bush hairs and streaks. Nice thin even coat. Save the pad in a plastic bag, it will work for the next coat. and when done lay the pad out on something til varnish hardens. No fire hazard, no cans of used thinner sitting around.

    I have only used this method with varnish but I can't see why it would not work with paint or stain



    Walla, no thinner, no wondering if the brush is really clean, no saving or dumping dirty cleaner.

  2. #2
    Cool will remember this

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Peoria, IL
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    If you are getting streaks and bristles in you varnish, you aren't using the correct brush or it's way too cheap. A quality brush will out perform a gauze pad for speed and with laying down an even coat. Really hard to imagine painting something with a gauze pad!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    N.E. Ohio
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    5,478
    Ahem.... a better "pad" can be had in the feminine products section of the local drug store for about half the price of gauze...
    My granddad always said, :As one door closes, another opens".
    Wonderful man, terrible cabinet maker...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Concord, NC
    Posts
    2,232
    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Coers View Post
    If you are getting streaks and bristles in you varnish, you aren't using the correct brush or it's way too cheap. A quality brush will out perform a gauze pad for speed and with laying down an even coat. Really hard to imagine painting something with a gauze pad!

    I assume you never did French Polish.
    Richard

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Peoria, IL
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Wolf View Post
    I assume you never did French Polish.
    I thought the discussion was on varnish and paint or stain application? But you are correct, I've never French Polished with varnish. But I have French polished with shellac and a drop of mineral oil for lubrication of the pad.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by anne watson View Post
    I thought I finially had something important to say, but Fine Woodworking beat me to it.
    For those who have not read this month copy I will repeat it.

    Substitute gauze pads from your drug store, 4 inch pads worked fine on my picture fame. Wad up a pad, dip it in your varnish and spread a nice even coat on your project. Notice how evenly it goes on with no bush hairs and streaks. Nice thin even coat. Save the pad in a plastic bag, it will work for the next coat. and when done lay the pad out on something til varnish hardens. No fire hazard, no cans of used thinner sitting around.

    I have only used this method with varnish but I can't see why it would not work with paint or stain



    Walla, no thinner, no wondering if the brush is really clean, no saving or dumping dirty cleaner.
    Good tip Anne. Thanks for posting this!
    Fred
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    SE Michigan
    Posts
    1,801
    Great tip, Anne. I do use the facial pads from time to time for a quick seal of shellac. I’ll have to check out the gauze pads next time I’m in the drug store.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Cincinnati, OH
    Posts
    406
    I had tried the smaller gauze pads but will try the larger ones as you recommend. Thanks for the tip.
    Rustic? Well, no. That was not my intention!

  10. #10
    I have used pieces of folded over cheesecloth with WOP for finishing bowls ever since I heard of it (was using a brush and varnish). I've also used the cheesecloth and WOP to refinish coffee tables and the finish comes out great...

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