Huh, Never Saw That Before

Interspersed between sessions of working on the cherry trim for the new bay window I began the process of transforming the pine-veneer-over-particle-board shelf of the unit into something that is visually cherry-ish.  The shelf will be used as a mini-greenhouse by Mrs. Barn through the winter, so the finish needed to be really robust.  To that end, I sealed the surface thoroughly with a brushcoat of thinned West System Epoxy for best penetration to get it as impregnated and protected against moisture as possible.

To impart the coloration for the board I used a commercial cherry stain as an intermediate glaze coat, probably an iffy proposition.  Actually, in hindsight since it was a complete mess of an outcome — perhaps the worst finishing clusterflunk I have ever encountered — it was way worse than “iffy.”  I did not even document the process, I had glazed probably ten thousand surfaces over my career so why document this one?  (Perhaps some day I should write a series of blog posts about imparting coloration for matching, and the various techniques — staining, dyeing, toning, and glazing).

The glazing went fairly well but it took three days for the glaze to set before I could recoat, versus the normal 2-6 hours.  I abraded it lightly to reduce the effects of dust and bugs and miscellaneous debris that became embedded during those drying days.  I followed this with a light brush coat of my favorite oil/resin varnish, Pratt and Lambert 38 (no longer available, alas), just before going to bed.  With the varnish seal coat over the stain glaze it looked awfully good.

Imagine my surprise when I got up the next morning and saw the most highly blushed coating I have seen in my 50+ years of finishing.  Even more than times when I was lacquering on a sweltering Floriduh summer day with a driving thunderstorm outside.  Something in the stain/glaze clearly did not like something in the varnish seal coat.  I mean, REALLY did not like it.  In fact, I have never before seen an oil varnish blush.  Never.  And this was an oil varnish over an epoxy base.

Back to the drawing board.  Gotta noodle this one for a while.  Stay tuned.