Finishing Tips

Following are some tips for using our Mastercraft wood stains and paints/stains and EF water-based and Country Colors stains:
EF Water-Based Stains and Country Colors

  • Don't worry about grain raising -- Water-based products always raise the grain, but you'll still get a perfect finish by simply following the application instructions included with the stain.
  • For a consistent stain on soft woods such as Aspen, use a pre-stain conditioner.
  • Remove hardware from furniture.
  • A second coat of stain will produce a darker color. Apply no more than 2 coats of stain.
  • Don't be alarmed if red stains leave red pigment on your applicator. All red pigments lift off more than other pigments.
  • Special Effects -- To obtain popular "Distressed Look", sand stain coat with #220 paper to reveal the original wood, sanding corners and edges that would normally get wear before applying top coat. For Washcoats using 2 colors, apply Wedgwood Blue and then immediately apply White, wiping the White into the Wedgwood Blue to achieve the desired look.
  • Do not pour Top Coat on to project. Instead, dip the applicator into the can and apply it to the wood.
  • Do not "work" or "scrub" top coats. Apply quickly and allow them to level out.
  • Warming top coats in hot water makes them flow better for spraying.
  • Maintenance -- Clean surface with damp cloth. Orange Oil or Lemon Oil may be used as a polish/cleaner. Do not used household cleaners or window cleaners. We recommend that you not use paste wax since it builds up and yellows.
  • Other Information -- Clean up with soap and water. All products cover 150 square feet per quart. Do not allow to freeze in storage.

Mastercraft Stains and Paint/Stain

  • You can create pastel colors effortlessly by mixing 1/2 portions of Mastercraft paint/stain colors with 1/2 portion of MC41 Bleached White. Lighter or darker pastel shades can be achieved by increasing or decreasing the amount of Bleached White.
  • To prevent stains from becoming absorbed too quickly into the end grains, mix 1 1/2 ounces of mineral spirits with 1/2 ounce of clear polyurethane and apply mixture with a 1" foam brush to the end grain areas immediately before applying the colored stain.
  • To obtain a painted look using Mastercraft Paint/Stain colors, apply several coats of the base stain. One coat of the paint/stain color wiped off will allow the wood grain to show through and appear as if the finished unit was dyed.
  • Sand your piece as smoothly as possible -- the smoother the surface, the more professional the result.
  • Always sand with the grain and be careful around mouldings, turnings and end grains.
  • Before sanding, test-color on an unexposed area such as the back of a drawer to be certain of the depth and shade.
  • When applying clear top coats, remember that the more coats applied, the higher the final gloss and protection. Always use at least two clear coats.

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