Useful Tips

Gloss coating for wooden surfaces


What is it - polish, people have learned in ancient times. It is recognized as one of the most common finishing coatings, gained fame in Victorian times and has retained its popularity to the present day. The polish is made from shellac - a substance that has a structure similar to wax.

Pros and cons of polish

The polish is quite easily scratched, does not have resistance to alcohol and water - they can leave spots on the surface. Nevertheless, its external attractiveness and the ability to polish the surface to a mirror shine invariably attract a large number of buyers. Companies involved in the processing of wood material, willingly spend time on the development of varnish and work with it.

Types of varnish

DIY wood polish can be made without much effort. To do this, you need to dissolve small pieces of shellac in denatured alcohol. However, wood varnish is sold on construction markets, and it is often more convenient to buy it rather than make it yourself. Purchased product can be used immediately and not waste time waiting.

After answering the question, what is it - varnish, it is worth familiarizing yourself with the types of this finishing coating.

  1. “Button” varnish has a golden yellow color and is made from the highest quality shellac. This name was given to the product due to the fact that the manufacturers gave the cooling material the shape of a small disk that looked somewhat like a button. Elements turned out almost transparent. If you study them in the light, you can even consider how pure the material is. Now this coating is produced in the form of small flakes.
  2. The usual polish is made from shellac flakes of orange color, it is also clean. Such material for processing is characterized by a rather deep shade - light brown.
  3. The material of the dark color, which is also called pomegranate, is characterized by a rich red-brown color. This varnish is used in the processing of red wood material or other similar in color. Also, such a substance can be used, if necessary, to “revive” wood, which has an insufficiently warm shade.
  4. White polish is made from bleached shellac and can be used in light wood processing.
  5. A transparent coating is obtained by excluding from the composition of natural wax, which dissolves in colorless shellac. It can be used if necessary to change the color of the lightest wood.
  6. There is also a color varnish. What it is? This is a material that contains a number of dyes - red, black and green. Each coating color is used for specific purposes. For example, black is used for coloring pianos, while red and green can be used if necessary to choose the right shade. So, with the help of green, you can visually “age” the wood, and red, on the contrary, will “rejuvenate” material that has lost its presentation.

Material application

Varnish-varnish when applied requires some skill. Without the necessary skills, coating evenly will be quite difficult. Experienced wood processors are advised to apply the coating with a special brush, while sanding each new layer after application (in the traditional method of application, the surface is polished with a sponge). Sometimes, for the best result, you should not use ordinary polish, but one that contains special additives that do not allow it to dry quickly. Thus, the appearance of streaks and traces of the brush is not allowed.

The specifics of applying special and ordinary varnish

Special polish is applied using a brush made of soft material. It is important to ensure uniformity of coverage. An hour after painting the surface with a layer of a substance, it is necessary to polish the plane with a special sandpaper with silicon inclusions, and then apply the next layer. Then repeat the same steps a few more times.

The usual polish is applied mainly with a cotton sponge - a piece of cotton wool, which is wrapped in linen. This method involves coating the material with a plane in clockwise or counterclockwise movements, gradually covering the entire area. Then you should change the direction of the smear and cover the surface with a varnish again. Finish the job with direct strokes that will be parallel to the wood fibers.

"Button" varnish

The golden yellow color is made from shellac of the highest quality. This name appeared due to the fact that when cooling, shellac was given the shape of a flat 50-mm disc, similar to buttons. They are quite thin and therefore translucent - if you look through such a disk into the light, you can see the degree of purity of the substance. Currently, this varnish is available in the form of flakes.

DIY polish

In the manufacture of polishes, you will need peeled shellac, which must be dissolved in alcohol and add benzene to it. After this procedure, the mixture must be shaken, and then left it for 1.5 days at rest. After that, the liquid will be divided into two layers: the upper one, suitable for use, and the lower one, where all impurities polluting shellac will settle. After preparing the mixture, it is necessary to drain the top layer and use it as a varnish.

The manufacture of polishes on one's own can also be due to the fact that the solution not always purchased satisfies all the requirements. So, to cover the mosaic structure, it is necessary to have a transparent texture, which is rather difficult to find in stores. Moreover, sometimes in retail outlets no varnish for wood materials is presented at all. Even a self-made coating is a durable and durable material that, with proper care, will last for many years.

Customer reviews

Reviews about the polish as one of the best coatings attract more and more attention to the material. Especially those who like to do everything with their own hands. Masters note that it is quite simple to make a varnish. As a result of application, the surface of the tree acquires a beautiful shade and luster.

Feedback from experienced masters will help beginners understand what it is - polish. Despite the fact that enough coating is easily scratched, it can last quite a long time, especially if you do not get carried away by placing solid objects on the surface treated in this way.

Color polishes

Contain red, black or green dyes. Black polish is mainly used for polishing pianos, and red and green for color matching. Green polish, for example, will reduce the brightness of the red color of the mahogany, giving it a more “old” look. Red polish has the opposite effect, adding richness to brown shades of color. The color of any varnish can be changed by adding a drop of alcohol-based stain.

Application of varnish

Traditional varnish coating requires sufficient skill and experience to get a good result. Therefore, many woodworkers prefer to coat the product with a varnish with a brush, sanding each layer after its application, rather than polishing it with a sponge in the traditional manner.

It is even better to use a varnish with the content of special additives in it, slowing its drying, which allows you to get rid of streaks and brush marks after coating.


Use a soft brush to apply a layer of special varnish intended for use with a brush.

Wire Wash Grinding

Lightly sand the last coat with a wire washcloth and towards the fibers.

The technique of applying special polishes with a brush is easy to master. Using a soft brush, evenly apply a layer of polish. After about an hour, sand the surface lightly with a dry-silicon silicon sandpaper and lay a second coat. In the same way, put the third layer, leave to dry and polish with a class 0000 steel wool, dipping it in a wax polish. After 15 minutes, polish with a soft cloth.

Application of varnish

Traditionally, the varnish is applied using a ball of cotton wool wrapped in a white linen cloth so that a soft pillow or tampon is obtained, which is called a “sponge” or “pillow”.

Sponge making

Upholstery stuffing material is the best option for a sponge, but regular cotton wool will be almost as good for these purposes. Take a handful of material, give it an approximately egg-shaped shape and put in the center of a square (with a side of 225-300 mm) flax linen flap (1). Put one corner of the canvas on the cotton (2), then fold the edges of the flap (3), collecting the free ends of the canvas in the palm of your hand (4). Smooth the creases on the canvas - the bottom of the swab.

1. Place a wad of cotton on a square linen cloth2. Bend one corner3. Fold the edges4. Hold in the palm of your hand

Swab impregnation

Expand the canvas and, holding the sponge in your palm, pour shellac polish on the swab so that it fills the entire volume of cotton wool, but does not ooz. Fold the canvas again, as said earlier, and press the swab to the unnecessary trimmed wood so that the varnish evenly soaks the entire sole. With a fingertip, apply a drop of linseed oil to the sole as a lubricant.

Varnishing of shaped edges and carvings

Panels with large, shallow contoured edges can be polished with a tampon, but treat deep grooves, grooves, and carvings with a slightly diluted soft brush. Squirrel brush is ideal for these purposes, but you can do with a regular high-quality brush. Apply polish relatively quickly and evenly, but take your time so that no leaks form. After hardening shellac, do the alcohol treatment as described below, but grind easily, otherwise you can remove too much varnish from the protruding parts.

Alcohol processing

Linseed grease leaves a finish on the finish. You can remove them and polish the surface to a mirror shine with a sponge that practically does not contain shellac, but with a sole moistened with a few drops of denatured alcohol. Work on a surface with a swab only in straight parallel movements, gently lowering and raising the sponge to the surface at the beginning and end of each smear. As soon as the sponge begins to slow down, recharge it with methylated spirits. After a couple of minutes, you can check whether the strokes have disappeared. If not, repeat the alcohol treatment until you get the right quality. After half an hour, polish the surface with a dry soft cloth used to wipe off the dust, and leave the product to dry for at least a week for the final hardening of the finish.

Matte finish

If the specular gloss of the finish for some reason does not fit, a completely dried surface can be made matte by lightly rubbing a ball of a steel washcloth of class 0000 soaked in wax mastic. Make straight overlapping parallel strokes until the entire surface becomes evenly matte, then polish it with a soft cloth and add, if necessary, a small amount of wax mastic until a pleasant “satin” shine is obtained.