I find I have to control the variables in order to recreate complex multi-step finishing systems, simple stain matches, or difficult color matches in pigmented conversion varnish.

Color matching and finish system creation is like a chess game. What happens in step #1, #7, or #10 is going to have an impact on another step that follows. If you use one drop of lamp black in step #4, is it going to shift the color too far away from the red you need?

Do you use a washcoat here or a full-bodied coat of sealer? What will the consequences be on the final outcome? You need to know these things. It is important to think through the entire process and know what will happen next.

For that reason, I have learned to be really anal. If my recipe calls for 8.2 grams of something, I better not put in 8.1 or 8.3. But, if I do make a change, I better make one change at a time. Otherwise how will I know for certain what helped and what threw me in the wrong direction? Three changes at once could prove costly, especially with productivity.

Source: A bloggist for WoodworkingNetwork.com, Bernie Bottens teaches wood finishing in industrial woodworking to shop owners, foremen, spray technicians and finishers all over the Pacific Northwest. He is wood finishing specialist with Wurth Louis and Co., Portland, OR. Reach him at kapenterprises@msn.com.

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