Turning Archive 2005

shoe polish

john Lucas
>Jennifer asked if I use shoe polish to fill in pores on wood. I thought I would start a new thread on this because there are a lot of possibilities.

I started doing this years ago when I had some really dull brown mahagony. It just didn't look nice. I had some annaline dye and dyed it red. I didn't know much about mixing dye back then. It was really ugly. I remember Clay Foster saying something about shoe polish so I took brown shoe polish and rubbed it on. It had that beautiful burgundy mahagony look.

Since then I've experimented a lot. Shoe polish fills in the pores and cracks of wood. You can also use waxes such as Rub-n-buff to rub gold, silver, copper and other colors into the grain of wood.

It will often color the wood. You can take some of the color away by lightly rubbing mineral spirits on the wood. If you don't want it to fill the really small pores seal the wood with a light coat of shellac. If you want to seal the peice after you rub in the wax put a light coaat of shellac on.

I have been known to finish a piece with nothing but shoe polish. It will rubb off when fresh but after a day or so kind of sets and doesn't rub off to the touch. Some finishes will disolve it so it's a good idea to try a test piece. Of course if you apply a coat of shellac you can use almost any finish.

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