I copied this from the "December Poinsettia Intarsia Pattern of the Month, and an article in the current Newsletter about how wood colors change, especially the red. I used African Paduak on the poinsettia, at first it was a very bright reddish orange color, now it is a dark purplish red color. These pieces hang in my showroom which has very bright lights. The color changes more quickly under these conditions.
So I’ve been trying some other finishes on the red woods and Poplar. It’s a little unconventional because it’s meant for protecting artwork. Both are Krylon products that are UV-Resistant. The UV-resistant Clear Coating Acrylic dries fast ...but more sanding between coats. They have a UV Archival Varnish that doesn’t need sanding between coats. I used the varnish on this last set of patterns. I used 4/0 steel wool between coats, especially on the Aspen. I applied four coats.
The hummingbird is the green poplar, red heart, and aspen. The green poplar turns brown fairly quick like the red heart. After a year the poplar has kept the green and red is already turning a duller red.
Here's a example showing how much the red wood (Pink MyLady) has changed in three years. The water based polyurethane raises the grain on the aspen, especially the first coat. However it does soak into the wood, probably better than the spray finishes. I tried the water based finish on the red and it does not get that rich deep red color. I will try it this winter to see how it works in the long run.
One thing I want to mention about using a spray finish, I apply the spray varnish to each part before glueing the projects to the backing. I have lots of used Xacto blades that I glued to 3/8” dowels cut about 6” long. I use those to stick into the back of the parts to make it easier to spray the surface and the sides of the part. I drilled lots of holes in a 2 x 4 to set the dowels in as the spray dries. It’s almost impossible to spray an even finish on a project that is glued together. The spray will build up on the thicker parts and barely reach the background thinner parts. Plus it’s very hard to sand between coats. One part of the wood may absorb more of the finish and build up on the other side.
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