MAKE – 1d. Tools & Equipment (Finishing)

finish refers to the action that completes a product by adding an attractive or protective surface appearance.

What materials can you add a finish too?

I suppose any material could have a finish applied to it, think about a drinks carton, they are made from paper or card and have a wax or plastic finish on them. This stops the carton from leaking and it also improves the cartons aesthetic appeal.

Timbers have a whole load of finishes that can be added to them, such as mineral oils, vegetable oils, colour stains and washes, coloured and neutral waxes, varnishes and if you really have to paint. All of those finishes enhance(make better) the natural grains of the timber. The only acceptable time you would use paint on timber is if you are adding it to a manufactured board

Metals, especially if they are ferrous (containing iron), need to have a finish on them otherwise they will oxidize (rust). The types of finish available for metals are Anodizing, Black Oxide, Chemical Film,Electroless Nickel Plating, Paint, Passivate and Powder Coat.

Plastics do not require a protective finish as they already have a surface finish.​​​​​​​

Can you put any finish on any material?

Simple answer no. The processes and chemicals do not mix well with the other materials. A lot of the metal finishes use heat, chemicals and electricity and as timber (wood) does not really like heat nor is it a good conductor of electricity they will not work. Finishes for timber use the porous nature of wood to take on the finishes, metal normally will not take them. The only finish really that will be okay on both Timber and Metals are paint and then not water based paint.

How do you apply a finish?

The finishes used on woods can be applied by either rubbing with a cloth, dipping into a tub of the liquid, a brush, a roller or spraying. Finishes on metal can be applied using a brush, rarely a roller, spraying using electrostatics, and electroplating. Check out the detail in the PowerPoint.

Follow these hyperlinks to learn more:-

  1. Making
  2. Build
  3. Wood Finishes

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