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Shoe Polish as a Wood Finish.

Discussion in 'DIY and Traditional crafts' started by Mick w., Jun 30, 2012.

  1. Mick w.

    Mick w. Nomad

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    Hi all, apologies for this if it's been done before, but I can't find the thread I originally saw it on and it looked like a good way to bring out the features of a carving.
    Can anyone tell me a bit more about the process and the application, and also the finishing of it?
    Does it go on nice and evenly, or is it a bugger to get right?
    I just had a crack at another wood spirity type and I'd like to finish this one off a bit so any advice gratefully recieved - cheers!
    Mick.
     
  2. Dogoak

    Dogoak Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    I've used shoe polish on wood before, most traditional shoe polishes are a wax, put it on, wait for a bit, polish off, simples. Try it out first on an off-cut to see if you get the effect you want.
     
  3. blacktimberwolf

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    Just apply it then brush, needs to be dry wood though otherwise it'll be a mess.
     
  4. Mick w.

    Mick w. Nomad

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    Cheers guys, I'm hoping it goes on nice and uniformly, and doesn't look patchy?
     
  5. jojo

    jojo Need to contact Admin...

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    I do sometimes use shoe polish, black or dark brown, it does what I want, which is to "age" a wood object. It does not, at least for me, apply as evenly on wood as it does on leather, and tends to accumulate in the nooks and crannies. It may well be that if you use light colour polish on your carving it will come out even, at least it won't be too obvious!
     
  6. Mick w.

    Mick w. Nomad

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    Well, I went with the 'dark tan' - wouldn't recommend it! my little wood spirit ornament looks a bit phallic now, it's come out a pinky red rather than light brown which I wanted.
    I wanted the polish to darken the recessed bits on the beard and so on which it has, but I think next time I'll try a lighter brown!
    What finish do other people apply? I've used boiled linseed on sticks, but I'm pretty new to the actual carving, wood-spirity world...
     
  7. blacktimberwolf

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    I suspect your wood was green....has to be dry... If you don't like the colour you could try removing it using essence of turpentine & an old toothbrush.
    Raw linseed oil is all you need but again I wouldn't use on green wood.
     
  8. Mick w.

    Mick w. Nomad

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    I would say the wood was dry, but not seasoned. It's been kicking about in my garage for a few weeks after having been found lying in the woods. I'm not even sure what kind of wood it is but I'll have to try and find out as it carves quite well.
    I'm not too worried about the colour as everything I do at this stage is very much part of the learning process - I'm still very much a beginner!
    Would raw linseed oil colour the wood at all? It's very pale with no discernible grain showing, quite light weight so looks a bit uninteresting on it's own.
     
  9. blacktimberwolf

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    Linseed oil does darken some wood & bring out the grain (where there is one ;)) but since the polish didn't take I doubt the oil will have much effect.in this case...could be there is still some sap left, still damp or maybe it has some essential oils.....lightweight & easy to carve suggests a soft wood or it's partially decomposed :D...but some woods are just less 'woody' than others & you can't do much with them..

    2 weeks in a garage after finding a piece of wood 'lying around in the woods' isn't long enough for it to dry out anyway I would leave it for at least another month ( in a cool DRY place) before attempting any kind of finish...

    Any chance of a piccy ? :puppy_dog
     
    #9 blacktimberwolf, Jul 2, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2012
  10. Andy T

    Andy T Full Member

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    I've used shoe polish to stain wood but i used the liquid polish and found it worked well.
     
  11. woodspirits

    woodspirits Full Member

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    hiya mick,

    never tried the polish method sounds interesting, as has been suggested, you may get an accumulation in the nooks and cranies unless you use liquid polish and apply it with an old toothbrush. :)

    i tend to use Colron wood dyes if i want to darken the wood, colour and shade is really dependant on your taste. wood tends to darken naturally with age anyway, i have had a carving in my garden for a couple of years now that has aged naturally complete with lichen growth. :D

    as for when to apply it? green or dry straight after ive carved it, but i use stain so the wood can still 'breath'


    steve
     
    #11 woodspirits, Jul 2, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2012
  12. Mick w.

    Mick w. Nomad

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    It isn't decomposed at all, the bits I used were attached to the main fallen branch, but not on the ground themselves so no rot issues. The shoe polish has accumulated in the v-cut bits of hair and beard and that's fine, it defines them better - I just don't like the reddish colour! I may, in the near future, try my hand with very thinned down acrylic paint as a sort of green wash for a green man/woodspirit that is, at present, just floating around in the space between my ears.
    As soon as I learn how to post pictures on here, and have some worth posting, I'll have a crack at that!
     

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