American Woodworker

Important Information >>


Thompson's Water Seal and You


If you've ever read the directions on a can of TWS you probably seen where
it tells you not mix with paint. Now, I haven't tried it (yet) with paint
(obviously it'd have to be oil-based paint) but yesterday I mixed it with
solvent-based stain.

I honestly don't know why I do things like this - I think it's because my
mind wanders around a bit b'cuz one minute I'm over there, clean across
the shop working on something, and I'll turn around and go do the thing I
just thought about.

A couple weeks ago Jim paraded into the shop with a page he tore outta
some magazine. It was a corner plant stand and it was being sold as a kit
- you buy it, they ship it to you and you get to assemble it all for
$295.00 and "paint not included".

After his was built (based on measurements we scaled from the picture) I
thought it was too small so I went to SketchUp and modeled it larger and
with significant. design changes...

Corner Plant Stand

So there I was, putting the final touches on one to sell and I started
thinking about what to finish it with. The magazine picture showed it
painted in that antique look but I was using western red cedar and
finishing it like that would be impossible since I kept the rough side. I
took a piece of WRC with me into the finish room and brushed on a coat of
TWS. It darkened it somewhat but the color was pleasing. I then had an
"ohh, hey" moment and mixed a little splash of TWS with some American
Walnut stain by Old Masters and brushed that on another sample.

Doing that was amazing - ya know how brushing stain on rough wood takes
quite a bit of work? Well, the stain color along with the TWS was
immediately sucked into the wood. This color, however, was way too dark
for the plant stand but it was the perfect color I had been looking for to
use on the decorative brackets that's gonna go on the shop's facade. So,
I put Letha (Jim's wife) to work Thomstaining (that's a new word I just
made up) the brackets and they came out gorgeous. Nice 'n dark, protected
by the TWS and you can see the wood grain. Had I used paint, I would
first have to prime them, then paint and, of course lose the wood grain
look in the process.

So if the look of plain ole TWS doesn't appeal to your eye then try mixing
a batch with a solvent-based stain. I didn't try Minwax but I'm sure it
will work.

Until next time,

Joe Johns,
Twisted Knot Woodshop, "There's never been a classier joint"




Filed under:


Scott Holmes wrote re: Thompson's Water Seal and You
on 05-08-2011 8:52 PM

TWS is nothing but mineral spirits ~85% with linseed oil and wax making up the other 15%.

You still have little to no protection on the planter.