Finishing in the Fall Season

Dealing with finishing problems during the fall season - March 17, 2000

by WOODWEB's Finishing Team:
John Buries and Bob Niemeyer

Q. I seem to have more finishing problems during the fall and spring. Any thoughts as to why?

A. John Buries responds: The fall and spring seasons are difficult times to maintain consistent quality in the finish room, primarily because of inconsistency in the ambient conditions. It can be cool to cold in the mornings and warm to hot in the afternoon.

This variation can cause the same coating to handle differently from hour to hour. In the hot summer, at least, certain slight adjustments can be made to coatings so they work consistently throughout the day.

Temperature changes can also effect your substrate. Wood adapts very quickly to ambient conditions. Hot, dry afternoons can cause the wood to release surface moisture it absorbed in the cool, damp morning.

All these condition changes can contribute to color variation and bubbling and flow problems in clear coats.

Several adjustments may need to be made to each coating as the temperature rises.

Remember: Only adjust or add retarder to small amounts of your coating. On a hot afternoon, if you retard the drying of a wiping stain, you won't be able to use that same blend on the following cold morning.