Who doesn’t like a good DIY project? Crafting your furniture yourself is very rewarding. Or so you thought until you notice something was off – the finish has several white spots in it! This is called blushing and it plagues many woodwork projects. Luckily, you can still fix it. All you need is the Mohawk Blush Retarder. But while the product works, you should understand when you can use it. Otherwise, it will cause you more harm than good.
In this article, we’ll discuss the following:
- What is blush on a finish
- How Mohawk Blush Retarder prevents blushing
- How you can prevent blushing naturally
- When you should use the Mohawk Blush Retarder
- How to use the Mohawk Blush Retarder
- How long you can store the Mohawk Blush Retarder
- How much the Mohawk Blush Retarder costs
- How safe is the Mohawk Blush Retarder
What is blush on a lacquer/shellac finish and how can the Mohawk Blush Retarder fix it?
Before we explain the usage of the Mohawk Blush Retarder, let’s first look at what blushing looks like. After all, your finish may look for many reasons. If you identify the blush incorrectly, you’ll only end up wasting your money on a product that doesn’t work.
Blushing happens when the finish dries too quickly, trapping moisture under it. The result is a milky white discoloration called blush. It can be one giant spot or a series of small dots spread across the finish. In either case, it doesn’t look great.
But why does this happen? The answer is moisture. As the finish evaporates, it can trap moisture under the surface. It is this moisture that then causes blushing. This often happens when you apply the finish in humid conditions.
The Mohawk Blush Retarder is designed to fight blush formation. It makes the finish dry slower, allowing more moisture to evaporate from the surface. And less moisture means no blush. The product is cheap, meaning it can be invaluable if you have to work in humid conditions. It works well and doesn’t take a long time to use.
But the Mohawk Blush Retarder isn’t easy to use. You can’t simply spray it randomly onto the finish. It generally comes with a specific finish-to-retarder ratio for it to work properly. Using too little will lead to no effect while using too much can lower the quality of your finish. Moreover, you can’t use it on all types of materials.
How can you prevent blushing naturally?
Although the Mohawk Blush Retarder is a wonderful product for preventing blush formation, it can be challenging to use. Thus, it’s always better to try natural methods first.
Blushing happens when moisture becomes trapped under your finish, resulting in cloudy or oily spots. The key to prevention is keeping moisture levels to a minimum.
As a rule of thumb, you shouldn’t apply finish to your woodwork project if the relative humidity is above 65%. Or more precisely, don’t apply the finish when the dew point is within 20 degrees of the ambient temperatures. The Dew point describes the temperatures at which moisture condenses as water. The closer it is to the actual temperature, the more vapor condenses as water. This leads to higher humidity.
If it’s 70 degrees and the dew point is 55 degrees, you should leave your project for later. Otherwise, you’re almost guaranteed to get a blush in your finish.
The properties of most finishes don’t help either. Most of them cool down rapidly as they evaporate, which makes the condensation ratio even worse.
Make sure you assess your environment as well. The item you’re working on should be the same temperature as your environment. If it isn’t, you’re more likely to get blushing under the finish. In other words, be mindful of air conditioners and heaters. Always let your pieces cool or heat up before you start working on them.
When to use the Mohawk Blush Retarder?
You should use the Mohawk Blush Retarder when you can’t do anything about humid conditions. This is often the case if you live in warmer climates where the humidity is naturally high. In this case, blushing may feel unavoidable.
That’s where the Mohawk Blush Retarder comes in. It doesn’t affect the final look of your project – it simply slows down the drying process. Thus, more water can evaporate before the finish sets it. This eliminates the potential blushing.
You can also use the Mohawk Blush Retarder to remove existing blushes or water stains. However, this may be slightly less effective depending on the size of the blushing.
How to use the Mohawk Blush Retarder? 8 simple steps
If you’re powerless against the humid conditions in your workspace, you’ll need to use the Mohawk Blush Retarder. Unfortunately, this is a bit trickier than it sounds – you can’t just spray it randomly onto the finish.
Follow these 8 steps to apply the Mohawk Blush Retarder successfully:
- Research your type of finish. The Mohawk Blush Retarder is incompatible with certain materials. These include polyurethane, waxes, water-based coatings, and conversion varnishes. You can damage your piece if you use it on these surfaces.
- Make sure the can’s temperature falls between 65 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Find an open, ventilated area where you can apply the Mohawk Blush Retarder. It contains harmful chemicals that can take a while to clear indoors. The smell isn’t the best either so be prepared for that as well.
- Before you start spraying, shake the bottle for at least one minute. This will make the mixture balanced again.
- Position the can at least 12 inches from the surface.
- Press the spray button and apply it to the affected area. Make sure you apply the Mohawk Blush Retarder in short bursts. The coats should be thin so that they dry faster.
- If you’re trying to fix an existing blush, wait a few minutes.
- If the blush doesn’t disappear, repeat the process.
This is just a general guide based on how most types of Mohawk Blush Retarders work. Always double-check whether these instructions match the ones on your product.
How long can you store the Mohawk Blush Retarder?
If you’re planning to buy a Mohawk Blush Retarder just in case you may need it, you can. The unopened product should last for up to three years, meaning you can store it safely. Its shelf life will decrease to about a year once you open it so keep that in mind when you work on your projects. Still, it can be a good idea to store it in advance since it’s so cheap.
Is the Mohawk Blush Retarder expensive?
The Mohawk Blush Retarder is a very cheap product – a 13-oz can cost only about 10$. Unless you work on more than one project, you won’t need more. The price depends on the seller as well. But with enough research, you should be able to get it for the said price. We don’t include potential delivery fees though.
Is the Mohawk Blush Retarder safe to use?
The Mohawk Blush Retarder is as safe to use as most chemicals. That means it’s safe as long as you take some precautions.
Since it comes in an aerosol form, it disperses through the air. This means you need to use it in an open area. It smells bad as well, which is another reason to apply it outside.
If want to use it inside, make sure you wear protective gear and a respirator. Once you’re done with your project, open the window to let the room breathe a little.
Our final thoughts on the Mohawk Blush Retarder
The Mohawk Blush Retarder is a product designed to fix and prevent blushing. Blushing happens when moisture becomes trapped under the finish. When the finish dries too fast, the moisture will condense and form milky patches on the surface of your woodwork.
This is why you shouldn’t apply a finish in humid conditions. If the dew point is too close to the actual temperatures, you will likely get blushing on your DIY piece. Make sure the piece you work with is the same temperature as your environment. If you’ve just taken it out of an air-conditioned room, it is likely colder. This leads to condensation.
If you live in a humid environment and can’t avoid blushing naturally, you can use the Mohawk Blush Retarder. The product slows down the drying process, allowing all moisture to evaporate before the finish hardens. This prevents blushing. You can also apply it to existing blushes to remove them.
But before you use it, make sure the material is compatible with the chemical. Synthetic materials such as polyurethane are sensitive to the retarder. If you use it, you will damage the finish.
We recommend using the Mohawk Blush Retarder outside since it is both smelly and toxic. If you plan on using it inside, wear protective equipment and ventilate the room once you’re done. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using it.
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