February Meeting: The Basics of Color and Topcoats

When: 12 February 2021, 6:30pm to 8:30pm

Where: ,

6:30 PM Social time begins
7:00 PM Presentation begins
8:30 PM Meeting ends

This presentation is tailored especially for woodworkers who are uneasy about the finishing process and wish to master the basic knowledge and techniques that will enable professional finishing results using easily available materials.  It will be is a mixture of lecture and demonstration, with time at the end for questions.

Mike will present and demonstrate the critical differences between pigment and dye colors and help us gain an understanding of how to interpret the often confusing information found on the many cans and bottles of colorants.  He will also show how to use both dyes and pigments in a classic finishing schedule including glazing and toning, and show some simple steps to achieve rich colors, vibrant grain popping, and techniques to match existing colors.

In the world of topcoats, Mike will share a way to categorize virtually all finishes into one of five basic families. He will show how to successfully apply products from each family using the proper tools for shellac, oil-based and water-based finishes, and also teach some basic spray techniques using commonly available aerosol products to achieve professional quality results.   — Mike Mascelli


Mike Mascelli is a professional upholsterer in Latham, NY with over 40 years of experience. Mike is also Director of the Professional Refinisher’s Group, a national organization founded in 1998 to connect professionals in the restoration, refinishing and conservation trades. In his upholstery work he divides his time between classic furniture and classic cars, while his finishing expertise is based on years of shop experience and the counsel and mentoring of some of the most experienced wood finishers in the industry.  Mike contributed an essay on Roubo’s writing to the Lost Art Press reprint of With All the Precision Possible: Roubo on Furniture, has contributed articles to the Journal of American Period Furniture, and has completed several instructional videos on upholstery techniques for Popular Woodworking and Fine Woodworking.  He is currently working on some articles for Fine Woodworking on the basics of finishing.