Monday, December 4, 2017

DIY Flower Press Surface Finishing with Creme Wax and Chalkboard Adhesive

Have I mentioned before that I love my homemade flower press? Only about a million times?  It would be a great handmade Christmas present for a gardener or nature lover, or a DIY project for yourself during the break.  When mine was made, I decided to use it for a while before deciding on a finish, and I'm very glad that I did as the finish I chose was not what I would have used at the time.  Here's how I chose to (finally...) finish my press and why, in case you'd like to pretty up your own press or create a finished press for gifting.

The square plate washers work brilliantly for distributing the pressure from the carriage bolts to the top of the press when in use, but they still compress the wood slightly (see the third image in the collage below).  The wooden plates of my press were created study and thick so that they could handle this without cracking, splitting, or warping over time.  Still, whatever I used to finish the surface of my press needed to help protect the wood but also be forgiving enough to accommodate the squeezing and shifting that the wooden panels of the press endure during use and allow me to refinish or touch up easily if/when needed.  

To finish the wood, I opted for a creme wax.  I already had some in my stash, having used it on the homemade cutting board style iPad holder I keep on the kitchen counter (very handy).  It's easy to apply, low odor, and dries quickly - see the specific details and instructions for the product I used here. The creme wax finish will protect the wood and it wears well, can handle the pressing shifts and squeezing without lifting or cracking, and can be touched up at anytime with ease. Plus, it looks pretty great too!  I used the same jar of wax as was used for the cutting board, but there are other shades available as well as a clear wax for a natural finish.

I had originally considered painting a chalkboard painted block on the top for noting contents, dates, and drying information, but decided against this as it would make it harder to maintain the press over time. Instead, I used a simple chalkboard adhesive label instead that can be removed for future refinishing if needed. Easy peasy! 

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