A tack rag or a tack cloth is used to clean the surface of wood furniture before refinishing. It works better than an ordinary rag because it has a sticky surface that allows it to pick up even the tiniest dust particles. Furthermore, unlike an ordinary rag, tack cloths do not leave any residue behind. They can be purchased at an affordable price or you can make your own. It is important to know how to make a tack cloth
so that you can have one ready in case you can’t make a trip to the store.
- Buy a pack of tack cloths or read below to make your own.
When making a tack cloth alternative, follow these simple steps:
Step 1: Look for cloth made out of cotton. Old baby diapers, shirts, and heavy cheesecloth would be great as a tack cloth substitute as long as they are washed well and lint-free.
Step 2: Turn the cloth into a rag by cutting it into the size of a handkerchief. It is best to use pinking shears when cutting so that it won’t ravel as much.
Step 3: Clean the rag by dipping it into warm water and wring it dry.
Step 4: Dip the cloth in turpentine to saturate it then wring it dry.
Step 5: Ball up the cloth and pour varnish over it. Make sure that the varnish is thoroughly spread throughout the whole cloth. The color should be evenly yellow when you open the cloth. If not, massage the cloth some more.
Step 6: Wait for the rag to dampen and then test it by running it over a surface. It should pick and hold dust and other particles but it should not leave any stickiness on the surface. When you are satisfied with it, then it is ready to be used for cleaning the surface. To keep it moist while using, keep adding little amounts of turpentine mixed with water.
Step 7: Never rinse the cloth even after use. If you used the makeshift tack cloth on small surfaces, store the rag in a jar that can be tightly sealed. Jars with screw-on lids are perfect for storage so that your rag won’t spontaneously combust. However, it should be thrown away after using it on a large surface.
Most tack cloths are used mainly for woodworking projects and are not suitable for glass or metal, but there are some brands that can be used anywhere. Tack cloths are great to use in crafts, woodworks, refinishing, and many other projects. It is used after sanding and before coating a surface so that the dust particles from the sanding can be cleaned. It can also be used in between coats since the drying time of each coat may allow particles to settle in on the surface.
Tack cloths are used in many different woodworking projects since it can make the project look like it was done by a professional. You can buy tack cloths in any paint store, usually near the varnishes, sandpapers, or paint brushes. However, not all brands of tack cloths are trustworthy. Some brands may be too sticky and may leave stickiness onto the surface of your furniture. This will only attract more particles and affect the smoothness of your work. It is therefore important to know how to make a tack cloth alternative so that you can control the stickiness of your cloth.