Woodworking Tips
Woodworking Tips Index
Decorative Flocking
As I'm working on projects I'm giving as Christmas presents, I'm getting ideas for these weekly tips. For example, one of the things I'm working on is a jewelry box with a drawer.

The drawer has permanent dividers. I thought exposed wood grain would dress up the inside of the drawer. But seeing it finished, I decided to jazz it up a bit more. The problem is that since the drawer with dividers is fully assembled and finished, what can I do?

The guys at Woodsmith suggested I use decorative flocking. They use a product called Suede-Tex. Suede-Tex isn't a fabric. It's made from whisker-size sprinkles of rayon fabric. But after it's applied, it looks just like fabric lining. And, lucky for me, it turns out that decorative flocking should be applied after a project is finished. Otherwise, a finish could discolor the fibers.

So that's what I used in my drawer. This stuff is really easy to apply. First, carefully "paint" the area you want to cover with an adhesive. Suede-Tex makes an undercoat adhesive for this purpose. It matches the color of the fibers. Some oil based enamels may work as an adhesive, too. Just be careful to put the adhesive only where you want the flocking.

While the adhesive is still wet, you can blow the fibers on with a special pump-like applicator. It shoots the fibers into the paint so they stand up like a week's growth of whiskers. Or a kitchen strainer or sifter can be used instead of a pump applicator to spread the fibers.

After the flocking has been applied, let everything dry overnight. Then dump out the excess fibers.

The whole process is a lot easier than lining a drawer with real fabric. And it looks really good.

You can get decoratiove flocking and all the stuff that goes with it from mail order sources, woodworking stores, and some craft shops.

Follow-up comment that originally appeared with Tip #39:
Bryant Bird, Jr. writes that he's used Suede-Tex since 1984. And he says the good news is that if you use their adhesive paint, the flocked finish will last a long time. He says he has a couple of bowls that he flocked in 1984 and the finish is still in tact.

Go to Tip #37
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