Make Homemade Tack Cloths for Use During Wood Finishing Projects

Do you like to refurbish old pieces of furniture? Are you tired of purchasing tack cloths to use during those refinishing projects? If so, you may want to consider making your own tack cloths. Based on my experience, tack cloths are very easy to make at home. The entire process will take you less than 60 minutes to finish. Here’s how to do it:

Supplies Needed

In order to make your own tack cloths, you will need a container of turpentine, a container of clear varnish, a metal bucket and a package of lint-free cloths. Personally, I like using cotton baby diapers instead of other materials. In my opinion, they make excellent tack cloths. You’ll also want to think about investing in a large glass jar or an old coffee can to store the tack cloths in. Just make sure that whatever storage container you use, that it has a lid to keep out dust and grime.

Make a New Tack Cloth

Start the tack cloth making process by filling your slop sink with warm water. Then soak the cloths in the water. While the cloths are soaking in the water, fill a metal bucket with turpentine. Next, remove the cloths from the water and wring them dry. Once that’s done, submerge them into the turpentine. Allow the cloths to soak in the turpentine for 5 minutes or less.

At the end of the soaking period, remove the cloths from the turpentine and wring them out. The cloths should be moist but not dripping wet. Keep going by spritzing both sides of the cloths with clear varnish. Then work the clear varnish evenly into the fabric. It should turn the cloths yellow and render them sticky. After they dry completely, place the cloths inside a sealed storage container until you are ready to use them.

Revive an Old Tack Cloth

There will eventually come a time when your tack cloths will start to become less effective or need to be washed by hand. I have found that the stickiness of the cloths may be temporarily revived by simply spritzing them with a clear varnish and water mixture. If you have to wash the cloths, you’ll need to repeat the entire tack cloth making process. Doing so will give the cloths’ new life.

Tack Cloth Uses

At this point, you may be wondering what you can do with your new tack cloths. I have found that they are helpful to have when you need to remove sanding dust from assorted surfaces. Unlike non-treated cloths, they tend to grab the sanding dust and hold onto it. Hence, clean up in general tends to be a lot easier because you’re not knocking the dust onto the floor or other surfaces. They also tend to make getting the sanding dust out of intricate scrollwork a breeze.

Source: Personal Experience

More from this contributor:

Sanding Tips for Hobbyists and DIY Folks

How to Remove Finish from a Wooden Chair

How to Patch Hardwood Floors: Personal Experience

How to Repair a Damaged, Wooden Table Edge in 5 East Steps

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