Questions tagged [finishing]

Finishing a woodworking project refers to the final steps to beautify and protect it.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
35
votes
4answers
26k views

What's the purpose of raising the grain before finishing a furniture piece?

I'm currently working on a entry bench in black walnut. I'm wondering if I should raise the grain before finishing my bench or not. In the past, I haven't done so. I've heard that it's better to ...
26
votes
6answers
91k views

How do I achieve a “piano black” high gloss finish on wood?

I'm building some speaker cabinets for my living room out of MDF. I'm wondering how to achieve that "high gloss" / "piano black" look, like on B&W speakers or, well, black pianos... Any ideas? I'...
20
votes
7answers
8k views

What are some safe finishes for indoor projects likely to be chewed on by a young child or infant?

I'm going to be putting together a crib for over the next few months for our first child. I found a blog that mentions shellac. Only, it doesn't exactly say that shellac is safe, only that it is ...
19
votes
4answers
5k views

What types of food-safe finishes work best for protecting wood that will be outdoors?

I am building some garden boxes out of Cedar. I'd like to protect them so that the wood lasts longer, but I am concerned about certain finishes that might leach contaminants into the soil. Is there ...
18
votes
7answers
13k views

What is the difference between “curing” and “drying”?

When learning about different finishes, some resources talk about the finish's drying time, such as this Zinsser Shellac. The shellac dries to the touch in 15 minutes and can be re-coated in 45 ...
18
votes
2answers
108k views

Can I apply water-based polyurethane over an oil based stain?

I recently finished a dresser top in a very light gray oil based stain. Afterwards I applied a water based matte poly, because I didn't want any yellow tint to show on the light gray color (see this ...
17
votes
4answers
10k views

What are the differences between sanding and scraping?

How do both techniques compare? In terms of result, cost, applicability to different kinds of wood, different shapes of work pieces and cleanliness of process. I always used sandpaper to get a smooth ...
17
votes
4answers
14k views

At what stage of basic furniture making should I “finish” the wood?

I have purchased wood in order to make some basic furniture: One of these will be placed outside (simple table), One inside the bathroom, (basic chest of drawers) And another in the hall way (shoe ...
17
votes
3answers
4k views

Is there any such thing as sanding something *too* fine for finishing?

I know you can get sandpaper in super-high grits, like 2000 grit and higher. I guess there's a point of diminishing returns for sanding wood projects, but is it possible to use too high a grit prior ...
16
votes
6answers
44k views

How long does it take tung oil to cure?

Depending on what you're reading, tung oil cures in a day I use Minwax tung oil on all my turningings. Two Coats ussually. After the second coat, I buff with the Beall Buffing system, Ussually ...
15
votes
14answers
81k views

How can I achieve a raw, unfinished look to my project while protecting it from water and physical abuse?

I am creating an oak table top that will undoubtedly be exposed to a certain level of physical abuse (e.g., plates sliding across the surface) and water (e.g., glasses placed without a coaster, spills)...
15
votes
6answers
79k views

Should I use sandpaper or Steel Wool between coats of polyurethane?

Polyurethane is typically my go-to finish, but I'd always just kind of done it how dad showed me rather than reading the instructions, sanding with fine grain between coats, or not at all if it's ...
14
votes
2answers
31k views

Finishing schedule for live edge walnut slab

I'm working on a live edge walnut slab coffee table. This is a photo of the bottom side of the table before any finish is applied sanded to 220 (for reference the holes are for threaded inserts that ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

What can I coat a wooden drawer slide with to reduce drag?

I have an old wooden desk with a middle draw that has a center support that the drawer slides back and forth on. The friction creates drag that prevents the opening and closing action from seeming ...
13
votes
5answers
19k views

In what situations would I use a belt sander versus a random orbit sander?

I own both a belt sander and random orbit sander. I've found that as I've worked on improving my finishing technique, I will oftentimes go for the random orbit sander over any other sanding ...
12
votes
5answers
15k views

Making wood filler from sawdust

The piece I am currently working on does not need to be perfect in any way, I am actually going for a slightly rough look (due to many mistakes along the way) but I would like to hide some of the ...
12
votes
2answers
10k views

How can I properly dispose of rags used with Boiled Linseed Oil

I have read several times now that, if not disposed of in a proper manner, rags covered in Boiled Linseed Oil (BLO) can combust. In that regard I have some related questions: Under what condition, ...
12
votes
5answers
3k views

Is it possible to distress lumber to look “reclaimed?”

My cousin's fiancee is interested in making a bench similar to this picture: This appears to be reclaimed lumber with years of weathering, but it's very smooth, which seems like it would be hard to ...
12
votes
2answers
385 views

Choosing wood and finish for outdoor furniture

What qualities should I look for in woods to be used in outdoor furniture and what are some examples of woods which have those qualities? What finishing options do I have for weatherproofing wooden ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

Leveling a finish/finishing the finish

I'm using Emmet's Good Stuff (poly gel varnish that you wipe on) as a finish on a walnut slab. I've read a lot about finishing online, but am a little confused about "leveling the finish." As I ...
12
votes
2answers
652 views

Evening reflectivity of a finish after “finishing the finish”

I recently installed butcher block countertops in my kitchen. Several weeks ago, I put four coats of varnish on them, but (as always) they ended up with dust nibs. So yesterday, I wet sanded with 400 ...
11
votes
4answers
148 views

Are there advantages to using packaged wood finishing cloths instead of old towels and shirts?

Some manufacturers offer packaged "wood finishing cloths". I've always used old towels, old shirts, or paper towels both for applying certain finishes as well as when wiping off excess. Do "wood ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

Unobtrusive ways to protect plywood corners?

I'm building a bunch of cabinets out of 3/4" plywood. The corners are beveled so there's no ugly plywood "end grain" showing in the joints. While the joint looks fantastic, I'm concerned that the ...
11
votes
6answers
74k views

Can I speed up stain drying with a hair dryer?

Can I speed up stain drying with a hair dryer or a heat gun? Is there any reason not to? If it matters: In my case Minwax Wood Finish or Varathane brand, oil based, not gel, referring to all coats ...
11
votes
2answers
41k views

Can I apply polyurethane over oil before oil cures?

Specifically I am wondering about polyurethane (Rustoleum Ultimate) over boiled linseed oil, but in general polyurethane or other top coats with similar chemistry over any drying oil. Question is: ...
11
votes
2answers
281 views

Making fake/pseudo plugs or caps

Gifted amateur working with variety of different woods like pine,oak and something from Indonesia that I haven't typed yet. If one needs to use caps or plugs for recessed screw/nails you would just go ...
10
votes
5answers
14k views

Is it a good idea to apply lacquer over shellac?

I have an antique coffee table that I am planning to restore. It is elaborately carved, and appears to be made out of solid mahogany. The existing finish is in pretty good shape, except for the top of ...
10
votes
3answers
11k views

How can I protect a desk top made from softer wood?

A follow up to this question, which established that the hardness of the wood is less important than how you protect the surface. Suppose I use a very easily dented wood, let's say Chestnut(Hardness ...
10
votes
2answers
18k views

Why does my workpiece become rough again after applying polyurethane varnish when it wasn't before?

I am in the process of applying polyurethane varnish to a finished workpiece and have been sanding between coats as advised by the manufacturer instructions. I initially wondered why this was ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

Cut, then Sand? Or Vice-versa

I have a rough-sanded red oak panel (120 grit). I need to make a small circular cut with a jigsaw for a grommet. I plan on sanding the panel with 150, then 180 grit, in preparation for either staining ...
10
votes
3answers
12k views

How do I treat MDF?

I recently bought a workbench with a 900x1500x12mm MDF top and it doesn't appear to be sealed. What should I apply to seal the edges from leaking and seal the top from absorbing? Indoor use, subject ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

What is a good finish for shot glasses?

I recently got a lathe and playing around with it I've made some cups roughly the size of a shot glass. My cousin immediately wanted to buy them off me. I haven't found any information that seems ...
10
votes
2answers
11k views

Should I finish before, during, or after assembly? [duplicate]

I'm building some pretty basic bookshelves. I intend to assemble them with glue. I also intend to sand them, apply stain, shellac, and polyurethane. Should I: Dry fit, glue, sand, finish? Or dry fit, ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

How can I keep a cedar tree round from checking?

I want to turn a large western cedar tree round into a low table for a covered outdoor area. My tree round is from a 100-ish year old western cedar tree that a neighbor recently cut down. It's big,...
10
votes
3answers
11k views

Recommended technique for applying oils

I'm not sure if different oils have wide varying techniques as far as application goes. Yes some might take longer to cure/dry but I figure in general the approaches are the same. If I am wrong then ...
9
votes
3answers
18k views

How do I de-nib polyurethane after it dries but still maintain its finish?

Sometimes when I apply polyurethane, for whatever reason, it's not completely smooth. Maybe a brush mark here and there, or a couple little nibs, etc. The advice I see often is to sand the area ...
9
votes
3answers
3k views

Is all fine grit count sandpaper called wet/dry?

I need to start getting into sharpening and honing so naturally one of the ways I could go would be to get some sandpaper in the 500 + grit count range. (That decision is based off a great video I saw ...
9
votes
3answers
779 views

cutting board turned green!

I decided to make my own cutting board out of a nice piece of black walnut I came across. It looked great before I added oil, but after I added hemp oil to one side, the whole board turned greenish. ...
9
votes
2answers
977 views

Finish raised the “grain”?

I recently put together a stationary combination work bench and cabinets out of 5/8 particle board and 9/8 "benchtop" (which appears to just be thick particle board). I previously made a work table ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

Will painting the edges of plywood hide the layers?

If I paint the edges of an oak plywood sheet, will it hide the layers well enough to not show through the paint?
9
votes
1answer
121 views

Can low durability be mitigated with specific finishes?

I'm looking to build some outdoor furniture and I happen to have a lot of hard maple on-hand. While I also have a bit of cedar, I dislike how easily it scratches and dents. When reading up on ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Best method to stain the “side” of a project

I wasn't sure how to stain the 1" side of my desktop (an 80x30x1" red oak panel), so I thought painter's tape would be a good idea to only stain half at a time. (Half while doing the "bottom" of the ...
9
votes
1answer
3k views

Applying shellac in high humidity

I applied a coat of dewaxed shellac (Bulls Eye) as a first coat on some poplar. I then noticed that the can said do not apply if humidity exceeds 85%. I live in a generally humid area. Today is a ...
9
votes
2answers
299 views

How to can I repair/mitigate rot in the center of a Western Cedar tree round?

I want to turn a large western cedar tree round into a low table for a covered outdoor area. The round is from a 100-ish year old cedar tree. It was freshly cut (one month ago), is roughly 4 feet ...
8
votes
5answers
362 views

I polyed my paintbrush then procrastination left me in a predicament

I was using a nice paintbrush with polyurethane and it seems that I set it down then forgot to clean it. I have since run into it and I have a shiny, relativity tough, paintbrush now. Needless to say ...
8
votes
5answers
9k views

How to finish a branch to keep the bark (partially) on?

My son found a nice thick branch that I want to turn into a walking stick for him. Unfortunately, I can't tell what kind of wood it is exactly. The bark is still partially on and doesn't seem loose. ...
8
votes
3answers
6k views

What kind of finish should I use inside dresser drawers?

I'm building a chest of drawers out of reclaimed barn wood. For the drawers I've used 1/2" sanded ply for the sides and 1/4" for the bottoms. They're pretty darn smooth but I'd like to put a clear ...