Questions tagged [finishing]

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

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6
votes
2answers
175 views

How is a “paintbrushed” distressed texture created?

Today at a bar we sat at a table that looked like this: Some of the darkened areas looked like darkening related to the wood grain while others resembled brush strokes, but only if you looked closely....
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 ...
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 ...
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
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 ...
7
votes
5answers
51k views

What are the techniques to seal or remove sap?

For starters this is not green-wood. I have been cutting up some 2x4 into small blocks for painting and decoration. The block were cut and then sanded. About 3 days later I had the time to paint them....
6
votes
4answers
4k views

Using Tung oil over Boiled Linseed Oil

I have been seeing some contested information about which oil I should use between the two. I found several sites with verbage like this one from CanadianWoodworking So I started researching and ...
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, ...
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 ...
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 ...
26
votes
6answers
92k 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'...
4
votes
4answers
914 views

What is luster?

I've seen finishes (and finishing techniques) described as providing a lot of "luster". I can understand matte, which is similar to satin, and that sheen is akin to gloss. But what do people mean when ...
8
votes
5answers
5k views

What should I use to apply a water-based varnish?

I've used in the past foam brushes to apply my water-based varnish. I'm wondering if there's other types of brush that can be used and what are the advantages and disadvantages.
6
votes
2answers
222 views

Should I attempt to stain to all of the trim in a room (floor to ceiling)?

I have a dining room with some nice oak wainscoting, ceiling trim and faux beams. There are also four windows, and two doors. All with trim. I have stripped off all of the paint applied by prior ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

What can I do to help keep walnut from fading over time?

I am planning to build a tabletop out of walnut that will be exposed to sunlight during the day. I've read that the color of walnut can fade over the time, possibly due to exposure from sunlight. Is ...
6
votes
7answers
14k views

How to finish a piece to bring out its colour

I have some pallet wood that I think is Kempas. Before I started to clean, cut and sand it the wood had a nice orange brown colour. After cleaning and sanding much of that colour was gone. I want ...
7
votes
2answers
336 views

What finish should I use for a curtain rod and rings?

I want to make wooden curtain rods and curtain rings, and finish them so that the rings glide as easily as possible along the rods. I'm leaning toward red oak, but I'm still considering other ...
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
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 ...
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
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 ...
17
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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 ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Which woods work well with ammonia?

I love the traditional look of quarter sawn oak and the patina finish achieved by gassing the wood with ammonia. Are there other woods that react well by gassing with ammonia? If there are could you ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
12
votes
2answers
657 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 ...
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 ...
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. ...
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)...
35
votes
4answers
27k 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 ...
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 ...