37

You want to raise the grain before using water-based finishes, as those will also raise the grain, but you won't be able to adequately scrape/sand off the raised fibers. I'd recommend using distilled water, as it doesn't have any minerals that can discolor some kinds of wood. Don't flood the surface, but wipe it on with a clean cloth and allow it to dry ...


32

TL;DR In general, I would avoid turning to discussion forums when trying to find advice about tung oil as it’s very likely the person talking has innocently confused the product that they are using.  If you do enough research you will eventually find contradictory information about everything.  (if only there were a place where people could vote on different ...


20

A good go-to solution is wax. Either some paste wax, or in a pinch you could rub a candle on it. I've also rubbed a bar of soap on wooden drawer slides in the past, though I'm sure there are plenty of reasons not to use soap.


18

Per @ratchet-freak's suggestion, I looked up "food-safe finishes". Options include: Pure tung oil. Extracted from the nut of the china wood tree. Used as a base in many blended finishes. Available from catalogs and hardware stores. Difficult to apply, requires many coats, good water-resistance. Raw linseed oil. Pressed from flax seeds. Not to be confused ...


18

I think the link in LeeG's reply covers all the necessary steps but just to have it spelled out here. Good surface prep is very important, imperfections 'telegraph' through paint very easily so the more perfect you can get the surface initially the better. The flatter the starting surface the less paint you have to use too, so it does have both time and ...


16

While it's correct to say these terms can be used interchangeably they should not, the meanings when used technically are quite distinct. The problem begins with the word drying being overused in product descriptions for paints and other coatings; that is, "drying" is used loosely and therefore will always be inaccurate in some instances. But the concept ...


15

Water swells the wood fibers and they will plastically (permanently) deform. This leaves a rougher surface than what was prepared by sanding or scraping. Sanding after staining typically causes the color to be more uneven, and needing another coat of stain to even out more. Pre raising the grain with plain water and lightly sanding with ~320 grit to remove ...


15

Under what condition, if any, can I reuse the rags? I just throw my finishing rags away after using them; I can't think of any case in which you'd want to reuse them. It would probably cost more to try to clean them than it would to get a new rag. What is the process for prepping these rags for safe disposal? Spread each one out flat to dry on the ...


15

Are there any finish solutions for making "microwave-safe" wood items for serving food on? It's not so much a question of "microwave-safe" finishes as "microwave-safe" materials. Microwaves work by exciting water molecules, thereby increasing their energy (i.e., heating them up). The reason your wooden bowl gets hot is because of the water trapped in the ...


14

There are two substances that instantly come to mind: Wax (paraffin or beeswax) Mineral Oil I use both of these to protect my wood butcher block. They are both food safe, non-reactive and even relatively inexpensive. They will alter the appearance of the wood, by making it more lustrous. I have even seen some people finish their butcher blocks with hot ...


14

Drying is the process of a solvent being removed from a finish by evaporation. For example, water in acrylics or alcohol in shellac. Typically drying processes can be reversed by adding the solvent back to the dried composition, being a physical change. Curing is the process of some chemical reaction finishing (where the polymers become cross-linked thus ...


13

It doesn't matter except if you're using water-based poly. If so, the water will rust the steel wool fibers that end up stuck in the pores of the wood and cause rust spots. I prefer steel wool because it lasts longer and conforms to whatever curves you are smoothing.


13

I have used this guy's technique before and it works great. Basically, you apply very thin coats, then sand to about 400 grit, and after that, do wet sanding to about 2000 grit, and then switch to the polishes. There is a pretty complete step-by-step here


13

This is a very good topic to have here since there is active debate going on in woodworking circles about the overuse of sanding to smooth wood in the modern era. 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. Where possible scraping is always ...


13

As I understand it poly varnish requires some minor abrasion between coats for good adhesion. Nope. You'll read this online a lot (and in some books, and what's worse even in the instructions for some products) but it is completely untrue. The only reason to sand between coats is if you need to 'de-nib', or remove minor surface blemishes. The important ...


13

Major re-write as I missed that you were asking specifically about the drawers themselves. Seems it's pretty much 50/50 on whether people even finish them at all The traditional practice was for drawer bodies, and in fact the entire interior of a chest of drawers, not to be finished in any way. There are possibly multiple reasons for this, one of which ...


13

This should be ok if you gave the stain 3-4 days to properly dry out. You'll want the oil-based drying agent to completely vaporize from the stain before applying the water-based finish. Please see this forum thread. To quote from a Minwax representative: SUBJECT: Minwax Water Based Polyurethane Over Minwax Wood Finish Stains You may apply the ...


13

I remember hearing a while ago that sawdust and wood glue can be used as a wood filler to fill in gaps and imperfections. Yes you can do this, but note that the term "sawdust" might be slightly misleading here. Commonly when this sort of thing is done at home it uses sanding dust, not actual dust from sawing which would tend to have a range of particle ...


12

Good answers, but nobody seems to have mentioned yet that some timber types are very prone to grain raising, and some really are not. I have never "raised the grain" by dampening as a separate process, but I have seen the effects of this raising after applying a water-based base coat. From my (admittedly limited) experience, denser hardwoods seem ...


12

Raising the grain not only helps to bring out fibers that might swell when applying the actual finish, but saturating the grain beforehand with a wood conditioner will help to make the grain "pop out" (be more visually appealing) which when you're trying for a beautiful finish, is something that you'd normally want.


12

For garden boxes, most of the rotting will come from the inside, not the outside. As such, the best protecting substance is probably plastic. You will not be able to reapply waxes or oils on the inside (unless you're planning to remove the dirt regularly, which you could do); a plastic liner will last longer than those by years. Of course, you need a food-...


12

oiling and applying something like polyeurethane which seems to be used in all the youtube tutorials OK need to run though a number of basics first. Firstly a general caution, lots of people who posts simple guides on YouTube and elsewhere are somewhat confused or muddled in what they do in finishing. It is a complex and sometimes confusing subject but a ...


11

To keep the surface appearing as raw as possible and protect against water, I would suggest mineral oil. It will not prevent any mechanical abrasion, but will look natural and non-glossy without altering the sheen (much).


11

It's called a plug cutter. (source: rockler.com) image shamelessly stolen borrowed from Rockler Cut your plugs from a scrap piece of whatever you're making your project out of. Also, a screwdriver makes an excellent pry-bar for breaking the plug out of the board. I don't recall whether with- or cross-grain is the way to go, but it should take less than 30 ...


11

I like a belt sander when I need to really remove some material like paint for example, I think it cuts better. an Orbital I like for finer sanding it offers a lot more control.


11

That's a great question. Typically, the purpose of the first round of sanding is to hide surface blemishes in the wood (e.g., machine marks, dents, scratches). The purpose of the subsequent rounds of sanding is to hide the scratch marks from the first round. Usually, you only need to go to about 180 before the scratch marks become invisible. As you mention,...


11

I've used both and haven't seen any real advantage to the manufactured ones. In fact, I seem to get better mileage out of my polyurethane by using a bit of old sweatpants material cut and sewn into a tube. It fits my fingers well, holds more finish before having to re-apply to the rag, and the outside doesn't deposit lint; it's convenient, and seems to use ...


11

If you are happy with the results, then continue as you have! Using steel wool or sand paper allows you to create a uniform surface for the next coat of polyurethane, which generally looks nicer, more professionally, etc. In my experience, assuming the finish is dry, there isn't a difference other than the coarseness of the sand paper or steel wool. For ...


11

I recommend you apply any finishing products before final assembly, but after any gluing or other permanent assembly. Surfaces that are going to be glued together don't need (and shouldn't have) finish as this will weaken the bond, and the glue itself and adjoining wood should protect the wood (choose a suitable glue for the environment). Surfaces that ...


11

Can I apply water-based polyurethane over an oil based stain? Short answer: yes. Longer answer: if you wait for the oil-based stain to properly 'dry' (cure) it's no longer oily. This is because the curing process for oil is polymerisation, and polymerised oil is akin to resin. So far so good, but am I likely to have problems with poly adhesion in the ...


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