Cart 0

Expert's Corner — finishing

TIP: Ruining Your Woodwork with a Finish

blotchy finish finishing the finishing store wood woodfinishing woodwork woodworking

TIP: Ruining Your Woodwork with a Finish

It’s common to hear woodworkers lament that they don’t like finishing because they are afraid of ruining their woodworking project. So the following is an important point to keep in mind: The only thing you can do in finishing that can’t be fixed fairly easily is to blotch the wood with a stain or decide after you have applied a stain that you don’t want it. All other problems can be fixed, with the worst case being that you have to strip off the finish and begin again. Nothing is ruined. So, depending on the wood you use, it’s really...

Read more →


TIP: Rubbing vs. Using a Satin Finish

finish finishing flaws polishing the finishing store wood woodfinishing woodwork woodworking

TIP: Rubbing vs. Using a Satin Finish

There are two ways to get a satin (matte) finish—that is, a finish with less shine and reflection than gloss: rub the finish with abrasives or use a finish that contains flatting agents. There are pros and cons to each. The easier of the two, by far, is to use a finish that contains flatting agents, usually labeled satin, matte, flat or semi-gloss. The terms are vague approximations of sheen (amount of shine or gloss) you will get. Some manufacturers selling into the professional trade use a numbering system to indicate sheen, with 90 being gloss and 10 being very...

Read more →


TIP: Water-Based Finish on White Woods

color finish finishing the finishing store water water-based wood woodfinishing woodwork woodworking

TIP: Water-Based Finish on White Woods

There are a number of considerations when choosing the type of finish you want to use. These include durability, ease of clean-up, odor, etc. But one consideration doesn’t seem to be fully appreciated, and that is the color the finish imparts to the wood. The accompanying picture shows water-based finish on a pine floor. The pine will darken some as it ages, but for a number of years the water-based finish will give the floor a unique and attractive look. This same look can be achieved with all white woods such as maple and birch. And these woods won’t darken.Most...

Read more →


TIP: How to Lighten an Oil Stain

finish finishing sandpaper steel the finishing store wood woodfinishing woodwork woodworking wool

Say you stain an object with a store-bought oil (“wiping”) stain and the color is too dark. Assuming you haven’t yet applied a finish, how do you lighten it? Most importantly, don’t sand. Whatever you do, you have to do the same everywhere to keep the color even, and you won’t be able to control the depth you sand to evenly. It’s much better to try wiping with naphtha. It’s a little stronger than mineral spirits. See if it pulls out some of the color. What you’re trying to do is break down enough of the binder that holds the...

Read more →


Minimal Finish Odor

finish finishes finishing lacquers odor oil oils shellac the finishing store varnish varnishes woodfinishing woodworking

If you want as little finish smell as possible—for example, on cabinets in a house or office that is occupied, or on the inside of a box or chest—there are two finishes to choose between: water-based finish and shellac. Other finishes, including oils, varnishes and lacquers will require days and maybe longer for all the residual odor to dissipate. There are two major differences between water-based finish and shellac. Water-based finish is more scratch resistant and imparts no coloring to the wood. Shellac will scratch easier and add a warm yellow-orange tone to the wood. Both dry rapidly, so you...

Read more →

p>