It seems like most woodworkers are apprehensive about finishing. Who can blame them? It’s easy to wreck in a few minutes, something that took days or weeks to build. George Vondriska will take the edge off of “finishing fear”. He takes you through the “usual suspects” of stains and top coats, and provides advice on proper sanding of your projects so they’re ready for a great finish.

You’ll learn about pigment stains, shellac, polyurethane, furniture oil, lacquer, and water based polyurethane. You’ll also learn about the positive and negative aspects of each top coat, including when to use them and when to avoid them. What kind of brush is best for each finish, when you shouldn’t use a brush, how to set up lights so you can see defects before the finish goes on, are all topics that are addressed here.

You’ll recognize all the products George uses in this video. There’s nothing exotic. Most of these items are available at home centers where you can purchase woodworking materials.

If you plan on ever applying finish to a project again, you really shouldn’t go without George’s advice.

Check back often at for more helpful woodworking tips, projects and plans that are perfect for any woodworker. Also, further the discussion by leaving a comment below or sharing this video with your friends!


Category: All Videos, Feature Length Videos, and Most Popular Premium.

Tags: diy woodworking, george vondriska, and wood finishing.

  • Jim P

    Just saw this and would like the PDF. There is no link to it.

    • Customer Service

      Thank you for your comment. Please check your email as the PDF will be attached. We apologize for the inconvenience, and we are in the process of adding the PDF to this video.

  • Wayne Williams in Garland, TX

    What would you suggest for the coating for musical instruments? I plan to make an lap mountain dulcimer, amd want to make sure I get the best sound quality.

    • Customer Service

      First, be sure you understand that I’m not a luthier, just a woodworker making a few guitars. I’ve always used catalyzed lacquer on my woodworking projects and that’s what I’ve used on my guitars.

      You can get instrument-specific lacquer from suppliers like Stewart MacDonald. They also have a great customer service department and could answer additional questions you might have about instrument finish.

  • Joe

    Will you get any issues using water based conditioner and then an oil based stain. Considering that the two normally don’t mix well. Both products being the minwax line.

    • Customer Service

      Thank you for your comment.
      Different products will call for different procedures. In some cases, when using water based over oil based or vice versa, We’ve been told to wait up to 7 days before applying the dissimilar product. To be safe we suggest you contact Minwax (800) 523-9299 and see what they suggest.

  • Tom

    Can you elaborate a little bit on sanding the end grain. You said to use 220. Are you done when it’s smooth to the touch?

    • Customer Service

      Thank you for your comment. In response to your comment, smooth to the touch is a start. You should also have a look at the end grain under a good strong light and make sure you can’t see any sanding scratches, the porosity of the end grain has gone away.