Wood Finishing Essentials

Session 1: Preparation

Getting ready for the finish is as important (or perhaps more important) than the finishing process. From sanding to grain filling to pre-treating, ensure your material is ready for finish before making the first brush stroke. We’ll provide methods that eliminate blotchy finishes, prevent end grain from being darker than other surfaces, and lead to a silky smooth finish.

Session 2: Coloring Wood

Pigments are different from dyes, and we’ll show you the difference, plus talk about the advantages and disadvantages of each. In addition to standard home center stains, we’ll explore aniline dye and the advantages it provides for your finishing work.

Session 3: Application Methods

Applying the finish correctly is more complex than wiping it on with any old rag. Wiping on can work, and we’ll show you how to create a shop-made finishing pad that helps reduce streaks in your finish. We’ll also discuss different types of brushes, which are best for water-based and solvent-based finishes, and what style of brush tip to look for to achieve optimal results.

Session 4: Top Coats

Before applying a top coat, you need to understand what benefits it offers and what disadvantages it may have. Furniture oil, shellac, lacquer, varnish, water-based finish… we’ll help you determine which finish is the best for each project you build by explaining working characteristics, how much protection it provides, and what it takes to get a smooth top coat.

Session 5: Class Summary

George wraps up this class with a reminder to practice the fundamental finishing techniques you learned, and you’ll be on your way to making every one of your future projects look their very best.

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