The Confusion Surrounding Wipe-on Finishes

How can something so simple be made so hard to understand? It’s probably fair to say that a majority, or at least a large minority, of woodworkers use a finish they can wipe on and off the wood. [...]

Tips for Refinishing Furniture

Repair, strip and refinish to restore old pieces. Refinishing is a topic worthy of an entire book. In fact, restoring furniture includes all of woodworking and finishing because all skills may be [...]

How to Choose a Finish

Your decision is simplified by the process of elimination. At some point as you progress in woodworking, you begin to realize that there are many finishes to choose among; you probably ask [...]

Understanding Lacquer Thinner

This solvent is unique. Lacquer thinner is the thinner used for all types of lacquer (not water-based finishes, which are sometimes misrepresented as “lacquer”). These include the most common [...]

Drawers Date Furniture

Quick inspections reveal much about a piece’s age and possible origin. A while back, my wife and I were visiting friends who wanted to show us their collection of antique furniture. At one point [...]

How To Repair Water-Damaged Wood

Water can cause many problems to finished and unfinished wood. As woodworkers, most of us have come across problems caused by water that we may be asked to repair. The problems can occur in the [...]

Alternative Paint Strippers

Safer strippers are having a ‘green’ revival. Methods for removing old paint and finish from furniture have gone through at least four distinct periods. Before solvents became widely available, [...]

Sealers & Washcoats

Understand the difference between these often misused terms. It would be difficult to find wood finishing subjects that have been made more confusing than sealing and washcoating. This is [...]

Finishing in One Day (Or Less)

The key to a quick finish is the finish you choose. Finishing is seldom the most enjoyable part of woodworking, so many woodworkers want to get it over within a day – or even an afternoon. Many [...]

Rules for Sanding Wood

Material and finish choice help dictate grit progression. The objective of sanding wood is to remove mill marks, which are caused by woodworking machines, and to remove other flaws such as dents [...]

Wipe, Don’t Brush Stain

Wiping is fast, almost as fast as spraying (without the downside of having to clean the spray gun). Wiping is also every bit as effective in all situations except possibly into recesses such as [...]

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