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Understanding Wood Finishing - How to Select and Apply the Right Finish
The biggest secret of successful wood finishing is that there is no secret at all. Finishing is not an art, it's a simple process any woodworker can learn.  Understanding Wood Finishing - How to Select and Apply the Right Finish

Furniture Repair & Refinishing
Furniture Repair & Refinishing

Spray Finishing
Professional woodworker Andy Charron completely explains modern spray finishing in step-by-step detail.  Spray Finishing

Great Wood Finishes
A Step-by-Step Guide to Beautiful Results by Jeff Jewitt Great Wood Finishes makes finishing easy.  Great Wood Finishes

The New Wood Finishing Book
Completely Updated and Revised by Michael Dresdner  The New Wood Finishing Book

Finishing
The Best Tips from 25 Years of Fine Woodworking edited & illustrated by Jim Richey.  Finishing

Hand-Applied Finishes
A well-applied finish can add the crowning touch to any piece of furniture.  Hand-Applied Finishes

wood working home>wood finishing

:: WOOD FINISHING ::


Wood finishing is probably the most neglected part in any overall wood working project.  It's probably due to our impatience at seeing the project finally finished and completed that leads us to gloss over the finishing touches of our work.  However, wood finishing should be given as much attention as the initial wood working stages in putting the project together.  After all, you wouldn't want your precious work to deteriorate with time because you didn't put as much thought into the finishing.

In general, the type of wood finish you choose depends largely on the ultimate use of the wood working object in the end and also partly on the final look you desire.  Any sort of wood finishing is there to protect the surface of the wood from wear and tear and general weathering.  Surface finishes like varnish, polyurethane and lacquer do this by providing a protective finish on the surface of the wood.  Oil finishes tend to penetrate into the grain of the wood and protect by hardening the wood fibers themselves.

By and large surface wood finishing gives you better protection against stain and abrasion but tend to be more difficult to repair when they do get scrubbed off.  They also have that 'false luster' that some prefer but it does tend to give the wood an 'artificial' look and feel about it.  Oil based finishes come of their own in that they tend to protect with a more matt finish and brings out the glorious grain of the wood to perfection.  However, the disadvantage that all oil based wood finishes have is that they tend to have a solvent base so the fumes can be a problem and they do tend take longer to dry.  Washing up is also a messier process necessitating the use of turpentine.  When water based surface wood finishes came about, it took the wood working world by storm for its ease of use, quick drying time and non-toxic properties.

 

Wipe on wood finishing products from Rockler

When applying wipe-on type wood finishing products, it's recommend that you use lint-free cotton or Rockler's high-quality Cheese Cloth.

Rockler's Poly Gel Finish
Polyurethane Satin Gel Finish

CHARACTERISTICS & QUALITIES: Easy to apply. Simply wipe on. For a drip proof, run proof and uniform finish.
APPEARANCE: Satin sheen increases with the number of coats. Won't fade.
DURABILITY & USAGE: Good to very good durability. Suggested for use on chairs, dressers, and chests. Also ideal for use on molding and woodwork.

Rockler Shellac Kits
Rockler Shellac Kits

CHARACTERISTICS & QUALITIES: It dries very fast and gives you a nice appearance.
APPEARANCE: Best for matching antique finishes. Tinted for different wood tones.
DURABILITY & USAGE: It is not completely water resistant, and it can be brittle.

Rockler's WunderCote Finish
Rockler WunderCote Finish

CHARACTERISTICS & QUALITIES: Easy to apply. Simply wipe on. Requires less sanding. Fast dry time.
APPEARANCE: Slight amber cast to it so it looks more like a varnish finish. Available in gloss and semi-gloss.
DURABILITY & USAGE: Good to very good durability. Suggested for use on furniture and table tops.

Sam Maloof's Poly/Oil by Rockler
Sam Maloof's Finishes

CHARACTERISTICS & QUALITIES: Gives a very professional looking, handsome finish yet is relatively easy to use.
APPEARANCE: When used alone, you'll get a satin to semi-gloss finish with good chatoyance. Adds warmth to natural wood color.
DURABILITY & USAGE: Good durability. World-renowned furniture maker Sam Maloof uses this in combination with the Sam Maloof Oil/Wax (see below) for his museum-quality tables, rocking chairs, and other furniture.

Sam Maloof's Oil/Wax by Rockler
Sam Maloof's Finishes

CHARACTERISTICS & QUALITIES: This oils-and- beeswax formula is made to be used in conjunction with Sam Maloof's Poly/Oil finish.
APPEARANCE: Use after applying Sam Maloof's Poly/Oil finish to increase chatoyance and give a rich, semi-gloss appearance.
DURABILITY & USAGE: See above. Oil/Wax formula is recommended for use on furniture that won't be exposed to excessive heat or moisture.

Arm-r-Seal Top Coat
Arm-r-Seal Top Coat

CHARACTERISTICS & QUALITIES: Deeply penetrates wood and builds to a highly protective finish.
APPEARANCE: Available in satin, semi-gloss, or gloss.
DURABILITY & USAGE: Excellent. Our most durable wipe-on finish due to the high polyurethane content. Great for kitchen tables and other pieces that need to stand up to heat, moisture, and alcohol.

Nordic Oil
Nordic Oil

CHARACTERISTICS & QUALITIES: Formulated of pure oils, phenolic resins, and drying agents that go on easily. Non-toxic when dry, meaning it can be used on surfaces that will come into contact with food.
APPEARANCE: Flat to satin-sheen finish.
DURABILITY & USAGE: Excellent durability. Water and abrasion resistant. A good choice for highly burnished turned surfaces, such as bowls and vases. Also great for walking sticks and chairs — even table tops.

Rockler's 100% Pure Tung Oil
Rockler's Tung Oil

CHARACTERISTICS & QUALITIES: A 100% natural oil containing no driers or solvents.
APPEARANCE: Flat to satin-sheen finish.
DURABILITY & USAGE: Good to very good. Very water-resistant. Use on furniture or any wood object where easy maintenance is desired
.

General Finishes Danish Oil
Danish Oil

CHARACTERISTICS & QUALITIES: High linseed oil content penetrates deeply into wood. Tried-and-true and easy to use.
APPEARANCE: Flat sheen with "open pore" appearance. DURABILITY & USAGE: Fair durability. Use on indoor furniture and decorative items. Requires reapplication over time.

Woodburst Chinawood Oil
Woodburst Chinawood Deck Oil

CHARACTERISTICS & QUALITIES: Designed especially for outdoor use, but can be used indoors as well.
APPEARANCE: Flat to satin sheen.
DURABILITY & USAGE: Good to very good durability. Helps protect wood from elements. Great for use on decks, outdoor furniture, picnic tables, and backyard play sets.

General Finishes Salad Bowl Finish
Salad Bowl Finish

CHARACTERISTICS & QUALITIES: Made to be 100% safe for use on any wood surface that comes into contact with food. Varnish/oil blend.
APPEARANCE: Flat to satin sheen.
DURABILITY & USAGE: Good durability. Use on salad bowls, wooden spoons, cutting boards, etc.

General Finishes Toy Maker's Finishes
Toymaker’s Finish

CHARACTERISTICS & QUALITIES: Safe for use on children's toys and furniture. Applies easily like an oil, yet looks like a varnish.
APPEARANCE: Flat to satin sheen.
DURABILITY & USAGE: Good to very good durability. Use on bare wood or stained children's furniture and toys.

Wipe on wood finishing products from Rockler

General Finishes Poly/Acrylic Waterbase
EF PolyAcrylic Blend Top Coat

CHARACTERISTICS & QUALITIES: Very fast drying and easy to apply. Easy water clean-up.
APPEARANCE: Your choice of satin or gloss. Virtually clear so it adds almost no color to wood.
DURABILITY & USAGE: Good to very good. Use on chairs, dressers, chests, molding and woodwork.

General Finishes EF High Performance Waterbase Polyurethane
EF High Performance Polyurethane Top Coat

CHARACTERISTICS & QUALITIES: "EF" stands for environmentally friendly! Fast-drying. Easy water clean-up.
APPEARANCE: Your choice of satin or gloss. Virtually clear, so it adds almost no color to wood.
DURABILITY & USAGE: Excellent durability. Tough enough for kitchen/dining room tables. Durable enough even for floors!

For additional insights on wood finishing, click here to read questions and answers with Nordy Rockler.

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The Wood Finishing Video
Michael Dresdner visits three wood finishing experts who teach you how you can achieve beautiful results in your own home workshop.  The Wood Finishing Video

Nitrile Industrial Gloves
These gloves offer greater protection from chemicals than traditional gloves.  Nitrile Industrial Gloves

25 Piece Rubber Sanding Drum Set
You'll be ready for virtually every job with this quality set of drums and sleeves.  25 Piece Rubber Sanding Drum Set

12 Piece Long Drum Sander Kit and Replacement Sleeves
Extra length ideal for sanding edges of thicker stock. 2'' long drums of 1/2'' , 3/4'' , 1'' and 1-1/2'' diameters. I/4'' diameter shanks. Kit contains 4 drums, 4 fine and 4 coarse replacement sleeves  12 Piece Long Drum Sander Kit and Replacement Sleeves

15 Piece Drum Sander Kit and Replacement Sleeves
Sands and polishes virtually any corner curve or irregular shape. Fits hand drills flexible shafts and drill presses. Sleeves attach with a friction grip. Contains 5 drums, 5 fine sleeves and 5 course sleeves   15 Piece Drum Sander Kit and Replacement Sleeves

Inflatable Bowl Sander
Here’s the inside story: This is the first sander to adjust completely to underlying surfaces.  Inflatable Bowl Sander

Sanding Cord
Great for sanding hard-to-reach places on turnings and carvings. Round style cords. Coated in aluminum oxide grit.   You'll get approximately 50 feet per spool.  Sanding Cord

3M Sanding Sponge
Flexible, conformable Soft back sanding sponge for sanding, denibbing, scuffing or defuzzing contour surfaces and moldings in corners and other hard to reach areas. Measures 4-1/2'' x 5-1/2'' . Sold individually in three different grits.  3M Sanding Sponge