Flexner on Finishing: Some Reflections on Sheen

Understanding how sheen works allows you to control the gloss on your finishes.
By Bob Flexner
Pages: 90-91

From the October 2006 issue #157
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One of the most important qualities of a finish when it comes to appearance is sheen. A finish can vary from a gloss so high it reflects the sharp outline of an image to a sheen so dull that nothing is reflected. In determining how you want your project to look, you need to take its sheen into account.

In the last issue of Popular Woodworking (issue #156) I explained how you can control sheen by rubbing it with abrasives of various grits. The coarser the grit the lower or flatter the sheen. The finer the grit the higher or glossier the sheen. The problem with rubbing is that it is a lot of work.

An easier method of controlling sheen, and the method most commonly used, is to choose a finish with the sheen already built in. Then all you have to do is brush or spray the finish onto the wood and the sheen will come about automatically.

From the October 2006 issue #157
Buy this issue now