Wood Finishing

No woodworking project is finished until it is, well, finished. There are many wood finishing techniques in the world, each one with different functional and aesthetic characteristics. The final finish can turn a project into a masterpiece, or ruin hundreds of hours of hard work. Find out here how to finish wood the right way, every time, no matter what woodworking project you’re completing. Whether you’re finishing up an elegant, delicate jewelry box, or an outdoor chair meant to face the elements, you’ll find the right wood finishing technique here.


Free Wood Finishing Guides


The Redneck Polissoir

Whenever I teach a class that involves turning, I like to show them how well the French “polissoir” can finish off your work on the lathe. A polissoir (say it poly-swaar) is a bundle of broom corn that is used to burnish a wooden surface to produce a tactile, low-lustre finish. While the polissoir...

AW Extra 3/20/14 – Wipe-On/Rub-Off Finishing

Wipe-On/Rub-Off Finishing This two-step process guarantees flawless results. By Kevin Southwick No brush marks, drips, runs, bubbles, hairs, dust or orange peel— and beautiful results every time. For most furniture projects, it doesn’t get easier than using a wipe-on/ rub-off finishing process. This two step method eliminates all the usual problems because rubbing off...


Outdoor Finishes

Outdoor Finishes Simple to Super Durable by Brad Holden Outdoor finishes have one thing in common; they all require maintenance. Of course, paint is unequaled at protecting the wood from its two biggest enemies: moisture and ultraviolet (UV) light. Moisture causes the wood to rot, and sunlight bleaches out its natural color. Still, who...


30 Finishing Supplies

30 Finishing Supplies 30 must-have tools for finishing all types of woodworking projects. By Kevin Southwick   Collecting woodworking tools is undeniably fun. As a professional finisher, I meet lots of woodworkers, on the job and in the classes that I teach. So I know that spending hundreds of dollars on a new router...


AW Extra 2/6/14 – Touch up: Repairing a Damaged Finish

Touch up: Repairing a Damaged Finish Hide blemishes without refinishing. Touch up refers to techniques used to repair and disguise damage on already finished wood—without refinishing. Whether you’ve rubbed through a finish, discovered glue spots or putty patches that stick out, or been faced with damage to the wood itself, knowing how to touch...


Q & A: Spray-On Crackle Finish

Spray-On Crackle Finish   Q: Is it possible to get a crackle finish in a pigmented, water-based lacquer that is applied with an HVLP spray gun? If so, please tell me how. A: Yes, it can be done. Put down a base color first (the color that will show through the cracks of the...


Dyed by My Own Hand

When I finish my pieces, I use restraint when adding stains or dyes. Most woods look best (to my eye) with some shellac, lacquer and maybe a little colored wax in the pores. But when I do color wood, I’m a fan of the W.D. Lockwood dyes, which are usually found packaged as J.E....


The Fear-Love Spectrum of Finishing

Every time I purchase lacquer at a professional paint store, I have the following conversation. Me: “Could you put that gallon in the paint-mixing machine for a couple minutes? That will save me some time.” Employee: “I’ll do it, but you won’t like it. You’ll create bubbles in the finish.” Me: “I’ll risk it.”...