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


Not-So-French Polishing

Not-So-French Polishing A new twist on an old method of applying shellac. By Richard Tendick Purchase the complete version of this woodworking technique story from AWBookstore.com. You’ve spent weeks, or months producing that perfect table from a very special wood, and now it’s time to apply the finish. What do you reach for? If...


Doesn’t that Interfere With Finishing?

The answer is “no.” What’s the question? “Doesn’t (oil, tallow, paraffin, beeswax, snake squeezins, earwax, monkey fat) interfere with finishing?” Still, the answer is “no” – unless you are using some wacky exotic ingredient, or you are rubbing it on like butter. I know that it’s almost impossible to prove a negative, so permit...


Brushing Shellac

Brushing Shellac Apply shellac like a pro. By Mitch Kohanek If you aren’t brushing shellac these days, it’s either because you’ve never tried it or you’ve had a bad experience. Let’s see if I can change that. The number one reason people abandon shellac is they expect it to behave like polyurethane. But shellac...


Repair a Water-Damaged Finish

Repair a Water-Damaged Finish Work miracles on wood with oxalic acid. By Kevin Southwick Purchase the complete version of this woodworking technique story from AWBookstore.com. Watering a potted plant can be disastrous if the plant lives on top of something made out of wood. We’ve all seen the white spots and black rings that...


Wiping Varnish

In the November 2011 issue, Bob Flexner submitted this excerpt from his book "Wood Finishing 101," along with the article on wiping varnish. It is a useful document that you can post in your shop. To download the PDF, click on the link below. –Ajax Alexandre PWM_WipingVarnish

Iron Out Those Dents

Iron Out Those Dents Here’s a classic tip that everyone should know: It’s not hard to make a dent in wood and fortunately, it’s not hard to get one out, either. All you need is a household iron (don’t worry, it won’t get wrecked, but you may want to ask permission if it’s not...

AW Extra – Aged Cherry Finish

Aged Cherry Finish Wipe on years of age in a few easy steps. By Tim Johnson If you want to make a woodworker gnash his teeth, ask him to make new cherry look like cherry that has aged naturally to a rich, brownish hue. Why is this challenge so agonizing? Because staining cherry, even...

Tips for Finishing Cherry

Tips for Finishing Cherry Oil it, spray it, shellac it, or glaze it. This is how to make cherry look great. By Tim Johnson Cherry is gorgeous wood, but as you’ve probably discovered, it can be nasty to finish. Cherry boards come in all different colors, its sapwood and heartwood don’t match, it can...