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 In Finishing

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Color putty. A fast and efficient way to fill the small nail holes often found on cabinet frames is to press some widely available “Color Putty” into the holes with one finger and wipe it level with another. This is done between coats of finish, and there’s no need to sand.

Not everything has to have a furniture-grade finish.

If you read the woodworking magazines or look online, you often come across instructions for filling pores, glazing, toning, rubbing out, and so on. These are wonderful techniques for use on sophisticated projects such as furniture. But they are often overkill for basic kitchen or bathroom cabinets.

So it may be helpful to divide finishing into two categories: furniture-grade and cabinet-grade. This article describes the simpler cabinet-grade finishing. It involves just three – maybe four – steps: wood prep, sealing, topcoating, and sometimes staining.

Wood Prep

Mill marks. Mill marks caused by machining the wood have to be removed by sanding, scraping or handplaning. Otherwise, they will be highlighted, especially when using a stain – that will create an unprofessional look.

Preparing wood for a finish involves sanding, steaming out dents, filling gouges and dealing with glue seepage, which may cause a finish or stain to appear lighter in color.

The goal of sanding is to remove mill marks caused by machining and other flaws.


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