Woodworking Articles

I wrote these articles hoping to help with preparing your new woodworking project or if you refinishing furniture you already have. You should be able to end up with a quality finish you will be proud of. Here is more information that may help you.
Furniture Refinishing Tips, Stripping Paint, Choosing a Wood Finish, Sanding Wood furniture

Sanding and Prepping Your Woodworking Project

Sanding and preparing your custom woodworking project for the finish will determine if the project looks homemade or professional. You took the time to choose the wood, measure it and cut it to the length you wanted. Why not take a little more time to get that "WOW!! You made that???" reaction. You can, if you take the time to finish it right.

You don't want to sand furniture that has veneer if you don't have to. You can sand through the veneer very quickly if not experienced. Read furniture refinishing tips before starting your refinishing project.

I had a customer whose husband in his 70's and did woodworking. She just wanted me to stain and put a finish on a bed he had made. The bed was in rough shape. No glue had been used, too long nails driven through in many places with the tips sticking out, hammer indentions, boards cut too short... well you get the idea. I spent a few hours prepping this bed; puttying and sanding, getting it as right as I could. Well, when that last coat of lacquer dried, you could not tell that was a homemade bed. It looked like a million bucks!

Start by inspecting every inch of your woodworking project. Fill any nail holes or small imperfections that you can't sand out with wood putty. Also, fill the cracks on corners whether it's molding or just the corner of the project with wood putty and make sure you use a putty that goes with the type of wood you are constructing with. If it's oak, use a putty that matches oak, whether it's white oak or red oak. Spend a little time checking out the different putties available.

When you think you have every thing filled and are ready to sand, start with a 180 grit sand paper and sand the entire project. Check all the holes you puttied and make sure you don't need to putty any of them again. Now, take a wet cloth and wipe down the whole project. This raises some of the wood grain that the stain or the varnish would have raised. By doing this step and then sanding again with 220 grit sand paper, you will end up with a much smoother, professional looking finish. It also will reveal any glue or sanding marks that if not removed would show after finish was applied.

Now your project is ready for the finish of your choosing.

My point with this article is- Take the time to do it right and you can build custom furniture and will be proud of what you accomplished! See www.kjwoodworking.com for more information.

© 2013 KJWoodworking.com



How to Stain Wood with Oil based Stains

Oil based stains are the most commonly found stains at your local hardware store or home improvement warehouse. Always follow the manufacturers instructions for use and proper disposal.

The first process in staining wood is making sure the proper amount of time was spent in preparing the surface of your woodworking project.

Before applying any stain, try to break up your project into zones. By zones, I mean areas of the project that can be stained without having to overlap the stain from another area. For example: If you have a table to finish, then you would want to stain the table top as a zone, then one sides' table skirt and a leg at a time.

The reason for this is, any place the stain overlaps will be darker. Also, if you have a big woodworking project and stain it all at once, then the first area to which stain was applied might end up darker than the last area to which it was applied. The longer you let stain sit on wood before it is wiped off, the more is soaked up by the pores, thus the darker the finish. It usually takes less time to wipe the stain off than to apply, so by applying the stain in zones instead of to the whole project at one time, which can make the stain penetration unevenly, you will end up with an even, professional looking stain job .

Now that you have the zones figured out, start by using a clean lint-free rag to wipe the stain on, or you can use a paint brush which makes it easier to get into corners or into molding details.

Wipe stain off promptly and check the results. If it needs to be darker then repeat this process until satisfied. Now you know whether to leave the stain on longer or not on the next zones. It is easier to do it this way than to leave the stain on too long the first time and having to sand or strip the stain off and start again.

Tip: If you do happen to overlap your stain, while the overlap area is still wet, take a dry, clean cloth and wipe area repeatedly to blend. You may have to wipe the area again with more stain and immediately repeat the wiping with a clean cloth.

Once you are happy with the stain you have applied, follow the stain manufacturers instructions as far as drying time before the top coat is applied.

You will follow these staining tips for new wood or furniture you may be refinishing.

Good luck with staining your woodworking projects.

© 2013 KJWoodworking.com

Top Coating Your Woodworking Project

Choosing a top coat sealer for your woodworking project is an important process that is dictated by how the project is to be used, the finished look you want, and its location outside or in. Always follow the manufacturers instructions for use and proper disposal.

You have all seen those white rings on furniture left from sitting a glass without a coaster on them. Polyurethane is a product that will keep this from happening. Poly is very moisture resistant, durable, and flexible. You can get it in gloss, semi gloss, and satin finishes that are clear to amber in color. It also can be purchased in oil or water base with the oil base drying time at about 3 to 6 hours and the water based at 2 hours.

End tables, dining tables, hard wood floors, even bars are good candidates for polyurethane, but spar urethane has an UV protector which makes it better used on out door projects such as front entrance doors or other outdoor projects.

Lacquer Finish

Lacquer is one of my favorite top coats. It is durable, moisture resistant, and dries quickly. You can find lacquer in either gloss or satin finishes. I use satin lacquer more than any other finish. In my opinion it leaves a beautiful finish worthy of any antique or new project.


Shellac comes in either clear, or amber tint and in gloss finish. It is also affected by water, alcohol, and heat. I have used shellac very little, only to match existing finish on woodwork, cabinets, or furniture. Shellac usually dries in a couple of hours but it is not very durable.

Tung Oil and Danish Oil

These are both very slow drying finishes that are similar in that they are not moisture resistant and you have to reapply them periodically. Danish oil dries in about ten hours which is around half the time of toung oil.

I wish you luck finishing your woodworking project.

© 2013 KJWoodworking.com
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