Apollo Sprayers
Polyester finishing techniques
Achieving the perfect, better-than-piano finish with pariffinated polyester. May 9, 2001

Troubleshooting a Conversion Varnish Failure
What caused the bad crazing? Bad formula, bad moisture control, and early re-coating are all suspects. March 17, 2005

Finishing Cost (In-House Versus Contracted Out)
A cabinetmaker wonders why bids he gets to finish cabinets don't match his own cost to do the work himself. The question sets off a long discussion of cost, value, markets, and business strategies. May 17, 2010

Exterior Wood Finish Maintenance
This long discussion starts with a question about maintaining the finish on a beautiful outdoor wood gate, and continues into a detailed examination of the difficult durability issues with exterior clear finishes. January 14, 2008

Guitar Finishes
It's hard to tell, it's hard to tell, when all your love's in vain. May 17, 2005

Lacquer Drying Too Fast
Ambient temperatures and heat from the air turbine may be the reason this finisher's lacquer is drying almost instantly. Here's an extended discussion of tweaking equipment and formulas to moderate the drying time. September 26, 2006

Most Effective Way to Spray Cabinet Doors
An extended discussion based on wide experience, about rigs, jigs, and methods for racking, stacking and finishing cabinet doors. November 24, 2008

Waterbased Finishes
Advice on selecting a waterborne finish system. February 12, 2010


Choosing an HVLP System
Selecting the proper size and quality system for your shop. October 21, 2004

Glazing Advice for a High-Volume Shop
Pros give tips on formulating glazes, simplifying the process, and pacing the work. March 18, 2005

Achieving a "Brushed-On" Cabinet Finish Look
Finishers and cabinetmakers discuss whether brush marks are a good or bad thing, and how to create or avoid them, depending. October 15, 2009

Gravity spray guns
Are these suitable for the small shop, or is there a better choice? September 25, 2002

Toner for a Poplar Cabinet
A customer changes her mind, and a cabinetmaker needs to apply a stain finish instead of paint — to a poplar cabinet. Pros chime in with detailed recommendations and explanations for a very challenging toner application. May 17, 2005

Problems spraying conversion varnish
Troubleshooting cleanup and viscosity/load problems. September 2, 2002

Stain Chemistry, Solvent Content, Drying Time, and Adhesion
Here's a highly informative, in-depth look at oil-based stain chemistry, along with some de-bunking of the conventional wisdom concerning application windows. May 18, 2010

Troubleshooting Adhesion Failure in Conversion Varnish Over Lacquer
Conversion varnish needs a mechanical bond. Here, pros analyze a case where it's not sticking. May 17, 2005

Fine Points of Glazed Finish Applications
A long discussion of glaze formulation and application techniques. July 29, 2007

Troubleshooting a Poor Stain Match
Finishers discuss what could have created a glaring mismatch between Maple and Birch components supposedly stained with the same formula. August 6, 2010

Finishing mahogany
Producing the dark color expected of mahogany. February 12, 2003

Priming MDF Raised-Panel Doors
Primer can do unpleasant things to the exposed wood fiber of routed MDF. But there are quite a few ways to prime machined MDF beautifully. August 30, 2005

Pros and Cons of Waterborne Finishes
Here's a long discussion of reasons to prefer waterborne finishes (or not). March 29, 2008

Understanding Pressure, Airflow, and Hose Diameter with HVLP Sprayguns
The math gets tricky, but here's some commonsense advice on getting the pressure and flow you need at the spraygun tip. February 23, 2008

Spray Systems: Pressure Pot Versus Airless Versus Air-Assisted
Which type of spray-gun setup is best for your shop? Pros go around and around on the classic equipment dilemma.January 13, 2006

Dark cherry dyes and stains
How to get a great-looking, deep cherry finish. June 24, 2001

Effective and User-Friendly "Green" Finish Coatings
For quality and environmental benefits, tung oil is hard to beat. But this thread includes other suggestions, along with some valuable discussion. April 21, 2008

"Shading" and "toning" defined
How different finishers use these terms. February 12, 2003

Dangers of On-Site Finishing
Health and fire risks that accompany improper ventilation. September 20, 2004

Is Finishing Witchcraft?
Happy Halloween. October 25, 2012

No-blotch dying
Methods to achieve uniform finishes. March 5, 2003

How To Correct Blotchy Stain on Cherry
Here's a complicated finishing situation that draws a lot of different opinions, and some useful insights. February 15, 2015

Fine Points of Pigments and Dye Stains
Here's an extended, in-depth discussion of the alternatives for coloring wood before applying a clear top coat. December 31, 2013

Troubleshooting Solvent Pop
Even with state-of-the-art equipment, a finisher gets those pesky micro-bubbles in conversion varnish finishes. Here, pros put their heads together and try to figure out what's happening. December 30, 2005

Comparison Test of Water-Based Finishes
A cabinetmaker subjects six water-based urethanes to side-by-side stain-resistance testing (and shares his results). July 8, 2005

Test results: Waterborne products
Comparison and testing of several different waterborne products

Pump Action Causing Micro-Bubbles in Polyurethane Finish
Pros puzzle over what causes tiny bubbles to appear in polyurethane finishes. December 1, 2005

Matching Antique White Oak
A finisher gets advice on making new White Oak stock blend in with a piece of reclaimed wood with an oil finish.June 18, 2013

Fish-Eye Reducer: Is It Addictive?
Legend has it that if you use fish-eye reducer once, you have to use it forever. Here, finishers argue the point, pro and con. November 27, 2007

Drying Compressor Air
This long, detailed discussion covers the whys and hows of drying out the air that flows through your compressed-air lines to power tools and spray equipment. April 6, 2007

Troubleshooting Pencil Dents in Polyurethane over Maple
Here's a long, involved thread about how to handle a problem with a soft, dentable finish applied over a beautiful one-of-a-kind custom Maple countertop. July 18, 2013

Troubleshooting Air-Assisted Airless Performance
A finisher isn't sure whether he's shopping for a new gun or trying to fix the one he has. Either way, he gets some advice in this thread. October 19, 2013

Woodworking 101: The Basics
and shows how it can affect various production operations. 1998.

Toning a Table Top
This finishing problem is really more of a customer relations issue. But it's worth reading just for a look at the table top (a lovely piece of work). August 22, 2013

Wrinkles in Lacquer
Recoat window? Catalyzation? What could be causing this defect? December 9, 2004

Troubleshooting a Wrinkling Problem
A clear conversion varnish sealer is wrinkling in a few spots over an oil-based stain. What's the problem? July 11, 2013

Finish Failure at Door Frame Joints
What caused this defect: Wood moisture, glue characteristics, finish issues, or all three? August 17, 2009

- Spraying Dye Stains Smoothly
Achieving an even, streak-free finish. June 4, 2004

Repairing Cracks in Old Church Pews
Swings in heat and humidity have opened up cracks in some old pews. Furnituremakers suggest practical repairs. September 26, 2006

Spraying ICA stains
Looking for better results with spray/no-wipe stains. November 18, 2002

Pigmented conversion varnish
Finishers help troubleshoot problems with drying, overspray and more. January 21, 2002

"One Coat" Flax Seed Oil Finish — Is it for Real?
Finishers consider what a new "one coat" wood finish formula based on flax seed oil might actually contain, then move on to a complex technical discussion of the chemical nature of natural oil finishes. August 27, 2012

Recovering from a Bad Stain Job on Poplar
When a large batch of poplar mouldings is stained way too dark, you have only a few practical options for fixing things. December 29, 2008

Stain Mixing, Wood Tones, and Color Theory
Starting with the basics, a cogent explanation of how to mix pigments and stains and how to use them to the desired effect on wood. May 18, 2010

Black Finish for a Maple Floor
Black belt finishers display their chops on an unusual problem: staining a maple floor black. No pain, no gain ... April 21, 2008

Measuring and Mixing Small Batches of Finish
Here's a long, useful discussion of practical ways to measure out your finish, thinner, and catalyst when you only need a very small amount. April 29, 2013

Stain and Finish Recommendations
Pros share comments and images about their favorite products. February 8, 2005

Spray-Gun Choices
Another long discussion on the pros and cons of various spray-gun options. November 11, 2006

Finishing in-house vs on-site
Is quality compromised when cabinets are finished on the job site? November 22, 2003

Troubleshooting a Peeling Waterborne Finish Job
Glaze and water-based topcoat peel off an old urethaned tabletop. Pros weigh in on the diagnosis. July 8, 2005

Tips for Defect-Free Sanding to a High Gloss
Finishers trade advice on how to eliminate visible sanding scratches when polishing their work to a high gloss. November 5, 2013

How Not to Finish an Exterior Door
Sometimes, "finished" is another way to say "all done." February 17, 2014

Overcatalyzation Callback Confusion
Here's a cautionary tale: A cabinetmaker dismisses a customer's legitimate complaint about finish discoloration because he think the customer is hiding something. Turns out, overcatalyzing the finish did cause it to turn orange after many months. Now the cabinetmaker has to apologize and make the jo ......

Avoiding Swirl Marks in Finish Sanding
Grit choices, sander type, and technique can all affect finish sanding performance. May 6, 2010

Troubleshooting Wrinkling in Pigmented Varnish
In jobs involving multiple coats and sanding between coats, pigmented conversion varnish can sometimes have a wrinkling or crinkling problem. Here, finishers try to figure out what can go wrong, and how to stop it. September 10, 2007

Troubleshooting an Adhesion Problem
Multiple layers of dissimilar products can create complicated adhesion issues. Here, finishers scratch their heads over one case example. September 10, 2007

Is an Air-Assisted Airless Sprayer Right for a Furniture Shop?
For low-volume, detailed spraying, other choices are probably more practical. November 27, 2007

Wood bleach - what is it really?
How bleach works, plus developing a process to subdue alder grain and flecks. July 22, 2003

Set-ups for spraying cabinet doors
Methods for clean and efficient finishing. Includes photos.. October 9, 2002

Spray Room and Drying Room Design
A discussion of spray room characteristics, including layout, air supply and filtration. February 19, 2006

Troubleshooting Micro Bubbles in Pigmented Conversion Varnish
Sometimes the simplest quick answer is to switch brands. May 16, 2014

Troubleshooting Inconsistent Glazing Over a White Finish
Although it's really not that bad, a finisher isn't happy with a newly finished cabinet; his questions set off a long discussion of glazed-finish quality control and touch-up. April 9, 2007

Moisture and Cupping with Glued-Up Solid Poplar Panels
This thread about poplar panels that cupped while stored sheds light on wood moisture movement issues in general. June 30, 2009

Fine Points of Staining Wood
A basic question about whether oil finishes are compatible with waterborne stains kicks of a long technical discussion of the theory and practice of staining. April 17, 2010

Gel Stain Versus Washcoat and Toner
For blotch-prone woods like Cherry and Maple, gel stains may give good results with fewer steps involved. September 14, 2006

Troubleshooting Mixing Issues with an AAA Pump
A finisher tries to figure out why his CAT 2k pump is producing streaky results from the gun. July 29, 2014

Troubleshooting Blushing on Cabinet Doors in Use
Three months after the job, doors finished with waterborne conversion varnish are blushing. The culprit turns out to be ammonia in a household cleaner.October 20, 2013

Sealer under polyester grain filler
Why must a catalyzed urethane be used as the sealer under polyester, instead of other materials? June 24, 2001

Food Safety and Wood Countertop Finishes
Objective information about wood finish safety for contact with food is hard to come by. August 27, 2012

Japanese-Style Black Finish with Red Undertones
Finishers pitch in with different takes on how to imitate an ancient Oriental lacquer finish for a custom job. March 9, 2008

Clear Exterior Door Finish that Won't Alter Wood Color
This post from a woodworker looking for a clear finish for exterior doors that would preserve the color of some beautiful Mahogany doors drew some interesting and detailed responses. April 15, 2012

Getting Started with Dye Stains
A newcomer to finishing gets a boatload of advice on custom tinting with dye concentrates and powders. March 29, 2006

Choosing a Spray Setup
Finishers kick around the perennial HVLP versus air-assisted airless question, and exchange detailed thoughts about the pros and cons of different spraygun makes and models. April 19, 2006

Successfully staining birch
Methods for achieving a smooth, even finish on birch. September 23, 2003

Waterborne Finishes - Pros and Cons
Here's a long thread with finishers comparing the attributes of waterborne finishes to solventborne products. May 27, 2014

Wrinkled lacquer over glaze
The products and processes that could be causing this problem. August 29, 2001

Spraying a Washcoat
Achieving a smooth, consistent application. August 26, 2004

Sealer Coats with Nitrocellulose Lacquer
Introductory advice on using nitrocellulose lacquer. December 14, 2009

Advice to a Beginner on Finishing Maple
The best course may be to hire a pro who has the right equipment and experience. But failing that, here are some ideas about finishing Maple with wipe-on products. March 13, 2014

Dye Stain Blotching
A newcomer to spraying dye stains negotiates the learning curve. February 17, 2012

Spraying Conversion Varnish with an HVLP Gun
Old hands walk a beginner through the basics of mixing, thinning, and applying conversion varnish. A good introduction. February 14, 2006

Trapped Bubbles in Waterborne Finish Coats
Pros troubleshoot another case of those pesky bubbles. July 3, 2008

Flow Enhancers for Waterborne Lacquer
Finishers discuss the use of flow-modifying additives, alcohol thinners, or silicone fisheye reducers in waterbased formulas. March 29, 2008

Color matching standards
Are they even possible? May 1, 2003

Touching up conversion varnish
Problems related to conversion varnish touchup. (From WOODWEB's Finishing Forum) January 21, 2003

Another Fisheye Story
Fisheye rears its ugly head, setting off another round of troubleshooting. February 8, 2008

Toning a Reddish Finish to a Dark Walnut Color
Advice on how to tone a red finish in the direction of walnut. February 23, 2008

Finish Options for Door Backs
Many cabinetmakers use just a clear finish on the backs of doors (even if the front gets stain), and customers don't seem to mind. October 13, 2008

Staining and Blending Difficult Woods -- Alder, Birch, Maple, Poplar, and...
A three step coloring technique to achieve rich, dark, even coloring on a variety of wood species - March 16, 2005

Taking Sanding Seriously
Grit, lighting, surface cleaning - pros share views on the perfect sanding job. April 14, 2005

Shellac and Linseed Oil Finishes
A long thread on traditional finishes using linseed oil and shellac. May 28, 2010

Solving Lifting in Catalyzed Lacquer
Finishers address the persistent problem, experienced by one of their own, with wrinkling and lifting in catlac. February 8, 2005

Dispensing Ingredients
Finishers contribute tips for storing, measuring, and pouring out paints, stains, and colorants. January 9, 2007

Manipulating Crackle Effects
An extended exploration of way to tweak formulas and applications so as to modify the look of popular "crackle" coatings. July 3, 2008

CSI Woodweb: Unsolved Pink Mysteries
An unanswered question saved for future reference: Why is a mysterious pink color bleeding through finishes on MDF, or appearing around rubber bumpers? March 4, 2009

Chemical Interactions with Stains Applied to Photos
Here's a complex discussion of the possible chemical reactions that could cause wood stains to change color properties when applied to old black-and-white photographs as part of a custom art work. July 18, 2008

Spray Guns: From Airless to Air-Assisted
A residential painter who's used to airless equipment wants to upgrade to air-assisted for final lacquer coats. He gets advice, makes his choice, and reports back. August 30, 2005

A Little about Dyes, the Versatile Colorant
An introduction to the fine points of choosing, mixing, and using synthetic dyes. August 18, 2005

Matching the Spray-Gun to the Finish
A discussion of pressure-pot, airless, and air-assisted gun choices, focusing on which rig is best for applying which type of formula. July 17, 2008

Finishing an Extra-Large Table Top
Advice on positioning a large table top to be accessible for convenient spraying. March 28, 2010

Black Spots Under Clear Coat on an Exterior Door
Finishers troubleshoot finish failure on an exterior door sprayed with clear lacquer. September 27, 2008

Troubleshooting HVLP Performance
A finisher gets help and advice making his new HVLP gun deliver the finish quality he wants. June 30, 2007

Refinishing old oak floor
Comparing methods and products for a reasonably priced, quality finish. January 28, 2002

Troubleshooting a Rough Finish Inside Drawer Boxes
Here's a long thread full of advice for spraying the insides of drawers. October 20, 2013

Regular or dewaxed shellac?
is an appropriate primer coat. May 22, 2002

Trouble with a Translucent White Finish
White flecks are separating out of a heavily thinned white pigment finish. Finishers try to troubleshoot. May 17, 2005

Choosing a Spraygun for a Small Shop
A thoughtful discussion on the pros and cons of airless, air-assisted, pressure pot, and gravity HVLP sprayguns. December 9, 2010

Troubleshooting Rough Veneer on Furniture
An extended discussion of the adhesive, veneering or finish issues that could create roughness on veneered pieces after some time in service. June 11, 2014

Finish room heating
Safe systems for keeping you, your finishes and your spray equipment cozy. November 22, 2003

Low-Budget Spray Guns
Finishers mull over lower-cost spray guns and what they're good for. November 13, 2005

Switching to Water-Based Finishes
A finisher who feels healthier after switching to water-based finishes kicks off a long, useful discussion on water-based finishing techniques. December 31, 2005

Spraygun Cleaning and Shellac
Advice on maintaining the equipment you use for spraying shellac, and on how to clean equipment when switching between coating types with a single spraygun system. December 1, 2009

Clear Finish Over Faux Linen Painted MDF Wall Paneling
Here's an extended thread on an unusual and challenging architectural finish problem: getting a high-gloss clear coat over painted MDF in a fast-paced custom homebuilding context. June 8, 2008

"Hand Rubbed" Finishes for Furniture
"Hand rubbed" means different things to different finishers — not to mention the customers. October 14, 2010

Spraying Shellac
Finishers discuss the fine points of applying Shellac, a traditional finish that can produce exceptional results when applied with care. December 31, 2012

Controlling Overspray when Edgebanding Cabinets
Advice on taping off cabinets before spraying the front, using brush or wipe finishes, or using pre-finished edgebanding. March 4, 2009

Tung Oil Finish Differences
A discussion of the various finish types containing Tung oil and their performance differences. February 27, 2013

Tough Finishes for Table Tops
A wide-ranging discussion of various approaches to finishing table tops. Your choice will depend on the intended use and the preferred appearance. January 14, 2009

Troubleshooting Finish Cracking (Checking) on Veneer
Here's an extended detailed discussion of finish cracks that follow wood veneer grain patterns. Is it wood movement, a veneer adhesion issue, a finish formula problem, or a finish application problem? March 13, 2009

Troubleshooting White Pores and Ridges in a Finish
Applying a waterborne clear finish to Mahogany, a finisher runs into a white discoloration that he can't explain. April 16, 2010

Whether to Strip Cabinet Doors
After considering all the options and their various drawbacks, a cabinetmaker decides to buy new doors instead of stripping and refinishing a bad batch. December 29, 2008

Lacquer without sealer
A beginner asks for opinions on his system and gets the pros and cons of using a sealer. August 29, 2001

Troubleshooting Blotchy Effects with a Water-Based Finishing Schedule
Waterborne finishes make it tricky to get even tinting on some wood surfaces. Here, a finisher tries to zero in on a workable dye stain, barrier coat, and tinted topcoat system. December 28, 2007

Light Sources and "True" Color Matching
Problems matching an existing color because of a difference between the lighting on site and in the shop? Here's an extensive discussion of the theory and practice of lighting and color-matching. June 9, 2007

Iron Solutions for Ebonizing Wood
Advanced tips on making and applying dark black stain with solutions of iron in water and various solvents. August 26, 2008

HVLP Versus Standard Siphon Spray Guns
Finishers explain the differences between HVLP and non-HVLP spray guns, and discuss their comparative advantages. November 13, 2005

Shop Built Spray Booth Show and Tell
Here's an extensive discussion of the practicalities of designing and building a good spray booth in the cabinet shop. December 31, 2013

Blotching on maple
Staining maple without blotching

Making an Existing Finish Smooth to Touch — In Place
What's a practical way to modify a finish on site that isn't smooth enough for the customer's taste? May 17, 2010

Touch-Up Problems With White Cabinets
Lacquer, paint, or varnish? Shop or site finish? Pros kick around the choices. April 14, 2005

Antiqued Look for Cabinets
Developing a finish schedule for distressed cabinets. December 26, 2004

How Not to Sand Through Corners
Advice on avoiding breaking through the stain on the corners of pieces when sanding between coats. March 3, 2006

Walnut Slab Table Top Finishing Tips
Woodworking and finishing tips for a craftsman working on a Walnut slab table. January 8, 2010

Fisheyes and Cleaning Between Coats
this time involving waterbased finishes on bamboo. October 26, 2007

Sealing Maple Plywood Before Staining
A beginner asks for advice on a hand-applied seal coat for maple plywood to allow even staining with a brushed top coat. March 25, 2007

High Gloss Finishes
Advice on formula choices (including automotive clear-coat urethanes), polishing methods, and finishing schedules for a drop-dead glossy clear finish. December 9, 2010

Troubleshooting Yellowing and Peeling in CAB Lacquer
A thorough analysis of problems in an 8-year-old kitchen finish using low-VOC formulas. June 8, 2008

Lacquer Adhesion Over Glaze
A reported problem getting nitrocellulose lacquer to stick over a heavy-bodied glaze leads to a discussion of possible solutions. November 8, 2007

Wood Finishing Basics
A newcomer to finishing gets advice on his formulas and application methods, and on where to learn more. August 9, 2005

Advice on Conversion Varnish
A beginner gets tips on product choices, application techniques, and conditioning the workspace. March 18, 2005

Maple Finishing Techniques
More fine points about sealing, staining, and toning Maple cabinets. July 3, 2008

Oil finish with airless equipment
Technique and tools to achieve excellent results. May 22, 2002

Air bubbles in conversion varnish
Why are they appearing when finish is sprayed on with an airmix pump? March 23, 2002

Applying oil-based polyurethane
Brushing and spraying problems and options. August 25, 2003

Uneven Sheen with "Dull" Conversion Varnish
May 15, 2012

Trouble with Catalyzed Varnish and an Air-Assisted Airless Gun
Those pesky bubbles are back. Finishers help a colleague figure out why his new spraygun setup is not delivering the results he expected. May 24, 2006

Achieving Even Color on Cherry
More advice on a perennial challenge: getting consistent color when finishing Cherry. August 26, 2006

Railroad Tie Cost and Pricing
In a slow market, can you make money sawing railroad ties? September 17, 2008

Toning and Shading Basics
Fundamentals of toning for a first-time finisher. April 19, 2011

Troubleshooting Gloss Variations with a Post-Catalyzed Laquer
Viewed from an angle, this finished piece shows some flat, dull areas where the proper gloss wasn't achieved. Pros try to diagnose the problem and suggest possible fixes. December 1, 2005

Pre-Cat Lacquer Seal Coat Sanding
Pre-cat lacquer works well as its own sanding sealer, but it takes some experience to learn to avoid bubbling in the coat over certain types of wood. July 18, 2008

Protecting Wood and Coatings from Yellowing
Here's an extended technical discussion of wood yellowing, finish yellowing, and the finish formula components that may or may not prevent either one. August 21, 2012

Minimizing Grain Raise with Waterborne Finishes
Finishers discuss pro methods to avoid or counteract the grain-raising effect of water in finish formulas. September 25, 2014

Fine Crackle Finish
Products and techniques for achieving a fine China-like crackle. May 19, 2004

Uniform Dark Stain for Cherry
Finishers share their formulas and methods for staining and toning cherry. June 30, 2007

Reducing finish overspray
Methods, additives and equipment for minimizing this problem. October 30, 2002

Coating Choices for Exterior Wood Doors
Here's another discussion sorting through the options for wood door finishes that have to face exterior exposures. March 28, 2012

Filling nail holes in prefinsihed moulding
The installer has shot your custom-milled cherry job full of nail holes. What do you do? September 19, 2001

Mixing Stain to Make Teak Look Like Wenge
Here's a primer on mixing your own custom stains from primary colors, plus some rare old lore on getting finishes to last on oily woods like Teak. July 29, 2007

High-Build Lacquer, Wiping Stain, and Gel Stain
Looking for efficiency and simplicity, finishers compare products and processes. November 3, 2010

Problem with topcoat adhesion -- over stain
Wood finishers help troubleshoot a comrade's problem with topcoat adhesion on stained work. April 22, 2000

Problems with Lacquered Hardwood Plaques Sticking Together
Finishers discuss why a finished pieces would stick together even after months of drying. June 17, 2009

Washcoat Tips and Tricks
Washcoat application can be a tricky process. Here, seasoned pros help a beginner get the hang of it. March 29, 2006

Shellac over Casein — Bubbling and Adhesion Problems
Finishers try to troubleshoot a performance issue with an unusual custom art finish: milk paint and shellac on furniture. February 13, 2009

White Stain for Cabinets
Here's a long discussion with some detailed advice for staining wood white in a way that allows some grain to show. January 14, 2009

Rocking Chair Design and Construction
Creating a good rocker is more art than science. April 30, 2006

Even Finishing Techniques for Alder
Approaches for avoiding a blotchy look when finishing Alder. May 27, 2008

Water-Bornes Versus Solvent-Bornes — the Big Picture
A philosophical, practical, technical, ethical and political — but not personal — discussion of today's big split in finish formulations. August 24, 2008

Evening Out Cherry Color Variations
A discussion of ways to address lightness and darkness differences between Cherry lumber and plywood. December 14, 2009

The Fine Points of Spraying Dye Stain
Pros supply mixing and application tips. April 14, 2005

Fundamentals of Spraying Stain
A finisher who's accustomed to working by hand gets advice on his first attempts at spraying stain. December 30, 2005

Finish for a Maple Countertop with Undermount Sink
Here's a wide-ranging discussion about finishing kitchen countertops made with wood. October 19, 2013

Troubleshooting Lacquer Adhesion Problems
Advice on improving adhesion of lacquer over a wiping stain. May 17, 2010

Troubleshooting Finish Flaws on a Piano
Is that fish-eye or orange peel on that piano? Finishers help a colleague diagnose and treat a problem with conversion varnish. May 17, 2005

Metallic Finishes
Pros discuss ways to put a bright, shiny silver metallic finish on wood. August 9, 2005

Finishing Oils
Here are some opinions and some learning resources for a finisher trying to choose a natural oil finish. July 18, 2013

How Many Finish Coats Is Enough?
Finishers discuss quality expectations and how to meet them. July 11, 2009

Alligatoring with Waterborne Poly over a Shellac Sealcoat
Pros dig into the reasons why water-based poly might show fine cracks and wrinkling over shellac. February 23, 2008

Sandpaper and Fisheye
Another finisher confronts the dreaded fisheye problem, and a discussion of sanding materials ensues. November 8, 2007

Wax Finish for a Walnut Slab Table Top
Furnituremakers discuss wax finishes. December 2, 2009

Painters Versus Cabinet Finishers
There are degrees of skill and accomplishment in both specialties — but what's the real difference? 25, 2006

Small-Compressor/HVLP Setup
Finishers debate whether a small compressor paired with an HVLP spraygun can get the job done. February 19, 2006

Staining Alder
Alder is an under-appreciated wood that takes stain and paint well. Here, finishers discuss how to get the best results with it. October 26, 2005

Troubleshooting Pinholes with an Air-Assisted Airless Spraygun
Fluid and air pressure adjustments can solve this problem. July 14, 2010

Oil-Based Stain for a Bookcase
A professional who has used lots of oil-based Minwax stain describes its characteristics. September 18, 2012

Staining Pine Cabinets
A finisher gets advice on how to get even results in just a few steps. August 30, 2005

The Fine Points of Scuff Sanding
"Scuff sanding" to knock down minor imperfections between coats may be done quickest and best by hand. Here, professionals delve into the fine points of how, when, and why to scuff sand finish coats. August 10, 2005

Troubleshooting Bubbles in Spray Polyurethane
Advice on eliminating bubbles from a poly finish on a veneered table. August 17, 2009

How to Make an Oak Mantelpiece Look Old
Finishers kick around ideas for distressing a new oak mantel to match some old oak furniture (the catch: the finish has to resist heat). December 8, 2006

Shellac Under Conversion Varnish in a Fisheye Repair Situation
This discussion digs into the issue of applying CV over shellac, with other considerations involving fisheye. April 16, 2010

Spot Repairs in Post-Catalyzed Lacquers
Spray touch-up techniques for minor dings and scratches. May 11, 2006

Toner Exposing Surface Imperfections
Pros advise on the careful use of glaze and toner to enhance color and grain without calling attention to imperfections. August 3, 2009

Waterborne lacquers
How quality measures up against other finishes. December 26, 2002

Tiny Bubbles
Are tools or techniqes to blame for the bubbles appearing in this ICA poly? October 20, 2004

Sand-Through Finish Strategies
Pros kick around ideas for a layered, sand-through finish for a multi-colored beat-up appearance. March 29, 2006

Tinting Toner Tips
A longtime furniture finishing pro offers tips on toners for tinting. March 12, 2002

Basics of Furniture Stripping
A newcomer to refinishing learns some early lessons. March 9, 2010

Spray Booth Fans and Explosion Risk
The scary stories in this thread should convince anyone that explosion-proof fans are a must in any spray operation. August 17, 2009

Shopping for a Spraygun Upgrade
A finisher looks to step up from low-end spray equipment, and gets advice on gun types. May 17, 2005

Dye Stains and Gel Stains for Difficult Wood
Dye stains or gel stains (or a combination of both) can produce good results on blotchy woods and detailed profiles. Here's a detailed discussion of product choices and application methods. April 20, 2011

Fun with Vinegar-and-Iron Dye Stains
Iron soaked in vinegar makes an interesting dye that can be black, gray, or brownish-red, depending on the application and use. Here's a discussion of the chemistry and methods involved. July 29, 2007

Getting Penetration with Spray Stain
After switching from wiping stain to spray stain, a finisher asks for advice on working the material into fine cracks and crevices. December 31, 2012

Gun Choice for Spraying Toner Over Sealer
To avoid mottling, use equipment that is recommended for spraying toners. April 30, 2006

Sealing Over Water-Soluble Aniline Dyes
Bleeding between products makes getting that "piano" finish tricky, but it can be done. March 18, 2005

Solvent-Borne Stains with Water-Borne Top Coats
A question about a tricky finishing challenge leads to a discussion of staining, glazing, and toning techniques. December 29, 2008

Glazing Over Paint
A discussion of the technical challenges and steps involved in glazing over paint and topcoating with clear lacquer. January 14, 2009

Sealcoat Before a Waterborne Finish
Water-based finishes tend to raise wood grain. Here, finishers discuss options for a first sealer coat. October 25, 2006

Coating for Walnut Restaurant Chairs
Hard like two-component polyurethane, or repairable like tung oil? An extended discussion of the options for a finish that has to look top-notch, and face rough wear. May 27, 2008

Muting the Grain on a Cherry Table
A furniture-maker needs to make a new cherry table match existing woodwork that has a washed-out grain. Finishers offer advice about formulas and application. July 11, 2005

Staining Poplar Trim to Match Existing Stained Maple
Poplar is usually a paint-grade trim material. But here, finishers discuss using washcoats and dye stains to persuade Poplar to stain evenly. September 10, 2007

Color Burnthrough Sample
Finishers share images of burnthrough effects created during the finishing process. February 8, 2005

Less toxic alternatives to CV
Searching for a durable and less toxic finish. July 22, 2003

Spraying Interior Doors with Oil Based Paint
Detailed advice from experienced pros about how to spray paint interior doors efficiently and well. December 10, 2008

Polishing Polyurethane to a High Gloss
Buffing compounds, sanding materials, and techniques for that super-high final shine. May 24, 2006

Appearance Defects with Waterborne Finishes Applied to Plywood
As plywood quality declines, finishing problems multiply. Here's a look at why plywood is so hard to finish these days. November 29, 2014

Wood Panel Shrinkage and Bare-Wood Witness Lines
A discussion of how to prevent or repair the tell-tale bare wood lines that may appear on the edge of stained door panels in dry winter conditions. April 29, 2011

Spray Booth Characteristics
A finisher wonders if the price he's been quoted for a spray booth is too good to be true. Colleagues chime in about the components, quality, and cost of a good booth. October 2, 2005

Contaminants in High-Gloss Finish
Is dust causing the flaws in this otherwise mirror-shine finish? August 26, 2004

Glaze technique problem
Trying to match a unique mystery finish sample. April 9, 2003

Conversion varnish flow
Getting conversion varnish to lay smooth. April 11, 2001

Working with NGR Stain
Advice on how to achieve a desired effect with successive applications of NGR stain. July 14, 2010

Curing Stations, Drying Time, and Workflow
A small ultraviolet or infrared curing station might speed up a small finish line's production. Here, finishers talk about equipment, formulas, drying times, and efficiency. May 17, 2005

Refinishing contamination problem
Is contamination at fault for the appearance of fisheye when refinishing furniture? August 29, 2001

Troubleshooting Pre-Cat Cracking
Heavy cracking in a pre-catalyzed varnish finish appears to indicate too thick a build. March 26, 2009

Conversion Varnish Versus Pre-Catalyzed Lacquer
Pros compare CV and pre-cat in terms of performance characteristics and ease of use. September 16, 2008

Knocking down conversion varnish sheen
What's the best method to dull down a finished-and-installed kitchen? March 23, 2002

Troubleshooting Tacky Pre-Catalyzed Lacquer
A finisher reports that white lacquer coats don't cure for days. Is it the 98% relative humidity, or a problem with the formula?October 26, 2005

Spray Technique for Chairs
Wooden chairs challenge the spraygun operator with their many complicated surface orientations. Here, experienced pros advise on how to achieve a uniform coat without roughness or drips. April 19, 2006

Refinishing an Antique Mahogany Sideboard
Finishers apply their minds to a tricky refinishing job: stripping paint and applying a new finish to a fine old piece of furniture. November 13, 2005

Filling Deep Gaps Under a Clear Finish
Most grain fillers either take a long time to dry or turn milky white when applied too thickly. Here are some ideas for a water-clear crack filler. December 10, 2007

Conversion Varnish Wrinkling Problem
Wrinkles that appear after applying a second coat of CV could be caused by a variety of mis-steps, some related to the "recoat window." October 1, 2010

Avoiding Runs with Waterbornes
A discussion of formulas, guns, and techniques to prevent drips and runs. June 30, 2009

Spraying "Wiping Stains"
Here's a method for fast, even spray application of wiping stains by thinning 5-to-1 with naphtha. June 4, 2012

Troubleshooting Dry Particle Problems with Conversion Varnish
Small whitish particles in CV straight from the can could be flatting agent, a temperature issue, or something else. Here are some tips on identifying and solving the problem. July 3, 2008

Using Waterborne Finishes
How do waterborne finishes measure up, in practical use? September 9, 2004

HVLP with Turbine
Advice on whether to switch from a siphon gun to an HVLP spray gun. May 17, 2005

Yet Another Look at Solvent Pop
Another cabinet finisher struggles with solvent pop. July 11, 2009

Achieving a Smooth, Glassy Finish on a Burl Veneer Tabletop
The crazy grain and deep structure of a burl surface pose a special finishing challenge, and the choice of adhesive can also add a twist. Here, pros offer advice from several different perspectives. December 8, 2006

Finishing a Mahogany Bar Top
Various suggestions for a bar top job. June 8, 2008

Sanding Imperfections out of a High Gloss Finish
Advice on equipment and hand methods for sanding a polishing a "Euro wet look" finish. July 25, 2010

- Glazing: My Favorite Finishing Technique
Glaze finishing techniques are a versatile way to enhance the features of wood without hiding its natural characteristics. They're also the first-choice tool of the faux-finish aficionado. Finishing expert Mac Simmons explains in this article how to apply base colors, sealer coats, and a variety of ......

Dealing with Silicone Contamination in Wood Pores
Advice on sanding and refinishing an Oak surface after silicone contamination has become evident — but without contaminating your own shop or equipment. March 28, 2010

Filling Depressions Exposed by Topcoats
Sprayers share tips for achieving a flat, filled, fine finish. January 25, 2005

Praise for HVLP
Has HVLP outgrown a bad reputation? Here's why some swear by it. (Finishing Forum) May 19, 2003

Art Finish on MDF
An architect asks for a bizarre bleaching and staining job on MDF panels, and a finisher seeks professional help. April 30, 2009

Dye Stains, Solvents, and Alder
A question about spray dyes for Alder leads to a discussion of sophisticated custom formulations using dyes and solvents. March 26, 2007

Hardwoods in the Bath
Finishing Tips When Installing Hardwoods in Wet, Humid Environments October 22, 2001

Troubleshooting Painting Problems with an Air-Assisted Airless Gun
What's causing the spray fan to "wink out" occasionally? Pros help pin down the cause of poor performance. January 9, 2007

Darkening a Lacquer Finish On Site
Finishers consider the fine points of darkening an existing old lacquer finish with hand-application methods. July 2, 2008

Considering 2k Polyurethane Finishes
A long and thoughtful discussion on the virtues and drawbacks of two-component urethane finishes. October 2, 2005

Spray-Applying Wiping Stains
Practical and economical ways to quickly apply wiping stains, with some related tips. November 15, 2010

Handling a Finish Failure Callback Three Years Later
Cabinetmakers discuss a customer service issue — how long after the original job should you keep fixing a finish? December 6, 2008

Rubbing Out a Piano Finish
The fine points of creating that smooth, even sheen on a black grand piano. December 27, 2006

Finish Schedule Sample Book — Is There Such a Thing?
Making a standard set of finish samples for public use would be both time-consuming and unreliable. June 13, 2011

Faux marbling
Creating a decorative finish to match a marble mantel. November 22, 2003

Fat Edges in Nitro Lacquer
Advice on how to keep lacquer from building up too much at the edges of a profiled piece of wood. July 3, 2008

Glazing Tips and Tricks
Finishers discuss the fine points of various glazing methods. November 25, 2008

A Little About Crackle Finishes
You can create one of today’s most popular specialty finishes with a little experimentation and practice. August 13, 2005

Troubleshooting Lacquer Failure in Putty Areas
Finishers discuss what may be causing lacquer to fail around putty-filled nail holes — and how best to repair it. May 17, 2010

Spraying Dye on Maple
Another take on a common problem — avoiding blotchy results when staining Maple. April 18, 2010

Antiquing Tips, Techniques, and Tools
Finishers reveal the trade secrets of furniture abuse. August 17, 2009

Puddling of NGR Dyes Over a Sealer Washcoat
A beginner with dyes gets advice on compatibility and application methods. March 3, 2010

Conversion Varnish Delamination
Too fine a sandpaper may be the reason conversion varnish is losing inter-coat adhesion. November 25, 2008

Fine Points of Paint Finishes
More expensive acrylics typically perform better than "latex" formulas. Here are some tips on choosing and applying opaque finishes. July 3, 2008

Achieving a Gray Finish on Cherry Cabinets
A discussion of playing with white, black, and color — and some suggestions about trying a different kind of wood, too. November 5, 2013

Extending the Working Time on Glaze Finishes
A finisher struggles with glazing applied over waterbased paints. Problem? The glaze sets up too fast. December 8, 2012

Choices for Glazing
Here's advice on glazing for a beginner who's having trouble. July 11, 2013

Glazing Pigmented CV and Sanding Questions
Glazing with conversion varnish can be tricky. Here, finishers discuss some fine points. October 15, 2009

Measuring Very Small Amounts of Catalyst
Finishers use all kinds of smart methods, including weighing with a scale, to measure and mix very small batches of catalyzed finish. July 7, 2011

Staining Maple: Blotchiness Versus Lightening
Here's advice on how to combat Maple's tendency toward blotchiness, while avoiding the lightening effect of using a washcoat or sealer coat. July 3, 2008

"Antique White" Glazing Techniques
A discussion of the fine points of glazing steps for a "dirty white" antique look. April 27, 2007

Alternating Between Waterborne and Solventborne Finishes
Advice on running different finish types through the same gun, and comments on the durability of water-based clears in exterior applications. March 9, 2006

Spray Booth Floor Treatment?
Pros discuss strategies to keep floors clean and protected for trouble-free spraying. August 30, 2007

Low-Cost Clear Coat for Pine
An unfinished-furniture manufacturer wants to set up a finishing line. Here, pros discuss his low-end finishing choices, and give advice on minimizing sanding labor. October 28, 2005

Make-your-own stains and glazes
Mixing your own wiping stains and glazes. June 24, 2001

Tung Oil for Table Tops
Tung Oil is not the toughest coating, but it's easy to maintain and repair. July 28, 2008

Contamination and Fish Eye
Finishers help a colleague track down the source of fisheye, among the many typical (and not-so-typical) suspects. May 17, 2005

Troubleshooting Finish Cracking over Crotch Mahogany
Unpredictable wood movement in crotch veneers can lead to problems with finish performance. May 17, 2010

Finishing Children's Furniture
Thoughtful advice on child-safe, durable, and simple finishes, both pigmented and clear. March 9, 2010

Toning out Prefinished Cabinets?
Finishers discuss the feasibility of adding one or two more coats to pre-finished imported cabinets in order to adjust the color. April 17, 2010

Troubleshooting Finish Cracking over Veneer
Trying to determine the cause of finish defects over veneer — is the the core material, the adhesive, the veneer, or the finish? March 28, 2012

Whether to Thin a Conversion-Varnish Seal Coat
A discussion of seal coat application and performance with conversion varnishes. September 16, 2008

Time Frame for Scuff Sanding and Topcoat Application
It turns out that there are physical reasons why manufacturers recommend no overnight waiting between sanding and applying a second coat of a catalyzed finish. Here's a detailed explanation. January 2, 2012

Options for heating a finishing room
Various ways to heat a finishing room. December 12, 2000

Custom-Formulating Spray-Only Stains
A wide-open discussion on how to formulate and mix spray-applied stains, using the whole range of ingredients available in the market. February 19, 2006

Approaches to Matching a Stain
Finishers advise on a puzzling stain-matching problem. October 14, 2006

Darkening of Oil-Finished End Grain
Unusual tables milled from whole logs present an interesting stain and finish problem, besides the obvious moisture-related movement concerns. May 23, 2007

Glazing and toning techniques
A detailed discussion of glazing and toning methods. April 4, 2001

Problems with Conversion Varnish Sanding Dust Residue
Finishers discuss how to get pieces clean between the sanding and topcoat steps. December 2, 2009

Water Damage to a Bath Cabinet Finish
Finishers troubleshoot flaking and peeling lacquer on an MDF wood-veneer cabinet in a bathroom. May 13, 2009

Wood Movement and Bar Top Finishing
A finisher gets advice on a tough problem: finishing a bar top made with small wood strips over an MDF substrate.December 28, 2007

Waterproofing Drawer Bottoms
When a customer wants to stash wet, muddy boots in the bottom drawers, how do you protect them? March 26, 2008

Color matching and grain repair
Learning the necessary skills. (From WOODWEB's Finishing Forum) January 21, 2003

The Illusion of Depth in Transparent Coatings
A simple question about easy-to-use lacquers sets off a technical discussion of the optical properties of finishes, and the characteristics that make even thin finishes appear deep and clear to the eye. May 17, 2010

"Mahogany" Stains for Birch
Finishers share formulas and methods for staining light-colored woods a dark mahogany color. April 19, 2006

Understanding Lacquer Thinner
Is it okay to combine your preferred brand of finish with a thinner made by a different manufacturer? Here's a close, careful look at that question. April 29, 2013

Understanding Coverage with a Post-Cat Primer
How to estimate the coverage you should get in real life, based on reading the can and measuring the wet thickness you apply. January 29, 2014

Shaders and Toners: Defining Terms
Shades of meaning in finishing terminology. June 18, 2010

Troubleshooting Milky White Discoloration on Wenge Veneer
Cabinetmakers and finishers look at the weak points of a kitchen finish system. September 3, 2010

Troubleshooting a Bad Smell in Drawers
Dead bacteria in plywood can cause a rancid odor, and a badly catalyzed finish may also produce offensive smells. March 9, 2010

Applying a Toasted Almond Glaze
Four different finishers describe their methods for achieving this effect with wipe-off brown glaze over white base coat. July 29, 2007

A Smooth Honey Finish on Maple
Advice on achieving a warm, even tone on Maple cabinet doors. March 9, 2010

Controlling Shellac Blush
An extended discussion of methods for curing blushing in shellac, and their various possible pitfalls. November 8, 2007

Tung Oil Tips and Tricks
Advice on tung-oil-based "home brews," and more. November 12, 2006

Deodorant Fisheyes
Finish flaws caused by personal care products. December 9, 2004

Waxing Troubles on a Conference Table
A finisher wants advice on how to successfully wax a finished conference table, but what he gets is mostly advice on how to apply a rubbed-out finish that won't need to be waxed at all. January 25, 2013

Mission Oak Finish
Techniques for achieving a mission-style finish without advanced technology or proprietary formulas. January 25, 2011

The Great Fisheye Hunt
Three tales of finish fisheyes found and fixed, with ideas on preventing them. 1998.

Adding Dyes to Tung Oil
Detailed advice on mixing and applying your own custom-tinted Tung oil toner. (Also, dispose of the rags with care.) July 3, 2008

Prepping MDF for Paint
A discussion of primers that can help machined edges of MDF panels accept paint the same as panel faces. December 30, 2005

Gel Stain Pros and Cons
Is gel stain "second cousin to paint?" (And is that bad?) September 26, 2006

Troubleshooting a Wrinkled Finish
Advice on finding out the cause of a wrinkled topcoat. April 18, 2015

Toning with conversion varnish
Adding tonal depth without building up too much finish. August 13, 2002

Conversion Varnish and Sanding Sealer
Advice on switching to a clear conversion varnish over a vinyl sanding sealer for a simple, quick two-coat system. April 15, 2013

Persuading Glaze to Stay in the Grooves
Advice on a tricky glazing application: MDF doors with shallow grooves don't seem to want to hold glaze. July 24, 2006

Thinning Opaque Finishes
Tips and tricks for thinning your formula when you go from clear to opaque finishes. June 17, 2010

Messy mixing
How to mix lacquer and reducer without suffering serious splashes and spills. May 9, 2001

Minimum Finish Room Space for a Small Shop
A startup cabinet shop owner in a small rural market with no commercial finishers asks about a basic finish-room setup for his shop.October 19, 2013

Troubleshooting a Chipping Finish
The chipping problem in this case could be an adhesion failure caused by sanding wood with too fine a grit. February 16, 2014

"Pickled" Finish on Maple
Translucent white finishes on maple sometimes pick up a pink or blue tinge. But with "toning" techniques, you can gradually build up a whitewashed look. October 2, 2005

Catalyzed Versus Uncatalyzed Lacquers
An extended discussion of the chemistry, attributes, and performance of catalyzed lacquers compared to traditional uncatalyzed nitrocellulose lacquer. April 21, 2008

The Fine Points Of Viscosity
Ways to measure and judge viscosity, and determining what's best for the application. April 14, 2005

Understanding "TR" and "OP" Durability Ratings
The TR and OP durability ratings published by the Architectural Woodworking Institute refer to specific categories of finish, and have to be understood to be useful. August 22, 2013

Avoiding Small Bubbles in Polyester
Polyester finish performance is sensitive to temperature conditions, thinning proportions, and other factors. This thread offers troubleshooting ideas along with examples of successful strategies. May 18, 2010

Air-Assisted Airless: Advice for a New User
Tip choice, spray technique, and equipment care and maintenance advice for a finisher who has just purchased his first AAA setup. February 17, 2014

Troubleshooting Sand-Through Problems with Dye Finish
Here's a detailed discussion of sanding materials and techniques, with a view to avoiding the problem of sanding through light finishes while scuff-sanding between coats. October 19, 2014

'Factory Finishes' for the Small Shop
A fine 'factory finish' can help custom woodworkers achieve a uniform appearance when using dissimilar species or building multiple pieces. July 28, 2005

Troubleshooting Bubbles in Pre-Cat Finish on Oak
Finishers offer theories and propose solutions for bubbles that appear during drying in pre-catalyzed finish. December 29, 2008

Shellac as a Sealer
Finishers clear up some confusion about waxed and de-waxed shellac used as a seal coat between different finish products. October 2, 2005

Getting a Start in Faux Finish
A step-by-step description and advice for successfully creating some of today’s most popular finishes. August 18, 2005

Learning Curve with Air-Assisted Airless
If you're used to cup guns or pressure pots, you'll want to change your technique a little when you switch to an AAA gun. November 26, 2006

Problems Sanding Conversion Varnish
It could just be a matter of timing. But here are other ideas as well. June 18, 2013

Objectively Comparing Finish Brands
When two companies compete for a finisher's business, how should he compare their products? March 12, 2006

Finishing for the Small G.C.
Pros offer a residential general contractor advice on learning to apply his own finishes. September 26, 2006

Troubleshooting Veneer Cracking After Finish Application
A case of veneer checking leads to an extended discussion of adhesive choice for veneer layups. March 30, 2008

Slow Curing Times with Post-Cats
A finisher gets some feedback about why post-cat primer and varnish may be taking too long to cure. May 2, 2011

Comparing Water-Borne and Solvent-Borne Finishes
Old hands discuss the pros and cons of water-borne and solvent-borne coatings. June 8, 2007

Staining Resin-Based Composite Moulding
Composite trim has its own little quirks for finishers. Here are some tips on technique. May 13, 2009

Overspray finish inside cabinets
What's the best way to prevent it? June 24, 2002

Switching from a Cup Gun to an Air-Assisted Airless
Finishers give advice about how to adjust to the differences between cup spray-guns and air-assisted airless models. May 27, 2014

Getting the "Habersham" Distressed Look
Call it "Shabby Chic," or just furniture that looks like it walked down the wrong alley — it's not an easy look to achieve. In this thread, pros share their recipes for roughing up the woodwork. July 11, 2005

Using a Builder's Finisher
Cabinetmakers describe why they don't like it when a builder customer has his painter finish their cabinets on site. January 26, 2008

Eliminating Scratches in Glaze
Stubborn sanding scratches appear when a piece has been glazed... can this be avoided?January 6, 2005

Replicating a Finish Color
Same stain brand and color, different result: what's up with that? Advice for a new finisher on getting the color he wants. August 29, 2014

Duplicating Finish on Cherry
A beginner gets advice on using a washcoat, wiping stain, and toner to match an existing finish on Cherry. March 1, 2006

Bar Top Finishes
Here's some practical info on using two-component polyurethane or epoxy bar-top finishes. April 10, 2008

Spraying Dye Stain
It takes a light touch and a careful eye. In this thread, experienced finishers describe their techniques. October 26, 2005

Switching Between Coating Types with Air Assisted Airless Equipment
Going from one product to another and back again is no big deal with AAA spraygun setups. March 29, 2008

Quick Process for Staining a Maple Kitchen
A finisher tries to come up with a quick schedule for staining and topcoating a Maple kitchen in one day. February 15, 2009

Paint Cracks at Joints in Five-Piece Doors
Painted wood stile-and-rail raised-panel doors almost always show cracks at the joints. It's important to inform customers of this before the sale — they might prefer to go with one-piece MDF doors. August 30, 2007

Spray Room Cleaning and Hygeine
For a quality finish you need a clean shop and spray room. Here's advice on getting there. January 2, 2012

Shellac and Alcohol
Here's a little detail on thinning shellac, with a discussion of the fine points of various alcohol varieties. February 12, 2007

What to Do When You Forget the Catalyst
Is there any quick fix when you suddenly realize that you're spraying conversion varnish but you forgot to mix in the catalyst? Yes, but ... February 2, 2011

Staining Cypress Mouldings On Site
Advice on stain selection, wood filler choices, and more for finishing Cypress trimwork. December 28, 2006

More Toner Tips
A discussion of toning techniques. August 22, 2005

Pot Life Troubles with Catalyzed Finishes
Harsh lesson learned from yesterday's batch gone bad today: Read the labels, or reap the wrinkles. May 27, 2008

Troubleshooting Stain Bleedout
Pros consider how to deal with a situation where an oil stain dries too slowly and seeps out of the pores of an Oak piece. July 3, 2008

Darkening Maple with Dye Stain
A tricky stain-matching problem involving maple veneer and dye stain. October 14, 2006

Exterior door finishes
Products to use for protection from rain. May 22, 2002

Custom-Tinting a Dark Pigmented Precat
A cabinetmaker asks a finishing question: How to create a dark opaque version of a tinted pre-catalyzed conversion varnish. November 29, 2014

Building Up Color on Maple
A builder gets advice on how to apply tinted stains and sealers to maple using many thin coats, to avoid the dreaded blotching effect. February 14, 2006

Safe Spraying on Site
Here's a discussion about how to prevent overspray from setting off alarms or explosions when finishing on site in a high-rise building. July 18, 2013

Avoiding Overspray Problems Inside Small Cabinet Boxes
Small boxes such as cubbyholes present an overspray concern. Here are some tips. April 10, 2008

Using Pigments for Glazing
A discussion of mix-your-own glaze techniques, covering binders, solvents, and pigments. April 9, 2007

A Mysterious Metallic Toner Finish
A little investigative work following a sales call reveals the secret to a unique finish. August 13, 2005

Waterborne and Shop Temperature or Humidity
Some waterborne products are sensitive to temperature and humidity conditions in the finishing shop. March 9, 2010

Washcoat and Stain Issues with Birch and Maple
A birch-plywood cabinet with maple face frames poses a tricky staining problem. Here's a little explanation about washcoats, stains, toners, and more. April 9, 2007

Repairing veneer sand-through
Short of firing the employee, what's the best fix for recurring sand-through in veneer edges? November 15, 2000

Durability Issues with an Oil-Based Finish
Finisher wonders why re-coats of Tung-based formula are showing unexpected softness. June 17, 2010

High Gloss White Paint on MDF
Finishers offer several approaches to achieving a high-gloss white finish on MDF cabinets. March 9, 2008

Nail Hole Filling and Blending
Advice on filling and hiding nail holes at the finishing step in a furniture project. March 13, 2009

Mystery Spots on Finished MDF
Finishers try to figure out why pale pink spots keep materializing through opaque finishes on MDF panels. November 25, 2008

Four Decorative Finishes
Step-by-step directions for producing four distinctive finishing looks. July 28, 2005

Popping the Grain on Figured Redwood Veneer
Advice on a finishing schedule that will bring out the striking grain effects on some beautiful curly redwood. July 3, 2008

Hard Paint Finish on Plywood Cabinet Interiors
A first-timer gets advice on applying paint to cabinet interiors. December 14, 2009

Sand-Like Imperfections in a Conversion Varnish Finish
Finishers troubleshoot an unusual flaw. November 26, 2007

Finishes for Spraying On Site
Finishers discuss the pros and cons of waterborne and oil-based finishes for spray application inside houses. March 12, 2006

Matching a Dull Brown Stain
Experienced finishers advise on how to sneak up on an existing toned and sprayed brown finish. July 14, 2010

Clear-Coat Yellowing Problem in Cabinet Interiors
Many oil-based clear-coats turn yellow when kept in the dark. The severity may depend on the type of oil used. Here's a case example, with comments from the pros. February 12, 2007

Cleaning Off White Dusted Surfaces Caused by Over-Catalyzed Conversion Varnish
Advice on cleaning off finished surfaces that are experiencing white dust from overcatalyzation. September 8, 2014

Post-Catalyzed Lacquer Cure Time
Curing reactions for post-catalyzed finishes do release smelly formaldehyde, and take longer at cooler temperatures. January 28, 2009

Spraying Pigmented Lacquer
Details on cure time and finishing racks. January 15, 2004

Imitating a Distressed Paint Finish
Detailed advice on mimicking a retail-store furniture piece's worn and scraped old paint look. February 21, 2011

Front Door Exterior Finish
Another thread on front-door finishes. No wood finish lasts forever in a tough exterior exposure. November 25, 2006

Lighting for Spray Operators
Thoughts on how to light the workspace so you can see how wet you're laying down your finish. June 17, 2009

Sprayable grain fillers
Sources and application techniques for sprayable grain filling products. November 29, 2000

Sprayer Comparison: AAA Versus HVLP
Experts discuss the quality, efficiency, and cost issues for air-assisted airless and high-velocity low-pressure technologies. March 18, 2005

Coloring Oak Grain
Tips on how to replicate an Oak stain with pinkish grain in the pores. November 11, 2008

Switching to Water-Borne Finishes
Finishers discuss their experiences working with water-borne finishes. October 26, 2005

Troubleshooting a "Mottled" Look with Solventborne Spray Stains
Advice on tip size, pressure and flow settings, and spray technique to achieve even application of stain. June 30, 2009

Testing Your Coating's Hardness
"Pencil Hardness" is a simple test that can tell you the hardness of the coatings you are using. August 20, 2005

Clear Finish for an Exterior Door
No clear finish lasts long in the sun and weather, but here are some thoughts from finishers on the best of the bunch. December 15, 2005

Color Variations in Finished Maple
A discussion of natural differences in wood color, and the effect of finish techniques that may moderate or exacerbate those differences. January 8, 2010

Auto-Body Filler as Wood Filler
Tips on how to work with auto-body fiberglass and resin filler products. December 30, 2007

Wrinkling Conversion Varnish
Why is CV wrinkling with dark colored stains? June 21, 2004

Two More Glazing Techniques : Stringing & Banding
Using colored glazes, you can replicate some of the decorative veneer borders found on fine furniture. June 24, 2005

Getting Started in Finishing
A cabinet and furniture builder gets advice on a starter spray-gun setup. December 6, 2011

Turbines Versus Compressors for Spraying On Site
Finishers discuss their experiences with different setups for on-site finishing work. October 26, 2013

Lacquer Checking in Crotch Mahogany Veneer
When nitrocellulose lacquer checks on veneered furniture, pros suggest other finishes. March 9, 2008

Clear Topcoat for Milk Paint
A finisher looks for a clear topcoat that he can apply over milk paint on site. October 28, 2009

Warming a Spray Gun in Cold Weather
When a cold spraygun sends the chill into your bones, what can you do? Suggestions for warming blankets, in-line air heaters, and more. April 20, 2011

Odd Light Spots on Finished Cherry
Is it glue marks? Fingerprints? Bad sanding? Cabinetmakers try to get to the bottom of a peculiar finish defect in stained Cherry. July 28, 2012

Matching an Ambered Lacquer with Waterborne
A finisher who usually sticks to waterborne formulas needs help matching the complex amber tones of an existing solvent-based finish. March 13, 2009

Malachite: Another Decorative Faux Finish
The look of malachite, a semi-precious gemstone, can be imitated by the savvy wood finisher. Industry veteran Mac Simmons explains how to lay down a base coat and sealer, then apply custom-mixed glazes with cardboard grain combs for a deep, eye-catching "mineral" finish. July 11, 2005

Water-Based Polyurethane Over Boiled Linseed Oil
Water-based poly isn't compatible with BLO. Now this furniture maker has to strip off the poly and apply a more suitable top coat. October 1, 2010

Finishing Guitars with Tung Oil
Advice for a beginner on applying tung oil to a new guitar. December 31, 2005

Refinishing Outdoor Mahogany Furniture
Detailed advice on stripping automotive finish from Mahogany furniture and restoring the piece with something more suitable. July 23, 2014

Finishing High-Quality Ebony Veneer Panels
Pros give suggestions for finishing expensive Ebony veneer for cabinetry a high-end custom home. July 3, 2008

Finish Choices for a Mahogany Exterior Door
The perennial problem: a clear finish tough enough for outdoor exposure. Bottom line, there's no such thing: sooner or later, the door will need recoating. Here, pros consider the tradeoff between the durability of the initial application and the difficulty of the eventual refinish job. June 28, 200 ......

Darkening a Too-Red Stain
Finishers help troubleshoot and correct a stain job that came out a little too red. April 21, 2007

Grain Filler Choices
Advice for a finisher who wants a full grain fill and a tough, but repairable, top coat. July 3, 2008

- Spatter Finishes and Faux Solid Surfaces
Faux finishing techniques can be used effectively to make wood look like solid surface materials. July 26, 2005

Opaque lacquer finish
Concerns about the substrate used and avoiding orangle peel are addressed. March 4, 2002

Filling grain with sanding sealer
Sanding sealer instead of grain filler - is this an acceptable replacement? October 16, 2003

Staining Poplar Raised Panel Doors
Advice on staining poplar raised-panel doors. November 14, 2009

Catalyst Causing Gradual Pigment Change
A cautionary tip: catalysts in catalyzed finishes may cause pigments to change over time in the can — so a batch may not match itself, if time passes between applications. September 26, 2006

Cabinet Finishing Labor Time
Some thoughts on how long cabinet finishing should take (and does take), and ideas for speeding the work up. January 27, 2008

Filling grain
Basic methods for filling grain and finishing. April 9, 2003

Air-Assisted Airless Versus HVLP
More discussion of the fine points distinguishing air-assisted airless spray-gun systems from high-volume low-pressure systems. April 30, 2006

Refinishing and pinhole problems
How to prevent and fix those pesky pinholes. January 16, 2002

A Brushed-On Finish for a Wood Drum
Discussing the finer points of a brushed-on and polished shellac finish for a musical instrument. January 9, 2007

Glazes and crackles
How to use glazes and crackles to produce dramatic effects. November 21, 2000

Reasons to Strip before Refinishing
A technically grounded look at why relying on a refinish coat to "burn in" to an existing finish is a risky practice. May 28, 2010

Racking, Flipping, and Stacking Large Interior Doors for Finishing
Finishers describe various ways to efficiently handle man doors for spraying and drying. December 31, 2012

Tung Oil and Shellac on Walnut
Tips on using this old-style combination, with a few concessions to modern conditions. March 26, 2007

Touching Up Sand-Through Damage on a Table
It's too late to prevent the damage, but a passable repair is possible using touch-up powder or sticks. October 19, 2013

Teak Oil Facts and Fiction
Teak Oil: it's not just for teak. April 24, 2014

Shopping for a Cup Gun
A finisher who is used to air-assisted airless equipment gets advice on choosing a cup gun or turbine setup for small projects. June 16, 2014

Dark Maple Tinted Sealer Finish
Tips on how to achieve very dark coverage using dyes added to vinyl sealer. April 18, 2010

Sanding for Adhesion with Conversion Varnish
Catalyzed conversion varnishes require a mechanical bond between coats. Here's advice on sanding techniques that help avoid burning through coats you've applied, but still achieve roughness required for a good bond. June 28, 2013

Heating Options with Catalyzed Finishes
A cabinetmaker gets advice on keeping his finishes, substrates, and ambient air warm enough for catalyzed finishes to work properly in cold weather. October 2, 2005

Color Match for Old Birch
Matching aged wood with any kind of colorant is tricky, because the ambient light is a major player no matter what you do. But here are some detailed tips anyway. July 3, 2008

Glue Spots that Appear After Stain is Applied
A description of scraping, sanding, and touch-up techniques for correcting unsightly glue spots, with some advice on prior prevention strategies. June 8, 2011

Waterborne Finish Basics
An extensive and detailed introductory how-to on spraying water-based finishes. March 2, 2006

Troubleshooting "Craters" in 2K Poly
Is it fisheye? Solvent pop? Water in the lines? A finisher gets help with a finish defect. March 12, 2015

Calcium Contamination in a Spray Finish
A finisher gets advice on addressing what appears to be a white calcium buildup on his spray system's filters, which is contaminating his work. November 29, 2014

Switching to pre-cat or CV
Properties of these finishes and their applications. December 26, 2002

Protective Coatings for Spray Booth Lights
Ideas for making spray booth lights easier to clean. September 26, 2006

Low-End Start-Up Spray-Gun and Compressor Choices
Is there a spray gun that will work with a contractor-grade air compressor? Well ... maybe. Here are some other suggestions. October 1, 2010

Finishing Cherry for a Uniform Color
Cherry is photosensitive and prone to blotching, so trying to overcome the natural differences in color between pieces by sealing and tinting has low odds of success. July 11, 2013

Are Expensive Sprayguns Worth It?
You get what you pay for ... here are some details. March 12, 2015

Fading of Dyes Versus Pigments
A discussion of why dyes fade, advances in dye technology, and the implications for finishing techniques. April 19, 2006

Matching Natural Maple Finish to Existing Yellowing Cabinets
Thoughts on how to make a new finish match an existing lacquer coating that has yellowed over time. April 21, 2008

Large "Bubbles" that Appear when Inferior Plywood is Finished
Plywood grading is based on the top ply's visual appearance, but low-quality core plys or manufacturing methods can create visible defects that show up only after finishing. March 26, 2007

Badly Streaking Stain Job
For everyone's amusement — here is a horrendously bad finish job. June 4, 2012

Glazing Techniques
Advice on achieving good adhesion and appearance with a glazed finish. January 2, 2012

A Little About Applying Gold Leaf
The ancient art of gilding can add a touch of class to custom projects. August 20, 2005

Matching Stain Jobs on Black Walnut
Along with stain characteristics, wood grain is an important factor in matching a finish. April 29, 2012

Filling Big Cracks in Walnut Veneer
Guidance concerning the art of crack filling for a Walnut veneer table top. April 20, 2011

Compressor Capacity FAQ
A quick tutorial from the folks at Spraygun World on various ways to get the airflow you need to run your spray finishing equipment — whatever the gun's requirements. February 10, 2007

Reclaiming Lacquer Thinner: Is It Worth It?
A discussion of the cost and benefits of buying a lacquer thinner reclaiming machine. April 19, 2006

Liming a red oak door
The proper procedure for attaining a subtle white finish. November 29, 2000

Mixing Custom Stains
Tips on mixing and using your own stains made with pigment, binder, and carrier. October 25, 2006

Custom Mixing for Specified Sheen
Thoughts on mixing up coatings with desired sheen characteristics, on demand. June 17, 2010

Durable Hand-Brushed Finishes
Ideas for how to achieve a cabinet finish with the look of brushed-on paint, but the durability of a spray-applied lacquer. April 30, 2006

Streaky Lacquer Problem
Pros troubleshoot a case of striping and streaking in a post-catalyzed lacquer job, and discuss how to fix the finish. October 18, 2005

Airless spray equipment for lacquers?
An in-depth discussion of HVLP and airless equipment and techniques. January 16, 2001

A Little About Accentuating the Grain
This technique for enhancing grain can be used to make one species look like another or bring out the natural beauty of various woods. August 19, 2005

Glazing Performance with MDF Versus Wood
Will a glazed finish hold up better on wood than it will on MDF? September 29, 2009

Solvent Pop in Automotive Clearcoat
Tiny round white specks on a guitar finished with automotive urethane are the result of solvent trying to evaporate, trapped under the fast-curing crosslinked skin. There's no fix now, but it can be prevented next time. December 8, 2006

Finish Turns White When Applied
A clock-maker learns to fight the milky-white blush that comes from finishing in cool, humid conditions. December 6, 2011

Compatibility of Solventborne and Waterborne Formulas
A conversation about the feasibility of using solventborne dyes, a vinyl sanding sealer, and a waterborne topcoat on a single piece. April 17, 2010

Fuming white oak
A description of the effect, and the chemical reaction that creates it. November 26, 2001

Red Alder Pros and Cons -- Pricing, Availability, Usefulness
Pros discuss the cost, availability, and characteristics of Red Alder solid stock and sheet goods. February 25, 2005

Teak Finish on Kitchen Cabinets
Teak may be naturally water resistant, but in a kitchen environment, even this tough lumber needs some help. February 26, 2005

Filling Joints and Nail Holes
Advice on choosing a wood filler, and a discussion about whether filling certain holes and cracks is worth the trouble. March 29, 2008

Estimating Time to Finish One Free-Standing Wood Cabinet
Finishing one piece of furniture can be surprisingly time-consuming. September 27, 2008

Farmhouse Tabletop Finish
Finishers evaluate options for furniture coatings. November 27, 2007

Refinishing Chairs Attacked by Cleaning Compound
Murphy's Oil Soap can degrade some of the less durable finishes. Here's advice on cleaning and refinishing. March 16, 2015

Baseball Bat Finishes
A discussion of good finishes for baseball bats for youth leagues. July 17, 2008

Fine Sandpaper Versus Non-Woven Abrasives
Here's some discussion about when to use sandpaper and when to switch to synthetic scuff pads, and why. October 17, 2012

Matching a Finish from a Cell-Phone Photo
No kidding — the challenge is to make a reproduction poplar chest of drawers look like this photo taken by a cell-phone camera. Finishers weigh in with advice. April 30, 2006

Using finish after its potlife
What are the consequences, and how can potlife be extended? July 24, 2002

Sanding and Rubbing Out Spar Varnish
Tricky problem: eliminating brush marks and restoring an even gloss to spar varnish — after the piece is installed. April 19, 2011

Rubbed-Out Finishes and Durability
A discussion of rubbing-out technique and the nature of the final finish. November 27, 2007

"Crawling" Problems with Waterborne Finishes
Like fisheye but different, "crawling" or "cratering" is a pesky finish issue involving surface tension effects in fluids. December 10, 2008

Spraygun Cleaning Systems
Here's a wide-ranging discussion on solvents and equipment for cleaning sprayguns. February 1, 2015

Replicating the Look of Salvaged Wood
Finishers consider the problem of how to make fresh lumber look like boards sawn from 100-year-old salvaged timbers. December 23, 2014

Making the Switch to Waterborne Finishes
Given the continuing progress with improved formulations, even some skeptics are beginning to adopt waterborne finish systems. September 3, 2010

- Rolling Out the Grains
This technique uses a graining tool to create a "false wood" finish. July 26, 2005

Filling End-Grain Cracks in Slabs
Finishers discuss reinforced epoxy and similar crack-filling materials. September 29, 2009

Dry Spray Diagnosis
A classic example (probably), and some great pictures, of catalyzed finish drying before it hits the workpiece — and advice on prevention. November 11, 2008

Darkening Cherry to Match Existing
Advice on using sunlight or UV to quickly darken Cherry wood, and some serious warnings about certain chemicals. April 9, 2007

What's a Tough Top Coat Over Tung Oil?
Tung oil gives a deep, rich tone to fine wood. But how do you protect it from occasional water spills? March 30, 2008

Finish Flaking Off at Butt Joints
Competing theories on why finish has failed at the joints on a cabinet door. December 8, 2012

Durable, Repairable Finish for Small Items
What's a good finish for a small wood item that may get rough use (such as wood cups for headphones)? It's a tough straddle. November 29, 2014

Advice for a Beginning Finisher
Pros counsel a cabinetmaker on how to get started applying spray finishes to his own work. April 19, 2006

Matching New Doors to Re-Faced Cabinet Frames
Pros offer various approaches to getting frames and doors to match each other, and the customer's expectations. August 30, 2007

Fine-Tuning a Black Stain for Mahogany
Pros discuss a few extra touches for a black finish on mahogany. April 19, 2006

Sealer Coats and Surface Roughness
Rags used for wiping off stain can snag on a rough surface, but if you fully seal and sand smooth, the stain will not take as well. So how to choose the first, "sealer" coat? October 25, 2006

Pricing for Painted Versus Stained Cabinet Finish
Painting involves additional steps, and can cost more than staining. October 27, 2009

Seeking a Modern "Violin Ground"
Violin makers have long used special formulas to prepare the instrument for varnishing. Here's a discussion of what traditional or modern formulas might contain. July 11, 2013

"Spitting" Problem with Acrylic Latex
A finisher has trouble with bad atomization when applying acrylic paint, and gets advice about gun setup and thinning formulas. July 24, 2005

Polyester Versus Epoxy Wood Fillers
Opinions vary on the pros and cons of epoxy and polyester-based wood fillers. May 24, 2010

Understanding the "Color" White
Why no white dyes on the market? Good question. For a partial answer, here's a little info about additive and subtractive color, some chemistry, and a few observations about what happens when our brains can't keep up. June 28, 2006

Spray Quality Issues, Sandpaper Choice, and Inter-Coat Adhesion
A finisher has concerns about both the off-the-gun quality of his base coat, and the possible problems created by his sandpaper selection. Colleagues straighten him out on both counts. March 30, 2008

Finishing a Walnut Slab Tabletop
Finishers talk about Tung oil and linseed oil. March 26, 2009

Buffing Orange Peel Out Of Lacquer
To remove the orange peel and achieve a high gloss, move up to fine grits in stages. January 14, 2013

Brushed Finishes for On-Site Work
December 1, 2009

Achieving a 3-D Effect with Curly Maple
Comments on enhancing grain figure and chatoyance. December 27, 2006

"Paint" Cabinet Finish 101
and needs basic advice for getting started with opaque color finishes. July 3, 2008

Troubleshooting Shiny Paint
until the "flatting" agent left too much sheen. Finishers share ideas about what might have happened, and how to fix it. June 28, 2005

Controlling Lacquer Blushing
Humid environments sometimes make lacquer "blush." Here, pros suggest ways to minimize blush, and to correct it when it happens. August 30, 2005

Switching Airless Rig from Lacquer to Latex Paint
A spraygun that has been used to apply lacquer can be switched over to latex paint, with proper cleaning. Here's how. October 15, 2010

Staining Alder for a Rustic Look
Finishers offer tips and tricks for dealing with Alder's busy grain, knots, and tendency to blot. September 16, 2008

Portable Air-Assisted Airless Setup
Advice on an AAA compressor and gun kit that you can conveniently cart from shop to shop. November 25, 2008

Enamel Paints Versus Pigmented Varnishes
Finishers discuss durability and color-matching issues. November 13, 2005

Catalyzing a Vinyl Toner
A highly specialized discussion of the fine points involved when using a wiping oil stain in combination with a catalyzed finish and a vinyl toner. February 19, 2006

Cracking of Lacquer over Shellac
Multiple shellac coats (sanded between coats) lead to trouble with later lacquer coats in this example. March 29, 2008

Setting up new finishing department
Forum participants chime in on their favorite types of finishing systems, and approaches to establishing a finishing department. April 21, 2000

Cold Temperatures Retard Floor Finish
A cautionary tale: with the room at 50°F, a poly floor finish fails to cure. October 18, 2012

Durability and Touch-Up Qualities of Paint for Cabinets
What's the best paint for cabinets that need frequent touch-up because of damage by household pets? November 25, 2008

Clear Water-Borne Lacquer for Maple
Tips for achieving a good clear finish on Maple using water-borne lacquer. April 9, 2007

Compressor or Turbine for Spraying on Site?
Which air setup (and which gun) is best for on-site finishing? November 25, 2008

Conditioning and Staining Pine
Fine points of applying a sizing washcoat before a wipe-on gel stain. December 30, 2005

Durable Clear Finish for a Handrail
Durability and on-site practicality of various clear finishes suitable for handrails. May 7, 2007

Duplicating a Ceruse Finish
A finisher tries to figure out how to copy the finish in a photo — but then he gets the answer. April 18, 2015

Water-based Polyurethane over an Oil-based Wiping Stain
Why does the top finish pull away from the stain coat? Pros explain, and suggest solutions. June 28, 2005

Ebony Edgbanding Alternatives
A furniture maker gets ideas for finding ebony edgebanding material, or an acceptable substitute. December 15, 2005

Flambee that Piano, Old-Timer
Do not try this "light the piano on fire" trick at home. These men are untrained professionals. September 26, 2006

What's Better for Built-Ins: A Dull or Satin Finish?
Finishers consider the practical and esthetic aspects of dull, satin, and glossy wood finishes. December 23, 2014

The Up-Charge for Finishing Cabinets
How much should finishing a piece add to its cost, asks a cabinetmaker? Finishers chime in with rough percentages, whys and wherefores. October 28, 2005

Catalyzed Varnishes, Offgassing, and Odor
Occasional bad smells associated with conversion varnish, explained in terms of chemistry. February 23, 2008

Dye, Stain, and Wood Selection For a Gray-Toned Finish
A cabinetmaker's looking to get a gray finish on solid wood and veneer cabinets. Pros chime in with an advanced discussion about the difference between dyes and pigments, with advice on how to achieve a nice gray tone — and really show off the wood grain. December 1, 2005

Cold Weather Flowout Issues
Troubleshooting a pinhole problem when spraying in a cold shop during winter. May 17, 2010

Achieving Bright Colors with Polyurethane Lacquers
Bright reds, blues, and greens are a whole different animal. Here are some tips on how to choose and use the appropriate products. March 26, 2007

Waterbased Finish Schedule for a Cherry Kitchen
Finishers share their schedules for Cherry kitchen cabinets. January 29, 2009

Fan Choice and Air Speed Calculations for a Spray Booth
Figuring the fan capacity for a spray booth is tricky, because you need to estimate the air speed across the working space. December 29, 2008

Finishing Delays and Wood Movement in Solid Wood Cabinets
Woodworkers discuss the risks involved when one side of a solid-wood cabinet panel is finished a week or two before the other side. June 18, 2009

Creating a Thin Striated Glaze
Finishers discuss improvised tools and hand techniques for obtaining a pattern of thin lines ("striations") on a finished surface. January 24, 2014

Finishing Rack for Wood Doors
Pros show and tell solutions, manufactured or shop built, for holding and moving doors in a finishing shop. August 30, 2005

Bleed-Through with Paint and Primer
A woodworker describes sanding problems and bleed issues with latex coating. May 28, 2010

Troubleshooting Finish Fish-Eyes Caused by Contamination
Some kind of contamination is creating "fish-eye" finish flaws. But where does it come from? Finishers suggest a whole slew of possible sources. June 28, 2005

Lacquer Retarder with Shellac
The right additives can help keep spray-applied shellac from drying in the air before it hits the workpiece. June 30, 2007

Glazes: Adding Art to Finishes
An easy glazing technique enables you to create unique patterns and designs. July 28, 2005

Drying Rack Suggestions
Finishers discuss the attributes of various manufactured and shop-built racks for drying freshly sprayed doors and parts. January 24, 2014

Nitrocellulose Versus Catalyzed Lacquers for Furniture Finishing
Compared to modern cabinet finish formulas, old-fashioned nitrocellulose offers more ability to fine-tune the color. June 18, 2009

Thinning Polyurethane for Spraying
Many different solvents can be used to thin poly, but the resulting slow-drying overspray can turn into a serious problem. September 14, 2006

Ten Tips for Fine Finishing
Follow these ten pointers and watch the quality of your finishing improve. 1998.

Waterborne lacquer and polyurethane
What is the difference? March 23, 2002

Keeping AAA Tips Spraying when Using Waterborne Finishes
Tips on keeping your tip clean (waterbornes will skin over with even a short pause in the action). April 19, 2011

‘Aging’ Your Finishes
Some easy techniques for producing today’s popular looks. August 13, 2005

Mixing Your Own Toner
Stain mixed with lacquer makes a good toner, but it takes practice. March 18, 2005

Clear Epoxy Over an Inlay
Tips on applying a thin but tough clear finish over a delicate inlay detail. March 9, 2006

Vinyl Sealer Tips with Maple
Explanations of why vinyl sealer helps prevent blotching when finishing Maple, and advice on getting the best performance with it. February 8, 2008

Cleaning Spray Guns
Advice on cleaning spray equipment. August 26, 2006

Finish Over Air-Dried Pine
Soft resin and volatile natural solvents in softwoods will interfere with finishes unless the wood is kiln-dried at a high enough temperature to "set the pitch."August 17, 2009

Preventing Blotching on Vertical-Grain Fir
Tips on using a clear wiping stain base before the tinted stain, and related advice to prevent blotchy results. April 30, 2009

Red Oak Finishing Basics
Advice on sanding, formulas, and schedules for good results with Red Oak. June 28, 2006

Creating a wrinkled finish
Suggestions for achieving a combination wrinkled and crackled finish. October 24, 2001

Glazed Finish Schedule
Finishers discuss a proposed finishing schedule for a glazed finish. April 30, 2006

Preventing Nubs in the Finish
Call them nibs or call them nubs, they're not good. Preventing them usually comes down to careful wiping and good hygeine. July 3, 2008

Spraying Opaque Finishes on Millwork
Here's a lot of information on spraying acrylic paint (and its drawbacks), plus some advice on better opaque pigmented coating choices. June 18, 2013

Finessing Oak Color Differences
Ways to tone away the color variations in a batch of oak mouldings. June 8, 2008

Troubleshooting Wrinkling in a Conversion Varnish Finish
Pros consider what might cause wrinkling on the second coat of CV on drawer front edges. April 17, 2009

Solid Color Finishes for Kitchens
Finishers share views on the selection and application of solid-color finishes for kitchen cabinetry (including thoughts on site application and/or touch-up).November 29, 2014

Issues with On-Site Spraying
Applying clear finishes on site comes with complications. Are water-based finishes preferable to conversion varnish? Finishers exchange views. August 30, 2005

Odors from Over-Catalyzed Varnish
Too much catalyst can cause offensive smells in a varnish job. Here, finishers discuss possible fixes. October 18, 2005

Metallic Speckles for a Custom Finish
Inventive ideas for applying metallic speckles in between the dark base coat and clear finish coat of an art piece. December 23, 2014

Avoiding Bubbles with Spar Varnish
Brush technique is key. April 6, 2007

Finish Choices for Walnut Paneling
Finishers give a contractor advice on whether to use water-based poly or some other finish on a new walnut paneling install. October 28, 2005

Adhesion Problems over Aluminum "Silver" Leaf
Advice on how to make a clear finish stick to aluminum leafing. October 15, 2009

Lacquer Versus Oil Paint for White Cabinet Finishing
Advice on spraying solid white cabinets. June 17, 2010

Waxed Versus De-Waxed Shellac
Advice on which topcoats are compatible with amber wax-containing shellacs, and which require clear de-waxed shellac. Also, advice on filtering or making your own. August 25, 2008

Tricky Conference Table Tips
Another extended discussion of how to make a complicated conference table — and whether a beginner should even attempt it. March 14, 2006

Crackle Finish Techniques
Tips, advice and discussion on getting the desired results from a crackle-coat finish. February 19, 2006

Shellac Finish Gun and Brush Clean-Up
Tips on cleaning up equipment after applying shellac. November 27, 2007

Rubbing Out Conversion Varnish
Can the same method be used as for pre-cat lacquers? January 29, 2004

Enhancing Oak Grain with Dyes and Glazes
Tips (illustrated with photos) on bringing out depth and figure in white oak. December 31, 2005

Dealing with spray booth noise
Protecting your hearing from the deafening roar of spray booth exhaust equipment. November 15, 2000

Dark Stain for Maple
Advice on staining maple a dark color, with the use of a washcoat and toners. June 17, 2009

Grain Filling: Old School Versus "High Tech"
Extended thoughts on new and old ways to fill grain, without creating an artificial "plastic"" look. June 30, 2009

Spraying Both Sides of Cabinet Doors
Finishers describe table and hanger systems that allow them to spray all sides of a set of doors in a single efficient operation. October 16, 2012

- Dull and Duller — the Quest for the Dead Flat Finish
When you need a finish that's flatter than Kansas, add as much flatting agent as you can and apply in very light mist coats. June 28, 2006

Finishing Ipe Locker Room Benches
Ways to deal with Ipe wood's oily nature and its tendency to fade to gray. June 8, 2008

Troubleshooting a Blue Mystery
Finding the culprit when white lacquer mysteriously cures blue. March 28, 2010

Staining, Toning and Shading Maple
More discussion on the fine points of obtaining even color effects on maple. April 30, 2006

Considering Waterborne Finishes
A finisher who wants to switch from oil-based to water-based asks about durability. November 27, 2007

Darkening Wood with Aniline Dyes
Non-grain-raising (NGR) aniline dyes let you get a dark stain into tight-pore wood such as Oak. Here's advice on mixing and application. February 21, 2011

Learning to Spray with a Cheap Gun
Bought in quantity and treated as disposable, low-end cup guns have their place. But it's hard for a beginner to troubleshoot his results if he's using cheap equipment. March 4, 2009

How to Prevent "Cobwebbing" of Pre-Catalyzed Finishes
It's a matter of finding the right thinning ratios and air pressures for the particular gun — and using the right thinner. February 13, 2006

Finishes for Birdseye Maple Veneer
Ideas for enhancing the grain figure of birdseye Maple. February 21, 2011

Matching New Cherry to Old
Cherry changes color over time from exposure to light. So how does a finisher match a new cherry cabinet to an old one? February 14, 2006

Warming Up Water-Based Poly
Water-based clear finishes sometimes take on a "dead" bluish tint. Here are some tips for adding a warmer amber glow. October 18, 2005

Thinning Conversion Varnish in Hot Weather
A finisher seeks advice on techniques for thinning conversion varnish on days when the weather gets hotter than 90°F. November 29, 2014

Waterborne Peeling over Stain
Troubleshooting advice for a case where a waterborne topcoat is peeling away from an oil stain. May 18, 2010

Thickness-Sanding Small Pieces of Veneer
Thoughts on economical machinery and practical techniques for sanding small pieces of highly figured sawn veneer. November 11, 2008

Achieving the Desired Satin Sheen with NC Lacquer
An inexperienced finisher gets some insight into how to zero in on the satin sheen he wants by applying flatted coats over gloss coats. July 28, 2008

Locating Jet Black Pigment
A search for a pigment source turns into a deeper discussion of how various black pigment varieties are made. September 10, 2007

Paint or Matching Conversion Varnish?
Many CV suppliers can match latex paint colors. Here's a conversation on which is more practical for the cabinet finisher to use. April 19, 2011

Switching to Waterborne Finishes
Thoughts on practical application techniques and continued health precautions for a finisher who's going water-based. January 14, 2008

Sanding Steps in the Glazing Process
When creating a glazed finish, does sanding between coats help, or hurt? March 28, 2008

Spraying Inside Cabinet Boxes
Spraying the inside of a closed box is challenging because of air turbulence and overspray. Here are some tips. November 9, 2008

Working with Wormy Chestnut
Advice on machining and finishing wormy Chestnut. February 21, 2011

Matching the Look of Aged Barnboards
There's more than one way to make fresh new lumber resemble timeworn barnwood. Here's a choice of methods. October 1, 2010

Buffing out a lacquer finish
Finishers share their secrets for achieving a hand-rubbed lacquer finish. September 6, 2000

Fixing a fisheyed finish
Troubleshooting fisheye problems in a conversion varnish topcoat. June 24, 2001

Spraying Stain on Alder
Products and techniques to help achieve even staining of Alder wood. March 12, 2006

Waterborne Finish Systems and Green Credentials
Is the advantage of a "green" rating worth the hassle of switching to a waterborne finish system? August 16, 2009

Finishing Poplar
Poplar heartwood and sapwood take stain differently, an obstacle to finishing. Here, pros explain solutions involving washcoats and tinted topcoats. January 13, 2006

Lacquer Finish for Timbers with High Moisture Content
Advice on finishing large timbers that may not be completely dry. March 28, 2010

Linseed Oil, Tung Oil, Shellac, Varnish, and Darkening of Cherry
Advice on tweaking an oil-based furniture finish formula, and on the tendency of wood and finish to darken over time. March 9, 2010

Wood Sink Finish
A finisher seeks ways to protect a Teak sink. December 14, 2009

Waterborne Finishes Versus Solventborne Conversion Varnishes
Comparing the characteristics of solventborne and waterborne finishes, with some tips on success with waterbornes. June 30, 2009

Buffing schedule
Materials and methods for buffing high polish, catalyzed finishes. January 28, 2002

Troubleshooting Orange Peel with Waterborne Lacquers
Formula thinning and spraygun adjustments solve an orange peel problem for a finisher. April 29, 2011

Spraying Waterborne Paint on a Budget
Finishers discuss the challenge of applying waterborne paints using inexpensive equipment, without having to over-thin. September 18, 2012

Tips for a Non-Blotchy Maple and Birch Finish
To your tool-kit for avoiding blotchiness in hard-to-stain woods, add this: "solvent soaking." September 26, 2006

Moisture in the Woods
Knowing the moisture content of your wood is an important step in achieving a finish that will stay problem-free down the road. August 20, 2005

First Time Out with Spray Finish
A beginner gets advice on spraying pre-catalyzed finishes. March 2, 2006

Smooth finish on large surface
Trouble with rough spots in a water-based finish. August 29, 2001

Conversion varnish vs. lacquer
The pros and cons of each, including comparison of durability and repair. October 30, 2002

High gloss finish on mahogany
Techniques and products that yield a mirror finish on open-grained woods. October 9, 2002

Second Applications of Wiping Stain
Multiple applications of wiping stain, whether by wiping again or by light spraying, can be tricky. Different finishers report different results. August 6, 2010

Tip Choices for HVLP Sprayguns
Advice on the ins and outs of matching tips to the gun and the intended use. August 25, 2008

Shopping for a Pressure-Pot Spray Gun
Advice on choosing a low-end spray system, and on which upgrades make sense. August 15, 2011

Applying glaze in tight spots
Tips for achieving a consistent glaze application in tight places on raised-panel doors. June 24, 2001

Staining the Medullary Rays in Oak
The grain figure in quartersawn Oak is striking, but it doesn't readily accept stain. Here's advice on working with it to gain a desired effect. January 25, 2013

Finishing Cherry Without Blotching
More tips and tricks for even staining with Cherry wood. February 13, 2009

Priming MDF Edges for Finishing
MDF edges tend to soak up finishes. Here are multiple suggestions for prepping the cut edge so it won't need endless re-coats. February 26, 2007

Filling Pores in Painted Oak Cabinets
Finishers have suggestions for filling grain and pores before the first coat. But after the paint or coating is on, it's tough. December 6, 2011

Discoloration of Waterborne Finish on Imported Oak Plywood
A finisher finds that cheap imported plywood reacts badly with waterborne coatings. A barrier coat of shellac seems to prevent this, however. March 28, 2010

To Caulk or Not to Caulk
Thoughts on whether, and when in the finishing process, to caulk small cracks in frame-and-panel doors. January 4, 2014

Latex Paint — Too Soft for Bookcases
Acrylic latex paint never gets hard enough to lose its stickiness. Here, finishers discuss other options for finishing bookcases, and how to deal with a unit that already has been painted. October 28, 2008

Thinning and Gun Setting for Spraying Primer with Air-Assisted Airless Sprayguns
A newcomer gets advice on thinning and settings for an air-assisted airless spraygun. November 14, 2014

Color "Burnthrough"
Ideas for getting a sanded-through look to enhance the sense that a new piece is anything but. January 25, 2005

Imitating an Old Alligatored Finish
If you want to intentionally produce alligatoring in a controlled way, you're going to have to get creative. These ideas may get you started. April 21, 2008

Compressor Capacity to Supply a Pressure-Pot Spray-Gun
Reliable and powerful air supply matters for pressure-pot equipment. Here are tips on sizing up your unit. July 18, 2008

Should I Finish Cabinet Backs and Drawer Bottoms?
even the ones that don't show. December 28, 2007

India Ink with Shellac for a Piano Finish
Advice about an uncommon approach to achieving a deep black finish on a piano. December 6, 2011

Making Oak "Look Old"
Pros share methods for antiquing oak furniture and cabinets. August 30, 2005

Finishing Split-Jamb Doors in the Shop
Advice on handling and stacking unwieldy split-jamb doors while finishing before installation. July 18, 2013

Troubleshooting Spray Stripes in Lacquer Finish
Thoughts on what causes a spray pattern to "stripe," and advice on how to fix it. May 23, 2007

Success with Finicky Polyurethanes
Some polyurethanes require just the right touch, and even an experienced finisher may experience runs, orange peel, or other problems. May 16, 2014

Chemistry of Water-Based Polyurethane Coatings
Here's some information about waterbased two-part poly formulas, the health risks the ingredients may pose, and product availability. March 29, 2006

Waterproofing with Epoxy
Waterproofing outdoor furniture may be a losing game. But if you're using epoxy to protect exposed wood, choose the right product. May 16, 2014

Durability Issues with an Outdoor Wood Mosaic
Advice on a tough challenge: finishing a multi-piece, panel-backed, wood mosaic, so it won't tear itself apart from moisture-related wood movement. March 29, 2008

Blushing or Spray-Can Touch-Up Pre-Cat
Working in hot conditions, a finisher reports that spray-can touch-up lacquer started to show blushing as the space warmed up. Pros advise on corrective measures. August 26, 2006

Mahogany Color Match Conundrum
Cut one stick in two pieces, and the pieces won't match. Whattayagonna do? April 16, 2009

Fixing an Uncatalyzed Top Coat
The finisher forgot to add the catalyst. Can the sticky, uncured top coat be fixed? Maybe ... March 26, 2013

Finishing a Teak Table
Tips on treating Teak with appropriate respect. December 11, 2007

Conversion Varnish on Antique Heart Pine
Antique Heart Pine tends to come with all the residues and character of its 200-year service life. Will conversion varnish stick to it, and behave?February 27, 2013

Paint Finish for Kitchen Cabinets
Paint can be less forgiving than stain. Here's advice on opaque finishes for cabinets. December 27, 2008

Analyzing aniline dye problems
Understanding the complexities of aniline dyes and their application. October 9, 2002

Troubleshooting Band Breakage
A bandmill operator tries to figure out why his bands have started breaking after one or two resharpenings. September 17, 2008

Final Buffing Steps for a Guitar Finish
Advice on how to go beyond fine-grit sanding and remove fine scratches. January 27, 2007

Wax Finish for a Knotty Pine Kitchen
A request for help with an unusual job draws some interesting information about wax finishes. March 12, 2006

Choosing a Scale for Color Mixing
Finishers discuss the equipment issues involved in weighing and measuring colorants for creating custom tints. June 28, 2006

CAB Acrylic Peeling Problem
Acrylics made with cellulose acetate butyrate (CAB) can have durability issues in damp or chemically challenging environments. June 8, 2008

Natural-Looking Wipe-On Finishes
Finishers discuss how to apply Danish Oil and wipe-on poly to a table top. December 15, 2005

Keeping Your Eyeglasses Clean in the Spray Booth
Advice on protecting and cleaning your glasses in an overspray environment. April 24, 2014

Sanding Equipment for a Finishing Shop
A high-quality wide-belt sander can consistently thickness-sand MDF parts, and also sand primer coats, efficiently in a production environment. July 3, 2008

Shading and Toning Eastern White Pine
Advice on how to achieve a consistent, uniform dark color on white pine. July 17, 2008

Tag-Teaming Two Compressors
You can boost volume, but not pressure, by hooking two compressors to the same air line. Here's advice. October 28, 2008

A glossary of finishing terms
Finishing-specific slang and jargon, defined. 1998.

Hot Serving Dishes and Wood Finishes
No wood finishes are proof against hot pans straight from the stove or oven. But here's a discussion of the educated choices that customers can make. April 21, 2008

Troubleshooting Small Bumps in Finish
Here's a long list of suggestions for what might be causing small bumps to appear in a finish coat. April 18, 2015

Whether to Seal Before Spraying Dyes
Do dye sprays require pre-sealing the wood? Depends on the intended look. April 30, 2006

Finishing a Chain-Saw Carved Oak Tree
Here's a one-of-a-kind challenge: finish this lighthouse sculpture, carved from a standing oak stump using a chain saw. March 29, 2008

Bleaching Dark Panels for a "Reverse Sunburst"
Finishers consider ways to approach bleaching just the center of a dark Bubinga panel. July 3, 2008

Grain fillers and their application
A woodworker requests advice on applying grain filler to walnut. July 18, 2000

Solid White Finishes on Cabinets
A finisher who has only used stains in the past gets advice from colleagues about applying opaque white finishes. October 27, 2005

Coating Thickness and Pre-Catalyzed Lacquer Performance
Too many coats can mean trouble. March 12, 2006

Why use water-based finish?
With all the problems, why bother? April 17, 2002

Veneer Checking on Architectural Columns
Movement of the veneer (attached using contact cement) is the likely culprit in this failure. September 16, 2008

Both Sides, Now
Ideas for jigs and fixtures that allow finishing and drying on both sides of the same panel. February 8, 2005

Converting a Pressure Pot to Liquid-Flow Application
Can a pressure pot be adapted to apply stain as a flowing liquid, not a spray? October 14, 2010

Using Gel Stain as a Glaze
You can custom-mix your own glazes using wiping stains, gels, and extenders (to modify open times). In this thread, experienced hands explain techniques. June 28, 2005

Mobile Air-Assisted Airless Rigs for On-Site Finishing
Finishers explain how they have chosen and set up AAA equipment so it can be transported and used on site as well as in the shop. November 29, 2014

Choosing Oak for a Cerused (Limed) Finish
Advice on choosing wood with the appropriate grain for an attractive look when given a ceruse finish. November 14, 2014

Sample Deck for Specifying Finishes
Here's an interesting discussion about how to produce a set of finish samples in various gradations for use in communicating with a distant factory. May 30, 2011

Paint Additives for Glass-Smooth Brush Finish
Advice on achieving near-perfect flow-out and smoothness with roller-applied and brushed-out paint. May 7, 2009

Glazing methods
Techniques for smooth glazing. November 18, 2002

Latex as Cabinet Finish?
Some new formulas of latex paint spray almost as easily and hold up almost as well as pigmented varnishes. April 19, 2011

Pigment Stain Versus Dye Stain
Basic info on the characteristics that differentiate dyes from pigments, and advice on the appropriate uses of each (separately or together). June 28, 2013

Faster Method for Spraying Doors
Finishers discuss how a small shop can speed up its door-spraying operation. June 10, 2006

Exterior Wood Door Finishes
For the record: did we mention that clear finishes on exterior doors do not last? March 9, 2008

Troubleshooting Overspray Lines with Pre-Catalyzed Lacquer
Overspray lines on a large piece may show up because of air pressure, drying time, nozzle settings, speed of application, and other adjustable factors. May 11, 2006

Touching Up Lipping Planer Damage
A good finisher can correct some woodworking mishaps with advanced touchup techniques. Here's a good example with some tips and tricks. March 16, 2015

Applying Latex Paint over Oil Paint
A repainting project raises the old familiar topic of compatibility between oil-based and acrylic paints. June 16, 2014

Staining Glue Lines
Oops! Glue-laminated Alder posts showed tell-tale lines where the glue wouldn't take stain. Suggestions in this thread provide the solution. November 13, 2005

What's the best HVLP system?
Finishing forum participants chime in with their feelings about the best HVLP spray finishing systems. May 29, 2000

Repairing Humidifier Damage
Working from a photo, finishers make educated guesses about moisture damage to what looks like an old shellac finish. April 10, 2008

Joint Telegraphing Problem with Conversion Varnish
Trying to identify causes and solutions for lines that show up at wood joints late in the finishing process. February 29, 2012

Pre-Cat Lacquer Basics
A first-timer gets tips on the fundamentals for success with pre-catalyzed lacquer. December 15, 2005

Alternatives to Real Silver Leaf
In this case, faking it would cost more and be harder than using the real thing. April 24, 2014

Avoiding Raised Grain on Oak Using Water-Based Finish
It takes the right schedule of spraying, drying and sanding. March 18, 2005

Spray-Gun Technique to Prevent Orange-Peel
The right pressure settings should do the trick. March 18, 2005

Conversion Varnish Turning Wood Panels Pink
Investigation reveals that the catalyst in the varnish reacts with the wood to create a pinkish hue. Solution? Start by applying some kind of barrier coat. June 28, 2013

Staining Racks for High Production
Ideas for racking systems for high-volume staining of sawn wood members. June 30, 2014

Grain Sinking with Nitrocellulose Finish on a Guitar Body
An old-fashioned nitro finish on a guitar can require multiple coats and many weeks of curing time. January 29, 2014

Matching the Finish on Manufactured Cabinets
It's easier said than done. Here, pros explain the difficultles involved. January 13, 2006

Sealers for Water-Borne Finishes
Finishers discuss de-waxed shellac and other sealers that work well under water-borne finishes. June 10, 2006

Shellac Under Oil or Varnish
Finishers discuss compatibility and wear issues with using shellac in combination with Tung oil and varnish. October 13, 2008

Roughness and Final Sanding with Waterbased Topcoats
Roughness on horizontal surfaces could be overspray, but it could also relate to grain raise and sanding methods. May 13, 2013

Grain-Filling and Finish Efficiency
Can any formula fully fill grain with just one coat? Finishers kick around the time-consuming process of achieving a totally smooth surface. September 14, 2006

Spraying Carvings without Drips
Advice on guns, tips, and methods for feathering in the finish on detailed carved woodwork. February 21, 2011

Spray Booth Filter, Blower, and Door Choices
Finishers discuss desirable characteristics in a new spray booth. December 1, 2005

Tinted Conversion Varnish Basics
Conversion varnish can be tinted white or other colors, but it requires special pigments, so it has to be ordered from a knowledgeable source. January 27, 2008

Sanding Edges
Sometimes, too much finish gets removed from edges during sanding between coats. In this thread, finishers suggest possible remedies. October 18, 2005

Compressor and Gun Air Pressure Settings for an HVLP Spraygun
Set the compressor a little high and the gun a little low, then dial it in with test boards — here's how. April 19, 2011

Varnishes, Sealers, and Topcoats
A guitar maker gets advice on water-based and oil-based varnishes that will enhance the look of mahogany and walnut, but will also be efficient to apply along with a water-based urethane topcoat. October 19, 2005

Brushing a Topcoat Onto Lacquered Trim
Brushing a coat of lacquer onto already installed lacquered trim is not a great idea. May 17, 2010

Getting a Table-Top Finish Perfectly Smooth
How do you get a conference table top dead flat and smooth, with a glossy finish? Construction, finishing, and sanding all play a role. December 27, 2006

Pigmented CV for Paint-Grade Kitchens
Conversion varnish makes a good opaque finish, but good prep and application are important. May 15, 2012

Dulling Down a Lacquer Finish in the Field
Here's an unusual touch-up problem: sanding to dull a finish down to its original dull sheen, rather than buffing to heighten the sheen. December 8, 2006

Dirt in the Finish
Troubleshooting a problem where pieces being finished with conversion varnish seem to attract dirt and dust out of nowhere.July 16, 2012

Alternatives to painted interiors
Woodworkers offer alternatives to painted cabinet interiors. September 6, 2000

Removing Paste Wax from Furniture
Some detailed information about wax, solvents, and cleaning before refinishing. June 18, 2013

French Polish Basics
French polish finishes are simple in theory, but require time and practice to perfect. March 13, 2009

Whether to Oil or Wax Antique Furniture
Be extremely cautious — the finish on a true, high-value antique furniture piece might be harmed by anything you do to it. caAugust 30, 2007

Cleaning Oil-Based Enamel Paint Overspray Off Conversion Varnish
Clay bar or a mild solvent is recommended for removing paint overspray from a CV finish. February 12, 2010

Cleaning Finished Cabinets
The pros debate soaps, detergents, cleansers, and polishes. Are they all just bad, or should your finish be able to take anything? Or is the truth somewhere in between? July 10, 2005

Lightfastness of Dyes and Stains
Finishers discuss the differences between dye and stain chemistry in this thread. The differences between dyes and pigments include varying resistance to light degredation. June 28, 2005

Tips for a Black Finish with Rub-Through
Advice on formulas, application, and sanding for a distressed black-over-brown sand-through finish. September 30, 2009

Why Is Finish Curling Alder Veneer?
Finish applied to thin veneer may cause curling. July 29, 2007

Setting Up an Airless Air-Assisted Spraygun
Here's advice on a slick way to set up multiple pumps for quick material changeover using AAA equipment. February 8, 2008

Aging Treatments for Douglas Fir
Down-under finisher asks for help getting an aged-look stain on Douglas Fir. October 2, 2005

Natural Finish for Barnwood Table Top
Here's a collection of tried and proven recipes for finishing furniture built with reclaimed barn siding and framing timbers. April 15, 2013

Troubleshooting a Bumpy Finish with Post-Cat Lacquer
Small surface bumps might be the result of solvent pop. January 24, 2014

Heat Issues with Turbine Air Supply and HVLP Sprayers
The rumored heat problems with air-supply turbines aren't actually such a big deal. March 29, 2008

Dark Cerused Oak Finish
Finishers discuss the steps needed to create the white-filled pore effect of cerused oak. August 21, 2006

Spraying Stain Into Box Corners
Advice on spray and wiping techniques for even coverage on box interiors. August 17, 2009

Polyester finishing system
Is it possible to use urethane/polyester in an HVLP spray system? April 4, 2001

Cleaning Up Silicone to Fight Fisheye
Once you have silicone contamination on a cabinet, it's very hard to get rid of. Here's another look at a common and pesky problem. January 2, 2012

Sandarac Finish
Advice on applying sandarac finishes to musical instruments, as an alternative to Tung oil or shellac. August 8, 2008

Matching the Grain Definition of Solvent-Borne Stain Using Waterbornes
Careful colorant choice, some formula tweaking, and careful application may do the trick. July 14, 2010

Finishing Polyurethane Mouldings
Tips on finishing plastic trim material to match wood trim, using commonly available products. November 27, 2007

Troubleshooting Lifting Problems with Urethane on Bare Wood
An isolation coat is recommended for this guitar maker struggling with lifting of urethane coatings from oily wood fretboards. July 11, 2009

Troubleshooting Suction Problems in an Old Siphon Gun
An older-model cup gun has developed problems pulling fluid. Is it fixable, or is it time to get new equipment? March 2, 2006

Sealers, Washcoats, and Dyes
For good coloring and popped grain, should a washcoat or sealer be applied before the dye? Finishers explain a few fine points. February 13, 2006

Preventing a Dull or Flat Look with Waterborne Poly
If you don't want a waterborne poly finish to look lifeless and drab, take a look at these tips on finish choice and application technique. July 8, 2014

Conversion Varnish Pot Life and Durability
Does extended pot life (days or longer) in a conversion varnish come at the expense of other desirable qualities? July 7, 2011

Advantages to Waterborne Finishes
Waterborne fans tell a beginner why they like waterborne, and recommend their favorites. February 8, 2008

Refinishing Built-In Cabinetry
Tips and cautions for a finisher who's about to try toning and glazing a house full of existing cabinetry. March 12, 2015

Cleaning an Air-Assisted Airless after^ Using Pigmented Products
If you use the same AAA gun for applying pigmented as well as clear finishes, you should practice careful cleaning. April 19, 2011

Brown Finish for Cherry Cabinets
Advice on a stain for Cherry that will darken the color but preserve the characteristic look of the grain. May 15, 2012

Chipped Paint Finish
Tips on achieving the look of chipped, cracked, eroded paint. August 17, 2009

Suggested AAA Settings for Waterborne
Instructions for a beginner on dialing in an air-assisted airless spraygun. November 3, 2010

Brushing on a Waterborne Primer
A small-time cabinetmaker looks for a primer he can brush onto the edges of door panels. September 3, 2011

Exterior Door Re-Finishing In Place
Is it possible (or advisable) to re-coat a wood entry door on site? January 18, 2011

Distressed and Rub-Through Finishing Techniques
Finishers suggest an assortment of methods for achieving a worn look in finished cabinets and furniture. March 28, 2015

Sheen, Clear Coats, and Glazing
Glaze coats are easier to wipe off if you use a high-sheen base coat, or apply a high-sheen clear coat over the base coat before applying the glaze.

Dealing with Fisheye
A finisher finds the source of his fisheye problem (silicon overspray from an auto detailer next door) and the solution (cleaning contaminated surfaces with ammonia). October 26, 2005

A Matte Finish for Open Wood Grain
A wood sculptor likes the look he gets with straight sanding sealer on his sand-blasted pieces, but he worries about future color changes. Pros comment. July 3, 2008

Adhesion Problems with Gold Leaf and Nitrocellulose
A finisher looks for ideas to improve gold leaf performance. April 16, 2010

Solvent Pop Versus Air Bubbles
Solvent pop and air bubbles look similar, but are caused by different mechanisms. In either case, the micro-bubbles are challenging to get rid of. January 27, 2007

Preventing Blushing of Pre-Cat in Humid Weather
White haze (blushing) in pre-catalyzed finishes is a common problem in hot, humid weather. Here are tips on preventing it, and correcting it when it does occur. December 9, 2010

Water-based vs. oil-based polyurethanes
Finishers compare notes, experiences, and opinions on the comparative durability of water- and oil-based polyurethane topcoats. July 18, 2000

Preventing Cherry from Darkening
Darkening is natural in Cherry wood exposed to light. But there may be ways to at least slow the process down. March 26, 2013

Spraying Cabinets in Occupied Apartments
Advice on masking and application methods, and commentary on customer behaviors. September 16, 2008

Durability of Wax Finishes
Traditional wax finishes such as beeswax or carnauba wax can last for many years if not exposed to wear or chemicals. September 5, 2010

Air-Assisted Airless Pump Skip Spraying
Troubleshooting a "winking" problem with an AAA setup. September 26, 2013

Troubleshooting Finish Chipping
A finisher asks for help with top-coat chipping of catalyzed finishes. A change in sanding methods turns out to be the culprit. August 30, 2005

Making Curly Maple "Pop"
Finishers share ideas for bringing out the best in this stressed wood. February 26, 2005

Creating a dead-flat finish
Think your life is dull? It's nothing compared to *this* finish. April 4, 2001

Opening the Grain on Polished Molding
A discussion of how to prepare wood grain to better accept an oil-based stain. March 29, 2006

Mahogany Darkening in Light
A look at the scientific explanation for why some woods change color when exposed to sunlight. February 19, 2013

Tinting Polyurethane Top Coats
How to get back to black on a black-dyed floor that took a golden tinge from the poly topcoat. July 3, 2008

Avoiding Green Tint when Bleaching Maple
Some technical tips to help get the best results when bleaching new wood. July 3, 2008

Staining Furniture with Inlays
Here are some suggested ways to selectively stain pieces with narrow inlay strips. June 28, 2006

MDF Panel Warpage
MDF panels may warp after finishing if the back of the panel is not also finished. August 30, 2005

Explosion-proof spray room lighting
The practical and regulatory aspects of explosion-proof lighting in finishing rooms. July 18, 2000

UV-Cured Finishes for Fast Production
Ultraviolet-curing finishes may be the best answer for high volume with low emissions and quick turnaround. March 30, 2008

Spraying Varnish on a Long Table
Overspray is causing trouble with large tables that are too big to reach across. Here, finishers discuss ways to prevent or repair the problem. December 15, 2005

Spraying a Big, Heavy, Complicated Piece
Finishers consider ways to approach spraying a complicated job. May 15, 2008

Accentuating the Grain when Finishing Maple
A light blond shellac applied under a clear waterborne coating will help pop the grain and bring out the character of Maple. May 7, 2007

A Case of Blushing in a Cherry Cabinet
In humid conditions, cooling as the finish dries pulls condensation into it. March 18, 2005

Rubbing Out Nitro Cell Lacquer
Is there a speedy way to polish a high-gloss finish? December 9, 2004

A Wax Finish for Walnut Wall Panels
Advice on choosing and applying a wax finish for architectural woodwork. June 8, 2008

Working with Grain when Painting Ash
You can use a grain filler to achieve a uniform finish, or try other techniques to emphasize the grain. April 24, 2014

Is It Worth Clear Coating over Opaque Finishes?
Applying a clear topcoat over a pigmented conversion varnish has advantages and drawbacks. November 15, 2011

Rubbed-Out Antique Finish
How to get an old-world, hand-rubbed look on fine furniture no swirl marks (even in bright sun). September 14, 2006

Shellac Thickness and Finish Compatibility
Thoughts on shellac choices and application techniques to improve performance of topcoats over the shellac. May 17, 2010

Settings for an Air-Assisted Airless Spray Gun
Pros advise a beginner on how to ease up on the right fluid and air pressure settings for his new AAA equipment. April 19, 2006

Learning Faux Finishing
A discussion of informational and educational resources for beginning faux finishers. August 21, 2006

Iridescent Finishes
Some woods show natural iridescence, especially if sawn the right way. But you can also get an iridescent look using various specialty finish coatings. February 23, 2008

Polishing Out Polyurethane
Hand-rubbing a polyurethane finish with fine sandpaper or pumice can overcome poly's "plastic" or "removed" look, and bring back some of the wood's natural tone. October 19, 2005

Finishing Inside the Drawers of a Fine Walnut Vanity
Advice on whether to finish the drawer interiors of a period furniture piece, and with what. February 26, 2007

Finishes for High-End Auto Woodwork
A discussion of finishes and techniques for putting the gleam into restored woodwork in classic Rolls Royces and Jaguars. May 27, 2008

Bubbles in lacquer topcoat
What causes bubbles in lacquer topcoats? September 26, 2000

Troubleshooting Peeling Conversion Varnish
Looking for the causes of peeling second coat on a conversion varnish finish. October 25, 2006

Cabinet Door Spraying Setups
Off-the-shelf door-spraying racks versus shop-rigged setups. June 9, 2007

Stain Matching for Beginners
Give a man a fish, and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish: easier said than done. January 25, 2013

Repairing Damage to Laquered Woodwork
Advice on sanding and touching up some trimwork that has been attacked by drips of some sort of solvent-containing substance. January 18, 2011

Gold Showing Through Black
Tips on achieving an artistic finish: A gold undercoat showing through a sanded-back black topcoat. February 13, 2006

Oops! Fixes for an Under-Catalyzed Finish
When you spray conversion varnish without the proper dose of catalyst, is there any remedy short of stripping and starting over? July 29, 2011

Sanding Inside Corners of Drawer Boxes
Short answer: sanding sponges. March 26, 2010

Troubleshooting Fisheyes
The dreaded fish-eye rears its ugly head again, and pros provide systematic troubleshooting tips to identify the source of the contamination. August 9, 2005

Tip Clogging in Air-Assisted Airless Guns
The low pressure and low flow can lead to a lot of clogging at the tip. Here's some discussion about filtering and cleaning.December 6, 2011

Tweaking Viscosity for Good Flow-Out with Conversion Varnish
Getting a CV to behave right takes a delicate balance between thinner proportions and gun tip size. Here, pros describe the trial-and-error process they use to get it right. December 1, 2005

Pre-Finishing Cabinet Doors
Should you finish cabinet doors before or after you assemble them? Cabinetmakers and finishers discuss their processes. May 24, 2006

Opaque Finish Choices
Finishers discuss their preferred opaque finish products. February 15, 2015

A "Rub-through" Glaze/Paint Finish
Answering a first-timer's question, pros explain how to get that "burn-through" finish using stain, paint, and glaze. June 28, 2005

Glaze finish procedures
Finishers share the steps they take with glaze finishes using conversion varnish. September 19, 2001

Finishing Techniques for Blotch-Prone Wood
A cabinetmaker who uses a lot of Alder gets some advice on finishing the wood without creating a blotchy appearance. June 18, 2013

Spots in Toner Coat
A finisher asks for help with a spotty toner finish. Will a thinner application solve the problem? July 11, 2005

Preventing Fingerprints on a Black Satin Finish
Products and techniques to keep fingerprints from marring a black waterborne finish. February 27, 2013

Troubleshooting Blush in a Glaze Finish
Finishers offer advice on prevention, and suggest a possible fix for a case of blush. April 24, 2014

Waterborne vs. solvent based
Advantages and disadvantages of water-based finishes

2K Poly Versus Conversion Varnish
Comparing two-component polyurethane with converersion varnish on practical terms. April 15, 2012

Yet Another Fisheye Mystery
Finishers add more names to the long list of usual suspects in a fisheye case. April 19, 2011

Finishes for Decorative Butcher Block
In search of a durable finish for a non-working butcher-block cutting board. January 29, 2009

Tracking Contamination Back to the Source
A finisher thinks tack-rag residue may be contaminating his finish. But colleagues suggest many other possible sources of the trouble. July 24, 2005

Uneven Toner Result
Mixing products from different manufacturers and spray-applying to a highly profiled surface could be contributing to this problem. July 11, 2013

Rub-Through Applications with Waterborne Finishes
Rub-through methods are a little tricky with latex paint because of its rubbery consistency. Here are some other suggestions. November 8, 2007

Filling Grain on Oak Veneer
Advice on using a pore filler after staining and sealing, to fill grain without hiding the dark grain pattern. March 12, 2006

Wash Coats for Maple
More thoughts on sealing maple to allow even staining. April 19, 2006

Re-Coating an Old Door
A cabinetmaker asks advice on how to deliver on an extra: refinishing some existing passage doors at the same time as he finishes his own product. February 13, 2009

Dye Basics
Some simple info about how to use dye stains. May 23, 2007

Telegraphing of Epoxy Filler
Pros discuss ways to prevent epoxy fillers from telegraphing through finish coats. February 13, 2006

Troubleshooting Fisheye Problems with Waterbased Lacquer
Fisheye is a well-known, common problem. Here, finishers round up the usual suspects again. December 1, 2005

Checking for Contamination in Conversion Varnish
Ideas and a checklist for troubleshooting a "gritty" CV finish. June 10, 2006

Sanding Schedule to Avoid Swirl Marks
To remove mechanical sanding marks, you have to hand sand at the end. Here's more. March 26, 2013

Basic Cabinet-Painting Advice
What to tell a DIY friend about painting cabinets. January 29, 2009

Resources for conversion varnish
Learning the fundamentals of finishing with CV. September 2, 2002

Application Advice for Pigmented Lacquer
Advice on application and touch-up methods for pigmented pre-catalyzed finishes. November 29, 2014

Getting the Red Out
Tips and advice for neutralizing a red stain under urethane on mahogany, using "opposite-color" theory. August 9, 2005

Water-Based Lacquer Versus Water-Based Urethane
Properties vary within product categories, as well as across them. March 18, 2005

Red Cedar Grain Patterns
A craftsman gets advice on sawing techniques for achieving beautiful book-matched grain effects. June 22, 2005

Spraying in Humid Conditions
Finishers discuss ways to adapt to hot, humid weather. October 18, 2005

Achieving Consistent Color on Large Jobs
It can be tricky to keep color consistent on a large area of wall paneling. Here, finishers discuss the approaches that work. February 13, 2006

Protecting edges of installed cabinets
Protecting newly installed cabinetry from the chaos of continuing construction. November 15, 2000

Lacquer Thinner Price Versus Quality
When lacquer thinner prices are rising, buyers look for better bargains. But are the lower-priced options reliable? July 7, 2005

Carton Marks on Finished Furniture
A furnituremaker considers how to prevent his cardboard packaging from abrading the finish on his pieces. February 15, 2015

Compressor Oil Leaks in the Finishing Shop
If your compressor blows oil into your finishing shop air, you could be entering a world of hurt. Here's advice. October 13, 2008

Painting Exterior Wood
What solid-color paint will hold up on an outdoor porch swing? Finishers kick around the choices. May 11, 2006

Additives for a Flat Finish
Info on how to modify high-gloss finish formulas for a flat look. January 14, 2008

Spray-Room Temperatures for Conversion Varnish
The chemical reaction that cures conversion varnish is sensitive to temperature. That's why manufacturer specs for temperature conditions during spraying and curing are important. June 18, 2013

Finishing Crotch and Ribbon Mahogany
Suggestions for finishing a fine Mahogany table to accentuate and enhance the figure. June 18, 2013

Finishing Laser-Cut Edges
A manufacturer asks how to finish the charred edges of laser-cut Baltic Birch. April 14, 2005

Comparing Lacquers and Conversion Varnish
Post-catalized lacquers, pre-catalized lacquers, and conversion varnishes — pros compare experiences. July 6, 2005

Finishing Brightwork on Boats
Sailors and woodworkers describe what boat finishing is really all about. March 28, 2012

Lower Temperature Limits for Spraying Finishes
How cold is too cold for wood finishing? March 12, 2009

Sizing Exhaust to Minimize Overspray
You want a fan large enough to move lots of air, but without creating turbulence. Here are some useful formulas. September 26, 2006

Cutting Edge Miters in a Small Shop
Without investing in a sliding table saw, how can a small furniture maker set up to cut accurate, consistent edge miters? December 29, 2008

Pinholes: Causes and Cures
A finisher reports pinholes in the topcoat, and learns about what may be causing them. June 28, 2005

Finishing Figured, Spalted Maple
A discussion of how to enhance the grain and figure of spalted maple. November 13, 2005

Finishing a Hand-Scraped Wood Surface
Finishers and furnituremakers discuss the fine points of scraping and hand-planing, and of applying finish to a hand-worked wood surface. February 15, 2015

Tinted Lacquers or Sealers for Quick Antiquing
Advice on simple techniques using tinted sanding sealers or lacquers for sand-through antique-look finishing. July 29, 2007

Spray Setup for Occasional Paint Jobs
What's an affordable spray system for once-in-a-while paint spraying? September 14, 2006

Touching Up Spray Acrylic Pigmented Lacquer
Advice on touch-up methods for an acrylic lacquer spray job on built-in cabinetry. May 21, 2009

Filling Deep Knotholes
Techniques for filling knotholes before applying clear finish to a rustic Walnut table top. May 27, 2008

A Smooth Finish for Cabinet Interiors
Tips and techniques for eliminating surface roughness in water-based finishes for cabinet interiors. April 30, 2006

Spray Paint for Outdoor Furniture
Nothing lasts forever on wood outside. But here's advice on what ingredients to look for in a durable spray paint. July 3, 2008

Midnight-Black Stain for Maple Plywood
Dead black is a tall order if you want a stain, not a paint. Here's advice on techniques that work. January 27, 2007

Thinning Enamel Paint
Thinning paint for spraying has gotten a little tricky now that the solvent content of the paints themselves has been cut back by regulations. May 7, 2007

Finishing a Wood Kitchen Sink Island Countertop
It's risky, but some finishers say a wood counter with an undermount sink can be finished and perform acceptably. January 14, 2008

Spot Touch-Ups for Polyester Finishes
Tips on products and methods for touching up polyester coatings. February 1, 2015

Topcoat Adhesion over Stain Markers
Stain markers can interact with finishes, as this example demonstrates. November 12, 2006

Touching Up Veneer Sand-Throughs
Tips for a first-timer on fixing a sand-through defect. August 16, 2012

Toning with Waterborne Lacquer
Tips on sneaking up on the tone you want. August 15, 2011

Lingering Odor in Enclosed Space
Odor and irritation issues come up for cabinets finished inside a small trailer. November 26, 2007

Re-Glazing Factory-Finished Doors
Thoughts on how to refinish brand new painted and glazed cabinet doors, for more consistent results. August 17, 2009

Problems with Orange Peel in On-Site Lacquer Application
Thinning, retarding, and modifying the application technique may help an architectural woodwork finisher reduce this top-coat orange-peel problem. January 27, 2007

Flushing and Cleaning Spray Equipment
Finishers describe their maintenance cleaning routines. February 19, 2006

Finish Troubles on Cedar
Oils in Western Red Cedar can interfere with finish performance. October 8, 2005

Avoiding "Stripes" in a Flat Finish
Boxing the spray pattern with a criss-cross application may help avoid visible stripes or overlap streaks. December 30, 2007

Pink Maple Mystery
Sunlight can give some woods a pinkish cast. March 17, 2005

Priming Baltic Birch Plywood for Paint
Advice on a heavy-bodied primer that won't raise the grain of birch plywood. January 29, 2009

Oil Finishes
A few facts on tung oil and linseed oil finishing products. May 11, 2006

Hand-Rubbed Finish Ideas
"Hand-rubbed" may mean different things to different people. March 28, 2010

Fill and Finish for an Inlaid Walnut Cutting Board
Walnut is an unusual choice for a cutting board. Here are thoughts on how to finish it. April 21, 2008

Dyes and Wash Coats
Conditioning "naturally blotchy" woods to accept stains and dye uniformly. February 26, 2005

Turbine Versus Compressor
Which is better with an HVLP gun? March 28, 2012

Masking and Tenting for Spraying in a House
A finisher contemplating using his HVLP gun in a customer's house gets advice on explosion and fire risks, tips for protecting the furniture, and suggestions for switching to waterborne products. January 29, 2009

Black Waterborne Finishes
How to get excellent results with black waterborne lacquer. November 15, 2010

Recirculating Heater Versus Bigger Pump
Finishers look for most practical adaptation for spraying in cold conditions. June 22, 2012

Stripping Raised-Panel Doors
Advice on removing topcoat and stain from a set of highly profiled doors. July 8, 2014

Cleaning Airless Spray-Gun Tips
Pros suggest methods using needles and various solvents. October 2, 2005

Waterborne vs. solvent finish
Professionals tell which they prefer and why. April 11, 2001

Troubleshooting a Conversion Varnish Table Finish
Milky cast and unexpected damage — pros say too-thick application is the likely culprit. July 9, 2005

A Whitewash Finish for Oak Flooring
Advice on a very tricky floor finish: bleaching the oak, tinting it white, and covering with a durable clear. August 14, 2007

Finishing maple like aged cherry
Getting a dark, aged effect on maple. February 13, 2001

Spraying Satin Polyurethane with an Entry-Level Gun
Can a beginner get decent results spraying poly with an "El Cheapo" gun? Pros chime in with advice. May 17, 2005

Comparing Canister and Bulk Contact Adhesives
It's tricky to make an apples-to-apples comparison between different contact cement formulas in a production environment. March 13, 2009

Scratch Marks from Hand Sanding
Basic advice on appropriate hand sanding technique to minimize visible scratch marks. December 29, 2008

Shellac That Won't Dissolve
Shellac has a limited shelf life. Here are some insights about how to judge when it is no longer useful. October 28, 2008

Micro-Bubbles with an Air-Assisted Airless
Compared to a cup gun, an AAA spraygun might shear the fluid and introduce gas that creates tiny bubbles in the wet coat. Here are some suggested work-arounds. April 19, 2011

On-Site Kitchen Finishing Advice
Tips on spray finishing kitchen cabinets on site. May 13, 2009

Achieving a Silky Feel with a Lacquer Finish
A finisher looks for an additive or surface treatment to make a finished surface feel smooth to the touch. October 1, 2010

Bubbles in polyurethane topcoat
What causes bubbles in polyurethane topcoats applied by brushing? March 24, 2000

Applying High Gloss Black Lacquer
Finishers suggest ways to achieve a glossy black finish on furniture. August 16, 2012

High-Build Gloss Finishes for Guitars
Some of the newer products give excellent results, fast. July 3, 2008

Exceeding Pot Life on Conversion Varnish
Thoughts on pushing the pot-life envelope with conversion varnish after catalyzing a batch. August 16, 2009

Matching Compressor Capacity to Air-Assisted Spray Guns
The compressor needs to handle both the fluid flow and the air assist requirements. In this thread, pros explain the fine points. October 28, 2005

Finishing Outdoor Teak
No outdoor finish is permanent, but here are some reasonably durable options. August 30, 2005

Finishing Bamboo Plywood
Plywood's natural shade variations make consistent color matching difficult. Here are ideas for dealing with that problem. March 29, 2006

Applying Waterborne Urethane over Solventborne Stain
Solvents in an undercoat are likely to adversely affect waterborne topcoats. Shellac in between is the way to play it safe. December 6, 2011

Durable Coating for an MDF Product
A manufacturer seeks a prime coat that will protect his MDF pieces from dings during handling or shipping. March 29, 2006

Mixing Dyes from Primary Colors
With three primary colors, and perhaps a few off-the-shelf blends, you can prepare a full palette of wood dye hues — once you get the hang of it. August 25, 2008

Clear Finishes for Mahogany
Suggestions for applying a clear finish to mahogany, without darkening the wood. October 27, 2005

Waterborne Lacquer Adhesion Mystery
Finishers discuss factors that could prevent lacquer from sticking to Oak furniture. May 17, 2010

Shellac Compatibility with Various Topcoats
Finishers comment on the practicality of using tinted shellac as a color coat under a clear top coat, and discuss their results when applying shellac before applying various solventborne or waterborne topcoat formulas. October 19, 2014

Finishing Custom Staircase
Tips, tricks, and rituals. February 26, 2005

Matching Finish on Cherry
Cherry darkens over time from exposure to light. Matching older pieces is tricky. February 12, 2010

How to Clean Spray Booth Exhaust Stacks
Finishers discuss whether it's worth the effort to clean the exhaust vent stack for a spray booth. April 18, 2010

Prepping End Grain for Finishing to Prevent Too-Dark Results
There's more than one way to condition end grain so it won't soak up too much finish and look different when compared to the rest of the piece. November 15, 2010

How Many Coats of Primer?
Can you get away with using just one coat of primer under conversion varnish, when applying with an air-assisted airless sprayer? December 8, 2006

Flat Finish for Walnut
Non-finishing furniture maker gets advice on a simple flat finish for a walnut bookcase. August 9, 2005

Cherry Aging and Figure
Cabinetmakers and instrument makers discuss ways to maintain the distinctive look of strongly figured Cherry, even as the wood darkens over time from exposure to light. March 12, 2014

Touching Up CV in the Field
Tips and tricks on how to fix dings and scratches in conversion varnish finishes. October 2, 2005

Matching a Satin Nickel Finish
Suggestions for how to finish a wood mirror frame to match nearby brushed nickel faucets. March 30, 2008

Professional Brush Finishes
Considering the finish options for a kitchen when the architect wants an old-fashioned brushed-on appearance. October 19, 2013

Why We Like Shellac
A finisher who's unfamiliar with shellac gets advice on its use, advantages, and limitations. November 5, 2013

Lacquer over Stain Adhesion Problem
Troubleshooting a case where lacquer easily flakes off after application over a popular stain product. October 26, 2011

Protecting the Back Side from Overspray
Ideas for supporting small workpieces so that overspray doesn't bounce back and get on the back of the piece. November 15, 2010

Durable Clear Finish for Deck Furniture
Suggestions for a sunlight-tolerant finish for outdoor furniture. October 19, 2014

Staining Mahogany Plywood
Tips on bringing out the grain in mahogany. October 19, 2005

Aging and Distressing Douglas Fir
Advice on how to help Douglas Fir look old fast. July 12, 2005

Laminating Rockers
Advise on sawing, prep, lay-up, and glue-up for laminated chair rockers. January 13, 2006

Wine Room Finish
Should wine racks be left natural, or finished (and with what)? Experienced voices chime in. June 20, 2005

Cost of Clear-Coat Versus Paint Finishes
Paints involve more steps and more time than clear coatings, which adds cost — but how much? January 13, 2006

Finish Defect Spots on Outsourced Doors
Contamination during handling is an occasional problem with doors shipped unfinished. September 16, 2008

Blotchiness on Finished Cherry
Cherry can look a little blotchy when freshly finished (part of the natural charm). A lot of it fades as the cherry darkens over time. February 8, 2008

Cleaning Sprayroom Floors
Advice on how to remove coating overspray build-up from a concrete spray booth floor. August 30, 2005

Why Use Both Dye and Stain
Pros explain the value of using dyes and stains in combination, and provide advice on technique. December 14, 2009

Troubleshooting Sheen Variability
Finishers discuss the subtleties of attaining even sheen in a pre-catalyzed lacquer topcoat. September 11, 2006

Choosing paint for shelving
Choosing a paint that will be suitable for bookshelves. April 2, 2002

Evening Out the Color Variations in Cherry
Playing with a color wheel will help you understand how to tone and stain Cherry when you want more uniformity. January 14, 2013

Power Buffing Conversion Varnish Finishes
A tiny spot repair turns into a blending hassle: how to buff a not-quite-glossy sheen into a conversion varnish coating that is at its mil-thickness limit. February 12, 2007

Finishing a Metal and Wood Assembly
A furnituremaker struggles to find a finish that will work on a rough-contoured surface that includes both metal and wood. April 29, 2013

Troubleshooting Fine Flecks in Paint
Finishers try to figure out the source of tiny solid flecks in a batch of paint. November 11, 2006

Using Pre-Cat as Its Own Seal-Coat
Trouble with a vinyl sanding sealer leads a finisher to consider the pros and cons of using pre-catalyzed lacquer as its own sealer. June 30, 2007

Finishing Over Pre-Finished Plywood
Pre-finished plywood takes additional coats nicely, pros report. December 10, 2007

Achieving a High-Gloss Finish with Tung Oil
Pure tung oil can't provide high gloss, but modified tung oils or a topcoat over tung oil are options worth considering. December 1, 2005

Troubleshooting Cracking Precat
Pre-catalyzed finishes can have problems with brittle failure, cracking, and crazing (especially some of the early formulations). The only fix is to strip and start over. January 2, 2012

Ebonizing Wood
Techniques for achieving a dark black "ebony" stain, with photo examples. July 24, 2006

Staining Anegre Evenly
When time is a factor, spraying a dye stain may be the best way to get even color on large anegre (anigre) panels. November 25, 2006

Achieving a Dark Burgundy Color on Cherry
Pros suggest formulas and application methods for staining cherry a deep, dark burgundy. July 29, 2007

How Many Times to Sand During Finishing
Finishers discuss when and how often to sand when spraying multiple coats of waterborne finish. December 2, 2009

Applying UV-Cured Coatings to Flooring
Commercial pre-finished flooring comes with a UV-cured urethane finish, but that's an advanced process best left to the specialists. June 17, 2010

Sanding and Finishing MDF
How much sanding is involved in getting a nice finish on MDF? September 29, 2009

Color-Matching Cocoa Melamine with Finish on Solid Cherry
Advice on how to sneak up on a commercially produced melamine's hue, using custom finish on real Cherry. February 17, 2014

Sizing a Compressor for Spraying in the Field
A cabinetmaker is bringing his shop spray gun out on site. What will he need for a portable compressor? July 8, 2005

Filtering out isocyanates
Is an organic respirator capable of filtering out isocyanates? December 6, 2000

Leveling and Polishing Poured Epoxy
Epoxy can be tricky to work with, especially in combination with other finishes. Here's a good example for learning. March 9, 2008

Rack for finishing doors
Designing a rack for finishing interior doors as efficiently as possible. November 7, 2001

Whether to Spray-Finish Cabinets on Site
Finishing on site is more troublesome, but may have some advantages. May 12, 2008

Thoughts on Bleaching Walnut
Tips and cautions for a big job involving two-part bleach. October 20, 2013

Wash Coats Under Waterbornes
Will a shellac wash coat eliminate a sanding step when finishing with waterbornes? Probably not. December 23, 2014

Coping with an Anti-Silicone Snafu
How to clean up and start over when anti-silicone additives make an orange-peel problem worse. June 28, 2006

Fingerprints in Finish
A cabinetmaker tries to figure out how his pieces are getting fingerprints on them. January 2, 2012

Durability Comparison: Pre-Catalyzed Lacquers Versus Conversion Varnishes
Lacquers can be dissolved by some solvents after coalescing, while CV finishes cure by cross-linking and are solvent-resistant. Here, finishers discuss the comparison and its significance. November 13, 2005

Recommended finishes for MDF mouldings
The right products and techniques for getting a smooth, even finish on MDF mouldings. January 16, 2001

Film on finish
Remedying a blush on finish which can be wiped off but reappears. September 25, 2002

DIY Poly Finishes for Furnituremakers
Furnituremakers who finish their own table tops don't have to settle for finish failures. April 20, 2011

Padding for Drying Racks
Ideas for soft material to apply to wire drying racks to avoid indentations in lacquer finish. August 6, 2010

Sanding Sealer Compatibility
Finishers discuss the use of various sanding sealers with various topcoats. September 14, 2006

HVLP, LVLP, and Air-Assisted Airless Guns
A brief discussion of how different spray-gun types work, and the effect it has on finish results. April 30, 2006

Eliminating Overspray on Door Backs
Finishers explain how to keep overspray off cabinet door backs when spraying the fronts. September 11, 2006

Wiping Stain and Seal-Coat Compatibility
Be careful mixing a stain into a sealer — they don't always play together nicely. January 29, 2009

Spraying Small Quantities with Air-Assisted Airless Equipment
A cup attachment lets you apply small amounts with minimal waste. September 14, 2006

Difficult Staining Poplar
A beginner gets advice on finishing a Poplar bookcase. March 28, 2010

Should I Use a Tinted Undercoat?
A finisher who's having trouble hiding color variations in a Poplar project gets suggestions for tinting the undercoat. August 12, 2014

Filling Spot Pinholes
Finishers suggest products and methods for spot filling of pinholes in paint-grade cabinet finishing. February 17, 2014

Tweaking Conversion Varnish for Hot-Weather Performance
Finishers suggest additives to eliminate CV orange-peel problems in hot weather. November 8, 2007

Re-Creating a Historic 1775 Finish
Walnut shells? Milk paint? Finishers discuss farmhouse furniture finishes from our forefathers' time. October 25, 2007

Waterborne Finish Raising MDF Glue Line
Glued joints in MDF sometimes telegraph through waterborne finishes because of the effects of moisture. Here's advice on prevention and cure. December 31, 2012

Brushed-On Cabinet Finishes
The architect wants a "brushed-on" look — but how can we create that with modern finishes? October 3, 2011

HVLP Tip Size
Too small a spray-gun tip will dry wood finishes and require too many passes for adequate build. November 11, 2006

Matching Rosewood with Cherry
Compare your samples with the original on the actual site (but a good match will still be hard to achieve). March 26, 2007

Achieving the "Fumed" Look on White Oak
A discussion of workable finish schedules to approximate a "fumed" finish. February 18, 2006

Finishing Oak: Tips for a Beginner
Advice on finishing a Red Oak gun cabinet, for a newcomer to finishing. October 26, 2011

Toning Down Cherry to Match an Older Piece
Same wood, same stain, five years later, doesn't match the original. Whaddaya gonna do? March 4, 2009

Gloss Paint on Veneer
Pondering how to get an opaque finish to look good on veneered cabinet ends. February 16, 2012

Polyester Pitfalls
Old hands caution: polyester is a tricky material for the newbie to take on. February 21, 2011

Automotive Spray Guns for Wood Finish
A few thoughts on how guns like Iwata and Sata compare with air-assisted airless spray setups. February 15, 2015

Fine-Tuning Conversion Varnish Application Technique
Tip selection and formula adjustments can help prevent micro-bubble hazing and orange peel. March 29, 2006

Extending the Working Time of Waterborne Stains?
Waterborne formulas dry quickly. Here are some tips on how to give yourself a few more minutes for hand application. February 12, 2007

Cleaning Spray Tips
Advice on cleaning the spray tips of air-assisted airless sprayguns. April 2, 2013

Painting MDF Cabinet Doors
Some finishes raise the fibers on MDF (especially at machined profiles), creating sanding and recoat headaches. Here's advice on minimizing the problem. October 19, 2014

Micro-Bubble Solvent Pop Fix (Again)
Okay, one more time: Spray thinner coats; use a retarder. June 28, 2006

Filling Large Knotholes in Alder
Thoughts on dealing with the big knotholes in rustic-looking Knotty Alder wood. February 24, 2008

Gun Cleaning Solvents for Waterborne Finishes
Finishers recommend cleaning solutions that will cut waterbornes. March 26, 2009

Avoiding "wrinkling" in conversion varnish
Causes and solutions for "wrinkling" problems in conversion varnish topcoats. January 3, 2001

Recreating a pine patina
Mixing just the right color to match an old finish. October 2, 2001

Adjusting Pressure and Fan Patterns for HVLP Sprayguns
Finishers provide tips on setting up and adjusting pressure-pot-equipped HVLP sprayguns. December 31, 2005

Water-Based Wiping Stain as a Glaze
A finisher likes the simplicity of using his water-based stain as a glaze, but wonders if he will have problems in the long run. September 16, 2008

Enamel on Kitchen Cabinets
Oil-based or water-based, enamel paints are a time-tested and still valued trim and cabinet finish. Here, finishers discuss experiences and techniques. May 24, 2006

Cross-Brand Use of Lacquer Thinners
Thinners are formulated to work with certain coatings (and vice versa). But using a different thinner brand can serve certain purposes — if you're careful. October 28, 2005

Finish Defects with Waterborne Over Oil Stain
A finisher gets advice on how to fix blemishes caused by applying two finish coats that don't play well together. January 14, 2008

Touching Up Potassium Dichromate Sand-Throughs
A tricky problem — how to touch up just a few areas where the finisher has sanded through wood stained with potassium dichromate. March 28, 2010

Spray Painting House Exteriors
Quick advice on equipment options and methods for painting houses. December 6, 2011

Darkening Quilted Maple While Enhancing the Grain
Tips on getting a slight tint on Maple while helping the grain to pop. July 16, 2012

Neutralizing a Pink Stain
Picky customers sometimes pick up on color variations between day and night lighting conditions. Fixing that is a puzzle. Here's discussion of a case. March 4, 2009

Repairing Small Cracks in Wood Under an Oil Finish
This thread offers fine points of repairing wood under a low-build finish, along with some interesting info on surface defects related to bacterial wood infection. May 15, 2012

Cleaning White Sanding Dust out of the Wood Grain
Advice on keeping white dust out of wood grain when sanding a finish coat smooth. May 17, 2010

Troubleshooting Finish Blush on a Table Edge
A little denatured alcohol did the trick this time. Can you hear that sigh of relief? April 19, 2011

Conversion varnish primer
pot life and durability. May 2, 2001

Caulking the Joints of Painted Doors
To caulk or not to caulk? And if to caulk, how to caulk? Good tips here on tips. February 21, 2011

Do Borate Treatments Interfere with Finishing?
Advice on using a borate insecticide before finishing wood. February 1, 2015

Staining Cherry to Even Out Color
Cherry is a tricky wood to stain — it takes stain unevenly and darkens by itself over time. Here's some advice on sanding and toning cherry to achieve a more even finish. December 15, 2005

Matching stain to existing work
Techniques for matching the finish of new work to that of the existing cabinets in a cherry kitchen. November 7, 2000

Finish Coating Toughness Comparisons
This discussion about how to choose a tough finish includes a brief explanation of the industry TR standard rating system. March 29, 2006

Filling MDF Edges
Tips on filling and sealing exposed MDF "grain" so finishes won't soak in. October 14, 2006

Soft, "Buttery"-Feeling Finishes
How do commercial cabinet companies achieve the pleasing tactile surface feeling some finishes seem to have? April 18, 2015

High-Performance Respirator Cartridges
Thoughts on respirator cartridges that really work. August 17, 2009

Filling Pores on Fine Carvings
Thorough advice on filling pores without obscuring fine carved detail. June 18, 2010

A "Green" Finish for a Cuban Mahogany Bench
Thoughts on the meaning of environmental correctness for clear wood finishes, and some interesting history about Cuban Mahogany, a nearly-extinct wood that is making a comeback. March 4, 2009

Flat Black Finish that Shows Grain
Finishers discuss ways to apply a thin, flat, black finish. November 13, 2005

Finishing Racks for Cabinet Doors
More ideas for shop-built or store-bought cabinet door spraying and drying racks. June 5, 2006

Water-based basics
A primer for folks interested in using water-based stains and topcoats. 1998.

Correcting a Yellow Cast on Cherry
A little timely advice helps a finisher get the right brown tone, while simplifying his finishing schedule. November 12, 2006

Washcoat and Toner Technique
With help from colleagues on the Finishing forum, a craftsman works out how to match the finish on a maple table. November 13, 2005

Understanding Waterborne Chemistry
A discussion of the role of water in waterborne formulas, with explanations of why water can't re-dissolve fully cured finishes. June 18, 2010

Cleaning Routine for an Air-Assisted Airless Pump
Finishers advise on taking care of our AAA unit, before and after use. October 25, 2006

Lightness Variation in Bookmatched Veneer Panels
Because of grain differences, the way bookmatched sawn veneers reflect light varies depending on their orientation. It's called "chatoyance" — but what can you do about it? May 24, 2006

Finishing Quilted Maple Veneer
Ideas on how to make a "wavy" material (with different grain patterns running every which way) take on a high gloss and smooth surface. December 27, 2006

Wash Coat Tips
Mix ratios and application methods for wash coats. November 13, 2005

Clear topcoats
Basics on post- and pre-catalyzed finishes and more. January 16, 2002

Evening Tone on a Mahogany Piano
Pros describe how to darken the lighter parts of a piece in small steps, to achieve an even color. September 18, 2012

Finish for an Ipe Countertop
Ipe is such a troublesome wood to work and finish that these pros suggest using a different wood for an indoor project. August 26, 2006

Finishing Dovetail Drawer Fronts
A furniture builder gets help figuring out how to finish the fronts of some dovetail drawers in a custom piece. August 14, 2007

Filling Pores on Oak Flooring
A woodworker wants a natural finish on an Oak floor, but he wants to keep dirt out of the pores. June 28, 2010

Spraying White Lacquer
Advice on mixing thinner and retarder into lacquer and primer for good coverage without runs. June 18, 2010

Glue Interfering with Door Finish
A discussion about dealing with glue near raised-panel cabinet door joints that stops the wood from taking an even finish. January 14, 2008

Fixing Little Dents and Dings Before Finishing
Tips for finding and filling small dents in wood before applying finish. June 30, 2007

Troubleshooting a Crackling Lacquer Finish
Nitrocellulose lacquers can crackle because of rapid temperature changes. April 30, 2006

Spraying Latex Paints
Finishers trade tips on spraying latex paint. August 14, 2007

Clips to Hang Doors for Finishing
Choosing and using pointy metal spring clips to suspend doors for easy spray finishing. October 28, 2008

Spraying Mounted Cabinet Doors
Finishing doors while they're on the cabinets is a questionable practice, but some finishers succeed with it. October 14, 2006

Heat, Air Movement, and Drying Time
Finishers discuss the use of heaters and fans to reduce re-coat wait times. February 21, 2011

Finish Causing Ripples in Veneer
Troubleshooting a bad interaction between finish formulas and veneer adhesives. May 18, 2009

Learning the Art of Color Matching
Old hands give a newcomer some advice on how to train himself to match finish colors. October 19, 2005

Final Buffing in Place for a Poly Cabinet Finish
Pros suggest brown paper, buffing pads, and other options. September 16, 2008

Pressure Pot Settings
Less expensive pressure pots sometimes need a little creative tweaking when it comes to getting the pressure into a practical range. July 3, 2008

Glazing and Conversion Varnish
Advice for a first-timer on glazing with conversion varnishes. March 9, 2010

Card Scraper Advice
Card scrapers are an effective tool for preparing a wood surface for finish. The tricky part is sharpening. March 26, 2013

Finishing Wood Edge-Banding
Advice on applying finish to edgebanding, or to already edge-banded parts, without a spray setup. January 27, 2008

UTC Colorant Compatibility
UTC 824 and UTC 844 colorants are different compounds, and are compatible with different finish formulas. Choose appropriately to avoid mixing problems. March 28, 2008

Oil-Sanded and Buffed Finish for a Table Top
Tips on a custom furniture finish include advice on wet-sanding with natural oil to fill grain, then waxing and buffing to a high gloss. May 24, 2006

Hand-Made Appearance of a Scrub Plane
To get the scalloped look of this made-in-Mexico cabinet, you need a scrub plane — a traditional tool that some woodworkers really like. March 4, 2009

Toning Large Panels
Toner applications require many light passes with a consistent, even touch. Light or dark stripes or inconsistent color are an ever-present risk. May 17, 2005

Material Build-Up Problem on Spray-Gun Tip
Advice on correcting a spray-gun performance issue: build-up of material on the spray tip, causing "fingers" in the wet finish. February 15, 2009

Scuff Sanding in the Booth
Will scuff sanding between coats inside the spray booth lead to problems with finishes? September 17, 2012

Filling Inlay Gap with Epoxy
Finishers debate the idea of filling a low inlay groove with epoxy to bring the surface flush. November 8, 2007

Black Dye Staining an Old Parquet Floor
Finishers supply a first-timer with how-to details on applying a dead-black floor finish. January 14, 2008

De-Waxing Shellac Under Difficult Circumstances
Removing impurities from shop-mixed shellac in a world where impurities come with the territory. April 29, 2012

Spray room set-up and operation
Hot to get lighting and exhaust details right, eliminating safety risks in spray-finishing operations. February 13, 2001

Popping Ray Fleck in White Oak
Advice on using Gilsonite or stains that contain it to bring out the figure in White Oak. December 2, 2009

Polishing a Table Top
Advice on polishing a two-component poly finish to a high sheen. October 17, 2012

Aging of Cherry
No finish will stop cherry from changing color over time — period. November 12, 2006

Evenly Staining Birch
Another helpful thread about achieving non-blotchy finishes on birch, with several practical approaches described. January 14, 2008

Spray Booth Makeup Air
Pulling makeup air through an auxiliary space such as an attic for tempering offers only a marginal benefit. July 3, 2008

Spraying Latex Primer and Paint with HVLP
Basic advice for a first-timer on product selection, tip choice, and thinning. June 28, 2006

Eliminating "Waviness" in a Polyester Full Fill Panel Finish
The trick is to make the panel dead flat before finishing. Here's advice on sanding methods. October 28, 2009

Troubleshooting a Flaking Finish
Finishers help a cabinetmaker diagnose a finish problem on Maple and MDF cabinet doors. October 2, 2005

How to Stain Maple without Blotching
Another discussion offers several points of view on how to stain Maple evenly. February 23, 2008

Grain Filling Methods for Guitar Bodies
A guitar builder asks about using epoxy versus conversion varnish for filling the wood grain on his instruments. June 18, 2009

Decal Delaminating from Epoxy Finish
Troubleshooting a situation where a decal on a wood table is lifting under the epoxy finish. March 13, 2014

Stearated Sandpapers and Waterborne Flowout Issues
Advances in technology seem to have eliminated the flowout issues previously seen with waterbornes and synthetically treated sandpapers. October 28, 2009

A Satin Oil Finish on a Wood Instrument
Finishers discuss a customer request for an unusual finish on a musical instrument. October 26, 2007

Correcting a Too-Red Stain
Green moves red in the direction of brown. Here are tips on careful application of that color correction. January 9, 2007

What's a Durable Hand-Applied Finish for Cherry Kitchen Cabinets?
The customer doesn't want a spray application. Here are some suggestions for brushed-on alternatives that supply that "hand-rubbed" look. January 27, 2007

Packaging Finished Products for Shipping or Transport
Advice on ways to wrap cabinet doors or other finished pieces so they won't stick together. December 14, 2009

A Stain-Matching Example
Matching the color shown here could begin with an "equalizing stain." June 28, 2006

Tuning Color With Dye Toners
Dyes change appearance as they dry, and also when top-coated. Accurately predicting the final results takes a lot of practice. August 30, 2007

Shellacking Setup for Light Use
Advice on choosing a spray system for occasional use with shellac and waterborne coatings. September 14, 2006

How to Spray a Cabinet Door
Basic advice on spraygun settings and spray patterns for an even, consistent finish on a raised-panel door. May 7, 2007

Spray Equipment Basics
Finishers discuss basic choices for a spray setup. October 18, 2005

Advice on Spraying Latex Paint
Success with latex acrylic paints requires an appropriate spraygun setup and a lot of fiddling with the variables. July 11, 2013

Correcting Sun Striping in Cherry
Techniques to re-blend sections of a Cherry piece that show the effects of sun and shading. July 2, 2008

Imitating Aged Oriental Lacquer
Searching for the Chinese antique finish look, start with a glaze. November 26, 2007

Hand-Rubbed Wax and Shellac Finishes
Thoughts and information on applying this beautiful, but less moisture-resistant, finish. May 24, 2006

Prepping for a Kitchen Re-Finish
Advice regarding stripping, sanding, and sealing before refinishing with pre-cat lacquer. April 9, 2007

Refinished Kitchen Doors Cracking
Cracking from wood movement is a common situation, calling for good communication with the customer. June 17, 2009

Sand-Through Finish Using Two Water-Based Stains
It's unusual and tricky, but here are some ideas for accomplishing it. March 12, 2006

Staining Birch to Match Cherry
Advice on getting a "close enough" finish match on Birch trim in a house with Cherry cabinets. October 14, 2010

Glazing Basics
A few tips on glazing for a beginner. April 19, 2011

Fine-Tuning a Crackle Finish
Advice on how to create a crackle finish that only breaks through in selected areas. April 19, 2006

Avoiding Sanding Scratches with a High-Sheen Conversion Varnish
Advice on sanding and finishing methods to prevent sanding scratches from telegraphing through high-sheen finishes. February 19, 2006

Matching Old Red Walnut
Advice on how to finish a new set of walnut cabinet doors so they'll match the red color that the cabinet has aged to. March 9, 2008

Applying Pre-Catalyzed Lacquer over a Tung Oil Wash-Coat
A light coat of thinned oil finish can work as a wash coat under precatalyzed lacquer, but there might be better alternatives. September 16, 2008

Two finishes, same problem
Troubleshooting the cause of a problem existing in each of two distinctly different types of finish. April 8, 2000

Labor Time for Glazing a Cabinet Door
How long should a skilled person take to apply a glazed finish to a door? February 27, 2013

Tips on a Ceruse Finish
Using a pigmented grain filler to accent the pores of finished wood (particularly Oak) is called "cerusing." Here are tips on succeeding with it. September 18, 2012

Scuffing Vinyl Sealcoat Before Glazing
Fine points of the scuffing step in a glaze finish process. July 27, 2008

HVLP + compressor vs. HVLP + turbine
Participants offer their preferences between compressor- and turbine-driven HVLP spray finishing systems. March 13, 2000

Avoiding Blush in a Clear Lacquer Finish
To avoid condensation that causes clear lacquer to take on a milky white blush, keep an eye on ambient temperature and humidity. March 12, 2006

Choosing a Brushable Cabinet Finish to Match Floor Finish
A finisher needs a finish he can apply to cabinetry on site that will match the floor finish planned for the job. February 17, 2014

Tinting Waterbornes for an Amber Effect
Is there any way to make waterborne finishes take on the warm amber glow characteristic of solventborne formulas? July 18, 2013

Options for Finishing Cherry
Cabinetmaker gets advice on finish combinations and application techniques. July 9, 2005

Warping of a Tabletop with an Unbalanced Finish
A teachable moment: Finishers explain why tabletops finished on one side only (and in humid conditions to boot) experienced bad warping. December 31, 2005

Grain Filler for Red Oak
Suggestions for grain filler products, with some detailed advice on hand techniques for applying and working the filler. June 18, 2013

Finishing Ipe Outdoors
Finishers discuss the best finish for an Ipe wood porch floor. May 24, 2006

Heat Problem with a Turbine Sprayer
Solvent-borne finish application problems are traced to the turbine air supply: heat generated in the turbine is making the finish flash off before it hits the wood. November 13, 2005

A Faded Gray Finish for Exterior Wood
Finishers suggest ways to reproduce an example of a weathered, gray, natural-looking finish. February 8, 2008

Furniture Finishing Process Outline
A furniture refinishing expert lists the steps in a full finish treatment of manufactured furniture. November 16, 2009

Keeping the Gun Clean with Waterborne Finishes
Easy routines to keep your spraygun from accumulating dried-on finish at the tip. December 23, 2014

Troubleshooting Uneven Sheen in Lacquer
Too much thinner can reduce the proportions of flattener, resulting in uneven sheen and excessive glossiness. April 20, 2011

Spray Booth Air Intake in a Hot, Dry Climate
Using shop air conditioned by an evaporative cooler ("swamp cooler") should allow good finishing results, rather than drawing in baked-dry outdoor air. June 30, 2007

Adjusting the Spraygun for Pigmented CV
Finishers discuss good pressure for a spraygun, how to dial in a good setting, and how to adjust chemicals for better results. March 16, 2015

Troubleshooting "Hiccups" with an Air-Assisted Airless Gun
Woodweb comes to the rescue again, diagnosing a finisher's spraygun malfunction and saving him a bundle of cash. April 10, 2008

Conversion varnish application advice
Techniques for applying ML Campbell conversion varnish. March 20, 2001

Basic drying room components
Finishers offer advice on the essential elements in a drying room. October 24, 2001

Masking Lacquer Odor
A spray operation near a residential neighborhood seeks ways to improve the smell of its exhaust. June 10, 2006

Spray finishing tricks
A compendium of handy contraptions and tricks to help produce beautiful, efficient sprayed finishes. January 24, 2001

Waterborne Finishes Versus Solventborne Lacquer
Struggling with the application and quality issues encountered when switching to waterborne formulas for health and safety reasons. June 8, 2011

Lacquer Versus Polyurethane
A question about lacquer and polyurethane drying times ends with a neat explanation of the differing ways in which waterborne and solventborne finishes dry and cure. July 14, 2010

Labor Time and Glaze Finishes
Is there any way to make glaze finish application less labor-intensive and time-consuming? December 15, 2005

Custom Stain-Mixing Systems
Various ways to formulate your own stains — any color you like. February 13, 2006

Reclaimed Heart Pine Bleeding
Trouble starts when heat brings out the sap in resawn antique pine used for a table top. Here's advice on sealing the surface.December 9, 2010

Pigment Staining Through Finish Coats
Objects left on furniture (such as candles or pumpkins) may stain the underlying wood right through the finish coating. January 14, 2008

Sheen of Conversion Varnish
Thorough mixing is required to keep flatting agents dispersed in the formula. Also, sheen dulls somewhat as the finish cures. May 11, 2006

Gold and Black Door Finish
Advise on achieving a tricky finish for raised panel doors: black background with gold on just the panel raises. July 29, 2007

Masking Cabinet Interiors Against Overspray
Cabinetmakers describe how they mask off cabinets to protect interiors while spraying exteriors. November 11, 2006

Milky Oil Stain Under CV
A finish schedule of sealer, oil stain, conversion varnish leads to trouble on a custom job. March 28, 2012

Routine Cleaning for a Pressure Cup Gun
A meticulous daily cleaning is time well invested. January 14, 2008

Discoloration at Door Bumpers
Cabinetmakers puzzle over what seems to be some kind of chemical interaction between a soft door bumper and a lacquer finish. June 17, 2009

Blonde Oak Finish
Advice on lightening Oak with a pickling stain or a white pigmented toner. June 18, 2010

Rubbing Out a Waterborne Finish
Is it worth rubbing out a finish after repairing a few small defects to restore the original sheen? November 15, 2011

Color-Matching Basics
Tips on mixing pigments for matching existing tints. June 10, 2006

Spraying shellac
Removing water, which damages appearance of shellac, from air compressor output. May 2, 2001

Spraying Waterborne Alkyd Paint
Thinning issues are problematic with some paints and some equipment. November 29, 2014

Working with Spray Glaze
Advice on applying and removing a spray-on glaze product, and tips on compatibility with the base coats.February 29, 2012

Strange Brew — Trouble Ahead?
A finisher gets a look he likes with a "mish mosh" sequence (latex paint, shellac, waterborne glaze, and clear lacquer). But will the combination perform over time? August 30, 2007

Fixing a Conversion-Varnish Finish
How to knock down a high-gloss CV finish with orange-peel problems, and refinish in satin. January 13, 2006

Electrostatics and Finishing
The role electrostatics play when used in a finishing environment

Post-cat lacquer vs. conversion varnish
What is the difference between these two finishes? July 24, 2002

Buffing to a High Shine
Progressively finer sandpaper, then buffing compound, will raise a liquid gleam on a gloss conversion varnish. October 9, 2006

Basic glazing technique
Pictures and descriptions of glazing methods. September 23, 2003

Tone Variation Between Cabinet Frame and Doors
Why are the doors more yellow than the face frame? Could be the coating thickness. May 18, 2010

Attaining a Flat Sheen on Furniture
A flat finish on furniture is challenging, especially in the case of touch-up and repair. Here, the pros supply some advice. January 14, 2008

Waterborne Bleed-Through Problem
Advice on using prime coats and shellac to address bleed-through of grain with waterborne finishes. December 9, 2010

Which finish to use?
Various options for topcoats, and what specific problems each can help to solve. March 20, 2001

Flushing and Draining AAA Fluid Hoses
How to get hoses clean and prepped for the next day's work. January 27, 2007

Understanding Why Burnished Wood Fails to Hold Finish
Oxidation of heated wood surfaces explains why heating up wood during machining or sanding can make the surface resistant to adhesion of various finishes or adhesives. October 19, 2014

Fixing a Dent
A ding in a brand-new cabinet — what's the solution? Experienced craftsman suggest several fixes. July 9, 2005

Basics of Color Mixing and Matching
A newcomer gets introductory advice on learning how to mix custom colors. March 13, 2009

Ammonia Fuming for Mission Finishes
Ammonia in concentrations strong enough to color wood is harsh, dangerous stuff. May 21, 2009

Fisheye Elimination Additive
Advice on using a fisheye elimination additive successfully, without ill effects. March 16, 2015

Black Stain for a White Oak Floor
Experienced floor finishers describe an iron-and-vinegar formula for a penetrating black wood treatment that works on oak floors. June 30, 2007

Finishing a Wooden Sink
Suggestions for an extreme case: a finish to protect a sink made from Mahogany. August 31, 2009

Air-Drying Systems for Large-Volume Spray Operations
If you're spraying a lot, get serious about a clean air supply. September 14, 2006

Conversion Varnish Glaze
Advice on applying CV glazes. February 29, 2012

Applying Milk Paint to a Large Piece
A finisher is using milk paint under clear lacquer on a large piece of furniture, and asks for advice on technique. November 8, 2007

Opaque Finishes Applied Indoors on Site
It takes a lot of masking, but you can spray opaque finishes on built-ins after they're installed. October 19, 2013

Brush Sander Break-Ins and Scratch Marks
Some detailed advice on the best way to break in and use brush sander brushes and sanding strips. July 23, 2014

Re-Circulating Filtered Air in a Paint Booth
There is technology to filter and re-circulate exhaust air from a spray finishing operation, but it is prohibitively expensive. June 8, 2008

Measuring and Calculating Mil Thickness of Finish Coats
A little explanation of how to gauge wet or dry mil thickness. December 31, 2013

Darkening a Finished CV-coated Piece
Advice on how to add a new, darker conversion-varnish topcoat to an already varnished piece. February 19, 2006

Clear Grain Filler for a Writing Desktop
Finishers discuss the attributes of a good clear grain filler. February 13, 2006

Minimizing Overspray When Finishing Drawers
Advice on drawer-spraying technique, for a smooth finish and minimal material waste. July 17, 2008

The Search for the Perfect Finish
In your dreams, what properties would the ideal finish coating have? Pros exchange thoughts and opinions. July 6, 2005

Definition of "Burnishing"
The term "burnish" is used in a variety of ways in wood finishing. They all have something to do with rubbing. March 13, 2009

Matching the "Stickley" Look on White Oak
Trying to accentuate the rays in stained oak? Fuming for different times or tweaking stain strengths can help fine-tune the piece's finished appearance. August 30, 2005

Retarder to correct overspray?
A discussion of the usefulness of lacquer retarder in minimizing overspray on cabinet interiors. August 10, 2000

Grain Filling on Paduak
Sanding dust mixed with wet finish works; or there's paste filler. May 18, 2010

Spray Equipment for Latex Paint
Here's advice on a budget set-up for occasional latex spray jobs. October 8, 2005

Automotive Clearcoat for an Exterior Door
Some finishers say automotive finishes work well on exterior wood, but the manufacturers reportedly won't stand behind it. March 12, 2006

Finishes for Drawer Interiors
A cabinetmaker looks for advice on drawer finishes that are tough, and don't smell bad. September 16, 2008

Clear Filler for Worm Tracks
Advice on clear filler for wormholes in an old walnut piece with character. April 10, 2008

Re-Finishing Factory Cabinet Doors
Advice on cleaning, sanding, and refinishing factory-finished cabinet doors. October 19, 2013

Water Based Gun and Hose Flushing
Advice on cleaning solutions for gun and hose maintenance when using waterborne formulas. June 17, 2010

Topcoating Over Gold Leaf
Thoughts on whether and how to finish over gold leaf. November 25, 2008

Clear Finish for a Metal-Inlaid Table Top
Bar or table tops with metal inlays do well with a clear epoxy finish. Here are some tips on the process. May 24, 2006

Toner Mix Proportion Guidelines
Recipes for toner formulas vary depending on the the dyes or pigments and solvents used, and the intended purpose of the mixture. May 21, 2009

Re-Coat Timing and Pre-Cat Durability
A discussion of how quickly after applying one coat of pre-cat lacquer it is okay to apply a second coat. October 14, 2010

Choosing an Oil Finish for Veneered Furniture
Considerations bearing on the choice between Tung oil or urethane for nice furniture. June 17, 2010

Blotchiness on stained birch veneer
Preventing a blotchy appearance when staining birch v

Post catalyzed lacquer -- the best?
Finishers discuss their favorite brands of post-catalyzed lacquer. August 23, 2000

Detecting Sanding Scratches
Advice on lighting a workpiece so you can see fine sanding scratches before you finish. June 30, 2009

Finishing a Cutting Board
Six out of six doctors agree: Use mineral oil. March 9, 2010

Barrier Coat Between Aniline Dye and Waterborne Urethane Topcoat
Finishers give advice on how to prevent a brushed-on waterborne urethane topcoat from re-dissolving and streaking a dye coat. September 29, 2009

Painting a Flexible Wood Seat
Paint will naturally crack if you ask it to flex. But some automotive finishes might be able to handle minor flexing. April 21, 2008

Wet Mils, Dry Mils, and Quality Control
Finish coat thickness is a critical issue for coating performance. Here's some info on how to measure thickness of coats, wet and dry. July 17, 2008

Refinishing Church Pews
Advice on cleaning and refinishing church pews using the original finish (probably a nitrocellulose lacquer). August 21, 2012

Stain Application: Spray Versus Wipe
Pros discuss the fine points of stain application, with a view to good results. November 8, 2007

Troubleshooting An Air-Bubble Problem
Finishers suggest ways to prevent pinholes and air bubbles when spraying a clear conversion varnish on a porous wood such as red oak. February 19, 2006

Masking Cabinets for On-Site Finishing
There's more than one way to mask cabinet openings when spraying face frames on site. July 16, 2012

Packing Materials for Finished Furniture
without scratching the finish. February 13, 2006

Job-Site Sprayer Choices
Pros discuss basic equipment for spraying in the field. November 12, 2006

Cleaning a Neglected Spraygun
Advice on salvaging a spraygun that is all gunked up with dried-on polyurethane finish. April 21, 2008

Vinyl Sealer Versus Regular Sanding Sealer
What's the difference, and why does it matter? Top pros weigh in. July 3, 2008

Bubbles in an Epoxy Finish
Tips for preventing bubbles from appearing during the curing for a poured epoxy job, and tips for how to fix it when they do appear. May 7, 2007

Decorative Finishes
A few sample images. March 14, 2004

Respirator Fit and Function
Advice and information about personal breathing protection for bearded men. March 12, 2006

Troubleshooting Micro-Bubbles in a Water Based Finish
Another case of tiny bubbles, solved by dialing in the "right" air and fluid pressure settings. March 1, 2006

Alternative Touchup Graining Liquids
Several different types of product can be used to dissolve pigment powders for graining or touch-up purposes. November 12, 2006

Supporting Doors for Spray Finishing
More tips on how to sit, stand, rack or stack cabinet doors while spraying them. April 21, 2007

Hiding Nail Holes
Finishers share info on products and techniques. August 30, 2005

Is Vinyl Sealer Worth It?
With new moisture- and vapor-resistant formulations of topcoat on the market, a separate coat of vinyl sealer may or may not be necessary in the particular case. April 21, 2011

Seeking a sweeter-smelling finish
Potential sources for less noxious finishing materials. November 29, 2000

Painting Over Cracking Conversion Varnish
Finishers discuss why a kitchen CV finish would have cracked, and how to paint over it. December 10, 2007

Tung Oil Finishes for Wood Veneer
Recommendations for effective tung oil finish formulations. July 18, 2008

Matching Hickory Heartwood Color
Advice on a toning formula to blend Hickory sapwood into heartwood so the difference can't be detected. May 28, 2010

Finishing Edgebanding for Frameless Cabinets
More tips and tricks for finishing wood edgebanding. December 14, 2009

Pinholes in Pigmented Poly
Troubleshooting a pinhole problem with an opaque poly coating — could it be solvent pop?December 6, 2011

Fine-Tuning Spraygun Performance
A finisher isn't getting a nice fan pattern from his gravity-feed gun. Others help troubleshoot, and discuss the equipment's air-supply needs. December 15, 2005

Tinted Primer as the Color Coat
Instead of a tinted topcoat, is it practical to tint the primer coat (shellac or tinted CV primer), and then top with clear? July 14, 2010

Understanding Washcoats
Basic explanations of what a wash-coat is. October 25, 2006

Stretching the Pot Life of Conversion Varnish
There are ways to prolong the pot life of conversion varnishes, but they are less than satisfactory and may not be worth the effort. September 16, 2008

Custom Tung Oil Dye Stains
More tips on mixing your own tinted Tung oil toners. July 3, 2008

Paint Peeling when Masking Tape is Removed
Troubleshooting a masking tape problem in painted work. July 29, 2012

Electric or Propane Heat for a Small Spray Booth?
Unvented propane heaters add moisture to the shop air. Here, pros discuss whether that is a problem, and suggest electric-heat alternatives. December 1, 2005

Spray Tip Maintenance
If spray patterns start to degrade when tips are about a year old, check your seals (and look to your air and fluid settings). January 27, 2007

Buffing to Reduce Sheen
Pros share tips and tricks for dulling a too-shiny tabletop. December 31, 2005

When to Scuff Sand Pre-Catalyzed Finish Coats
Be sure to follow the maker's directions for sanding between coats. May 16, 2014

Choosing a White Lacquer
Cabinet finishers talk about their preferences and experiences with opaque white spray finishes. January 18, 2011

Hand Cleaning Tips and Tricks
or keep it off in the first place. October 26, 2005

Prep Coats for Oak Before Spraying Lacquer
A shellac coating applied before the lacquer goes on will improve results and help prevent problems. March 28, 2008

Applying Water-Based Lacquer
How much is too much? Pros give tips for applying a wet coat that flows, but doesn't run. October 18, 2005

Setting Up a Kremlin Cup Gun
A finisher gets tips on how to dial in his new spraygun. January 19, 2012

Finishing Problem - When Excess Glue Interferes with Stain
Residual glue squeeze-out on a door causes problems with stain absorption, and finishers offer fixes. March 25, 2007

Prefinishing Veneer: How Do You Keep it Flat?
Advice on securing veneer to a flat surface temporarily in order to keep it stable while a finish cures. January 25, 2013

Why are Some Finishes Labeled "Photochemically Reactive"?
The term "photochemically reactive" appears to relate to a formula's potential to form ozone and contribute to smog, not any risk that the finish will change color in sunlight. October 19, 2014

Fixing Dust Specks in Finish
Here are a few touch-up suggestions for occasional dust blemishes in a finish coat. December 31, 2013

Getting a Fine Stipple Texture Finish
How to tweak fluid and air settings to get a textured finish coat. November 11, 2008

Troubleshooting Airless Air-Assist Overspray
Clogged ventilation filters in the spray booth or static in the air could cause overspray to occur underneath panels. May 17, 2005

Natural Pore Filler for a Tung Oil Finish
A finisher gets suggestions for filling pores on Walnut stool tops before applying Tung oil. July 3, 2008

Tracking Down a Silicone Contamination Source
Thoughts on how to figure out where that bad stuff is coming from. June 9, 2007

Return of the Pink Bumpers
It's like red but not quite ... what's turning finish pink near cabinet door bumpers? An unsolved mystery. June 30, 2009

Distressed finish
Techniques for making new furniture look old and beat up. February 19, 2002

Glue Joint Finish Problems
Joint movement associated with moisture in glue may be causing this reported finish defect at the joints. June 17, 2009

Basics of Furniture Distressing
A quick rundown on how to make new furniture look run down. April 16, 2010

Chocolate Stain for Cherry or Maple
Burnt Umber is a good start. Or, how about switch to Walnut and go from there? February 15, 2009

Finish Choices for the High School Shop
What finish is advisable for instructional purposes in a high school? April 17, 2009

Oiling Teak Grilles for a Shower Floor
A woodworker seeks finish advice for an unusual architectural detail: Teak grilles in the floor of a shower. August 3, 2009

Replicating a Dark Pearl Finish
Thoughts on a challenging finishing project: imitating a "mother of pearl" finish. March 4, 2009

Buffing and Polishing Polyurethane
Suggestions for buffing a poly finish to a high gloss. October 19, 2013

Spraygun Cup Choices
Pros and cons of various spraygun cups. November 25, 2008

Cherry Finish for Poplar
and offer some advice. June 19, 2005

Low-sheen finishes
Are streaks and scratches impossible to avoid with hand-rubbed finishes? June 24, 2001

Retarding Lacquer Dye or Stain Drying
Dye solvents tend to be fast-drying, and it's hard to get them to work with hand application methods. December 6, 2011

Standards for Shop Priming
What are reasonable specs when you pre-prime cabinets for a builder? May 17, 2005

Retarding Waterborne Lacquers
What's the right additive to thin the formula and slow down the dry time? February 2, 2011

Evening Out Finish Tones
Maintain an even stain by applying multiple thinned coats. March 12, 2006

Tips for an Effective Pickling Stain Job
When a pickling stain doesn't lighten oak as well as expected, a finisher seeks advice on improving his results. July 25, 2005

Troubleshooting Blotchy Endgrain on Raised Panels
Consistent end-grain finish starts with careful sanding. October 19, 2005

Dark Black Stain for a Red Oak Floor
Finishing suggestions for making an oak floor a deep black. March 29, 2008

Coloring lacquer
Materials and methods for adding colorant to a clear lacquer base. June 5, 2001

Finishing Over a Decal
A customer wants a company logo on a custom table top. But how to keep the finish from peeling? Pros supply ideas. July 24, 2005

Air-Assisted Air Pump Issues
When the air pump starts to misbehave, sometimes fiddling with the pressure can be an easy short-term fix. March 28, 2012

Paint Quality Considerations
Finishers consider their choices for oil-based paint to be brush-applied to cabinets in a historic building. March 29, 2006

Conversion Varnish over Oil-Based Stains
Appearance and performance issues with various stain formulations under CV topcoats. February 21, 2011

Prime Coat for PVC Columns
What kind of coating will stick to PVC plastic pipe? January 29, 2009

Dealing with Fine Scratches in Black Lacquer
Suggestions for effective final buffing of a black finish. March 9, 2008

All about polyester finishes
Cure times and application techniques for polyester finishes. January 31, 2001

Toning or Glazing Cherry Using Waterborne Finish
Advice on products and methods for glazing and toning. August 26, 2006

Finishing Panels, One Side Only
Can a cabinetmaker get away with finishing the inside of panels before assembly, and the outside face later? Probably. June 28, 2006

Filler and Finish for Antique Wood Surfaces
July 7, 2011

Low-Tech Finish for Wood Turnings
Shellac and a spar varnish dip are two suggestions for a shop with minimal capabilities. January 4, 2014

Glazing to Show Wood Grain
Techniques for achieving clarity. April 2, 2004

Wiping Stain Struggles
Some "wiping" stains flash so quickly that they may actually work better when sprayed rather than wiped. In this thread, finishers discuss various ways to obtain good results. October 27, 2005

Waterborne Dye over Oil Stain
A finisher gets advice on an unusual schedule: applying waterborne dye over a coat of oil-based stain. December 28, 2014

Spray-Applied Grain Filler
Is there such a thing? Maybe... October 26, 2005

Distressing and Staining Alder
Thoughts about how to make alder wood cabinets look beat-up and funky. May 17, 2005

Pickling (Liming) Oak Doors
Finishers suggest approaches for getting a "pickled Oak" finish. September 27, 2008

Staining MDF
Products and techniques for best results. July 28, 2004

Lightening a Too-Dark Spray Stain
After listening to advice, a finisher has good luck using thinner to wipe off some excess stain. October 26, 2007

Avoiding Grain Darkening with Stain on Red Oak
If you don't want the grain to darken, use a light touch with the spray gun. April 19, 2011

Filling Big Gaps in Walnut Burl
Thoughts on ways to fill cracks and knotholes in Walnut burls before applying a clear finish. March 4, 2009

A Bug in the Top Coat
If you can't get rid of it, why not feature it? January 8, 2007

Budget Spray Guns
A finisher reports decent results from a cheap spray gun. June 28, 2006

Glazing Without Sanding
Finishers discuss glazing techniques that don't risk sanding through stain coats into white wood. December 23, 2014

Finishing Butcher-Block Tops
Pros discuss paraffin, tung oil, and other finishes for a butcher-block food preparation surface. March 2, 2006

Alternatives for Spar Varnish on Mahogany
Spar varnish's softness and flexibility matches well with mahogany's softness, but dry times are an issue. Here, finishers discuss other choices. April 30, 2006

Wood Bleach Options
A finisher gets advice on finding and using bleaching agents for wood. April 18, 2010

Finish Sanding Hand-Planed Boards -- Without Losing the Look
A woodworker wonders how to efficiently smooth a surface enough to take finish, without ruining the hand-planed texture. February 8, 2005

Stain and Paint - What's the Difference?
Definitions and descriptions concerning the distinction between stain and paint. October 26, 2007

Staining Cherry Doors to Match Walnut
Finishers suggest dye, sealer, and stain schedules to make Cherry doors resemble Walnut. October 18, 2012

Adding Alcohol to Speed Drying of Waterborne Dyes
Advice on speeding up drying, and other tips for water-based dye use. July 2, 2008

Textured glaze finish
Achieving a textured, glaze finish over stain. August 23, 2000

Custom Tinting Caulk for Repair Jobs
Tips on mixing and applying your own tinted caulk for custom touch-up work. February 21, 2011

Troubleshooting Adhesion Problems with Two-Part Polyurethane Over Danish Oil
Feedback for a finisher who is seeing 2k poly pull away when applied over an oil-based coating. September 25, 2014

Troubleshooting Flaking Conversion Varnish
Likely causes for a flaking finish: sanding techniques, or too heavy a primer coat. March 16, 2015

Custom-Mixed Cordovan or Mahogany Stain
Color and chemistry advice on making a red-black "cordovan" stain using dye concentrates. October 28, 2009

Glazed finishes for antique look
How can this effect be acheived? January 28, 2002

Fine Points of Painted Cabinet Finishes
Depending on the situation, paint can be a high-end cabinet finish. Here's a discussion of such a case. September 26, 2013

Cleaning the Kremlin Airmix system
Solvent recycling methods and hose products to help decrease the cost of cleaning and maintaining the Kremlin Airmix system. November 21, 2000

Toned and Clear Pre-Cat Application
Finishers discuss the fine points of toning, thinner, and retarder ratios in pre-catalyzed lacquer finish applications. September 14, 2006

Staining Poplar to Resemble Cherry
Building with Cherry to begin with would be easier. But here is advice on staining Poplar for a Cherry look. September 25, 2014

Re-Toning to Mute a Too-Gold Finish
Successive light toner coats tinted blue should gradually push this finish toward brown. January 27, 2007

Black Dye Stains for Maple
Tips and tricks for applying a dark stain to maple while still revealing the grain. Pros recommend various methods using inks, dyes, and toners. October 28, 2005

Applying Dye Without a Stain Coat
Can a finisher rely on dye alone, without stain, to achieve his intended look? September 25, 2014

Calibrating Pressure Pot Fluid and Air Settings
Advice for a beginner on dialing in air and fluid pressures for a new pressure pot setup. July 25, 2010

Hole Filling Tips
Advice on filling and hiding holes in an obvious visible location on cabinet doors. November 11, 2006

Getting Even Coverage when Spraying Dye
Advice on how to prevent a dye coat from getting a mottled appearance. June 4, 2012

Spraying White Conversion Varnish
Advice on priming and other quality control measures for spraying white pigmented CV. August 12, 2014

Paint Can Shakers
Advice on choosing an air-powered paint can shaker, and a warning to keep the lid clamped down when shaking lacquer. October 26, 2011

Ticking, Mottling, and Blotching
like blotching, but different. July 3, 2008

Hide Glue Crackle Tips
Advice on using hide glue as a base coat for a crackle finish. June 17, 2009

Is Fuming Oak a Good Idea?
Fuming White Oak with ammonia gives inconsistent results, and the intent can be achieved using conventional techniques instead. October 19, 2013

High-End Finishing On Site
Painting cabinets on-site can yield good results, or bad. October 1, 2010

Filter Clogging with Cup Sprayguns
A clogged or deteriorated filter cup or a plugged air hole can starve a cup gun for air, causing intermittent sputtering. February 12, 2007

Balancing a Table Top
Balancing the veneers, the finishes, and the construction sequence will help keep the table flat. March 30, 2008

Variations Between Plywood Panels and Sawn Wood Stiles
Doors with sawn lumber stiles and plywood panels are very challenging to finish in a way that makes the surfaces look the same. October 19, 2013

Preconditioner: A prerequisite?
Is preconditioner an absolute necessity for water-based stains? March 20, 2001

Advice for a Beginner on Finishing Cherry Cabinets
Here's some help along the learning curve for a newbie to cabinet finishing. April 24, 2014

Sanding Grit Recommendations
How fine is too fine between coats, for good adhesion? August 31, 2009

Revealing the Grain in Maple
Maple is tricky wood to stain. Too light a sealcoat, and the results may be blotchy; too heavy, and the grain may not show. July 17, 2008

Glazing in Crevices
Is a clear topcoat necessary when glazing just the cracks and crevices of a cabinet door? January 7, 2010

Simulated Copper Finishes for Exterior Wood
Here's a handful of ideas for putting a copper look on a wood post. September 5, 2010

Tack Rag Residue on Spar Varnish
Cautionary tale: wetting a tack rag with mineral spirits before use may deposit "tack" onto your workpiece. April 19, 2011

Cutting Steel Wool from a Roll
Steel wool dulls scissors quickly. Here are suggestions for other ways to cut it when purchased in bulk. October 19, 2014

Pigmented Coatings for Cabinets
Thoughts on latex paints and pigmented lacquers for cabinet finishing. March 29, 2006

Dyeing Ipe
Ipe is a very challenging wood to color or coat, but here are some tips on how to approach it. August 8, 2008

Preventing Blotching in Cherry
Basic tips to help evenly dye or stain Cherry. October 1, 2010

Adding 844 Colorants to Conversion Varnish
Advice on adding dye and pigment concentrates to varnish for use as a toner. April 18, 2010

Fine Points of Glaze Removal
A discussion of soft cloths, brushes, synthetic abrasive pads, and the craftsman's touch. May 11, 2006

No-Odor Finish for Fine Furniture
Modified tung oil is odorless after curing and brings out the beauty of unique wood pieces. July 17, 2008

Dry Spots with Wipe-On Poly on Bubinga
Finishers discuss ways to get even finish coverage on oily hardwoods like Bubinga. September 27, 2008

Adding Ultraviolet Absorbers to Linseed Oil
Tips on adding ultraviolet light absorbers to linseed oil or modified tung oil for use on exterior wood doors. August 25, 2008

Front Door Varnish Choices
Choosing a wood finish for an old entry door, based on price and looks. January 13, 2009

Holding Mouldings While Spraying with Finish
Thoughts on how to arrange mouldings for convenient spraying and drying, without bounce-back or overspray. November 12, 2006

Specs for Building a Spray Booth
A cabinetmaker wonders how complicated it would be to build his own booth — and gets an earful of advice. July 11, 2005

Retarder and Rub-Out
Adding retarder to a pre-cat finish won't prevent you from rubbing the finish out, but it may affect your wait time. April 30, 2006

Matching a Dead-Flat Finish
A zero-sheen finish is tough to achieve, especially if it needs to be durable. Here, finishers discuss the fine points. October 28, 2005

Durability of Pre-Cat on Edges
Multiple coats over a vinyl sealer may help pre-catalyzed lacquer hold up better on door and drawer edges. August 21, 2006

Troubleshooting Bubbles in Lacquer
"Solvent pop" may be causing bubbling in a lacquer coat. Solutions include applying lighter coats, or using retarder in place of straight thinner. October 2, 2005

Open Face Booth
Pros and cons. February 26, 2005

Leaving lacquer in spray gun
Will a few hours between coats gum up the gun? September 2, 2002

Conversion Varnish "Bubbling" Concern
Thinning, application and clean-up tips for trouble-free CV work. October 28, 2005

Cleaning a Spraygun when Changing from Solventborne to Waterborne Formulas
Advice on cleaning an air-assisted airless spraygun before converting to waterbornes. April 16, 2010

Epoxy Barrier Coating for Exterior Wood
A woodworker reports success using clear penetrating epoxy sealer as a primer for exterior doors or boat brightwork. December 23, 2014

Distressed Black Glaze over Conversion Varnish
Advice on a finishing schedule for black glaze in combination with a conversion varnish. March 29, 2006

Staining Maple a Dark Color
Here's a variety of suggestions for getting Maple to take a dark, even stain. July 16, 2012

First CV Experience
A first time experience with ML Campbell's Krystal conversion varnish spurs some questions and answers about application technique. July 13, 2005

Troubleshooting Waterborne Finish Beading on "Green" Particleboard
A finisher tackles compatibility problems with architect specs on a "green" commercial job. April 18, 2010

Tricks for sanding things smooth
Tried and true techniques for sanding and oil finishing. January 24, 2001

Re-Finishing a Laminate Table Top
Advice on prepping and spraying laminate surfaces. May 17, 2010

Troubleshooting Static in the Paint Booth
Thoughts on the causes and cures for static electricity problems that interfere with finishing. March 26, 2009

Masking and Spraying Face Frames
Tips on how to finish wood face frames without damaging their melamine cabinet walls. August 23, 2006

Cerused Oak Finish Tips
Advice on how to apply and remove white grain filler so that just the pores and flecks are white when the job is done. February 12, 2010

Clear Topcoats for Custom Finished Guitars
A discussion of gloss finishes for guitars. July 17, 2008

Fly Speck Finish with a Spray Gun
Ways to tweak a spraygun to achieve the "fly speck" effect (small, dispersed droplets of stain).April 19, 2011

Spraying Wooden Drawer and Door Knobs
Jigs and tricks for holding wooden knobs for spraying and drying. June 18, 2010

On-Site Finishing Setup
Equipment and formula considerations when finishing on site. May 11, 2006

Managing Color Differences in Cherry Plywood
A finisher has trouble making his whole job look like the approved sample, because of inconsistent plywood. February 15, 2009

Staining and Graining Flex Moulding
Tips and techniques to modify the appearance of flex moulding. August 9, 2005

Syringe Sources
Syringes are handy for measuring and mixing custom-tinted finishes. Here are tips on where to find suitable syringes for finishing purposes. February 13, 2006

Spraying Latex Paint on Kitchen Cabinets
It can be hard to get good flow-out and leveling when spraying a water-based latex paint on cabinets. January 29, 2009

Application Tips for Gold Leaf
Gold leaf gilding methods explained. December 9, 2010

Refinishing Oil-Painted Kitchen Doors
Advice on compatible spackle and paint for re-coating over a five-year-old oil paint job on kitchen cabinets. June 17, 2009

Preventing Swirl Marks from Orbital Sanding
Advice on how to minimize swirl marks from a random orbital sander. June 17, 2009

Food prep finish
The finish and wood to use (and what not to use) on butcherblock tops. August 29, 2001

Troubleshooting Light Color in Walnut Grain
Sanding can pack fine dust into wood grain; wire brushing after sanding might get that out. September 18, 2012

Full Fill Finishes on Open-Grained Wood
Several approaches to grain filling with Oak, Mahogany, and similar open-grained species. September 30, 2009

Staining End Grain to Match
Tips for staining end grain of door stiles to match the side grain of the rest of the door frame. April 30, 2009

Shellac Before Poly Finish on a Custom Table
Shellac is a good sealer coat to apply to a furniture piece while still under construction, during a delay before final finishing with poly.October 19, 2014

Troubleshooting a Blotchy Tung-Oil-and-Wax Finish
Finishers try to figure out why a customer-applied oil-and-wax finish ended up looking like the aftermath of a bad sunburn. June 30, 2007

Gravity-Cup Add-On Option for Air-Assisted Airless Setups
Here's a look at an accessory gravity-cup arrangement that makes it convenient to occasionally apply small amounts of special finishes. July 17, 2008

Cherry Toning to Match Old and New
Success story: a little sunlight and some trans-tint dye toning provides a pleasing match. November 3, 2010

Priming and Prepping MDF for Waterborne Top Coats
Advice on prepping MDF to achieve a smooth finished surface. February 2, 2011

Eliminating Cherry "Tan Lines"
Clear tape used to hold a miter glue-up apparently blocked the ultraviolet light, leaving Cherry wood with light lines. Is there any fix? December 6, 2011

Spraygun Check Valve Maintenance
Tips on keeping the check valve operational for an HVLP spray gun. April 18, 2010

Finishing Room Ventilation
For low-volume work with brush application of waterborne finishes, the ventilation system can be relatively modest. January 8, 2010

Finishing Sapele Solid Lumber and Plywood
Advice on getting a consistent finish appearance on a piece made with Sapele using both solid wood and plywood. April 15, 2012

Sealing End Grain in Outdoor Exposures
Sealing end grain with epoxy is reported to improve outdoor durability of finishes. April 18, 2015

Lines in Paint at Door Panel Glue Seams
Troubleshooting a telegraphing issue at the glue-up joints in cabinet doors. August 17, 2009

Fixing Uneven Toner Coverage
Strip to wood and start over, say the experts — with a few tips on achieving even coverage this time. March 9, 2006

Materials for Rubbing Out Overspray
The old paper-bag ploy, and other time-honored tricks. October 14, 2006

Finishing Trimwork with an Airless Spraygun
A trim carpenter gets some tips on finishing his own work. June 8, 2007

Primers for Thermofoil Doors
Advice on a good base coat for an adhesion layer between Thermofoil doors and a paint topcoat. February 12, 2010

Toning Ash a Dark Gray
Approach the gray you need by toning in multiple passes with a thinned-out black lacquer. April 17, 2009

Matching an "Antique Oatmeal" Finish with a Dark Glaze
Advice on matching a particular cabinet finish and a discussion of color matching in general, with a little geography and civics on the side. June 17, 2009

Touching Up Hairline Cracks in a Waterborne Finish
Expert advice on hiding a crack that appeared during transport. October 19, 2013

Cherry Knob Finish Is Darker Than Cabinet Finish
Exposed end grain on the knobs causes them to behave differently than the flat wood of the doors and frames. But there are solutions. November 12, 2006

Troubleshooting Sanding Swirls in Pine
Softer woods can be challenging to sand. Here's advice on preventing unsightly swirls. May 7, 2009

Technical Info on Colorants
Where to learn about 844 colorants, "universal" tints, et cetera. October 15, 2009

Rag Sources for Finishers
Finishers discuss where to get the right kind of rags (soft, absorbent, and free from lint or contamination). June 30, 2007

Gilding Compo on Furniture
Tips on the process of gilding compo. October 26, 2011

UV-resistant, non-yellowing finish
Should claims of UV-resistance in topcoats be trusted for the long haul? September 6, 2000

Multiple Coats of Reactive Finishes
Two-part finishes don't "burn in" to previous layers of the same coating. Here are tips on careful scuff-sanding and re-application for building up the finish on a fine piece such as a musical instrument. February 12, 2007

Fire and Health Risks of Potassium Dichromate
Potassium Dichromate is a strong oxidizer and a carcinogen, so don't mess around. August 26, 2008

A "Piano Finish" for Plant Stands
Here's a good description of the steps involved in getting a very high-gloss opaque black finish. August 15, 2011

Fly-Speck Application Techniques
Finishers suggest half a dozen ways to make quick work of a fly-speck finish. August 21, 2006

Preserving Grain Pop When Staining Anigre
A finisher gets advice on matching a stain color while enhancing the pronounced grain figure on some Anigre veneer. July 25, 2010

Chemically Weathering Pine
Advice on how to give pine that instant touch of gray. August 16, 2009

Dust Control and Conversion Varnish
Tips on protecting against dust and overspray when spraying CV. March 9, 2010

Waterborne Glazes over a Pre-Cat Finish
Many water-borne and solvent-borne (oil-based) finishes are mutually compatible, and coats may be alternated (with certain cautions). May 27, 2008

Removing Black Dye and Applying a White Coat
Bleach is good for removing dye, and shellac makes a good barrier coat before topcoating. August 8, 2008

Heated Makeup Air for Spray Booths
Reasons to heat makeup air and ways to accomplish it. November 15, 2011

External Crosslinkers, Explained
Finishing Chemistry 301 is now in session. February 26, 2005

Painting and Glazing One Job in Two Locations
Advice on getting a consistent color response when finishing the doors in the shop, and the frames on site. June 18, 2010

Troubleshooting Rough-Textured Pre-Cat
It's important to stir it... September 26, 2006

Glossy Finish for Purpleheart
A musical instrument maker gets advice on pore-filling glossy finishes that impede UV and oxidation color changes in exotic hardwoods. July 3, 2008

Conversion Varnish over Linseed Oil
Tips for success with a conversion varnish topcoat applied over boiled linseed oil. June 18, 2013

Sanding Dust Interfering with Finish
Tips on prevention and cure when sanding dust messes up a lacquer spray job. June 9, 2007

Troubleshooting Grain Raise with Waterborne Finishes
Waterborne finishes raise the grain of wood, requiring extra sanding. Here's advice on how to minimize the extra labor. July 15, 2014

Water-Based Finishes for a Straw Board Product
Advice on how to seal before staining, to minimize swelling and grain raise. October 2, 2005

Viewing Angle and Finishing Maple Plywood
Selecting a plywood with the right kind of veneer may help this finisher avoid the "barber-pole" effect caused by different orientations of light and viewpoint. January 9, 2007

Clear Finish that Won't Color Wood?
Is there any clear finish that will not modify the natural hue of a pine door? November 8, 2007

Touching Up a Water-Based Clear Finish
Finishers suggest products and methods for spot repairs of minor scratches and mars. March 2, 2006

Reducing Grain Definition
Pros share tips for filling pores to keep stain from over-enhancing the natural grain patterns of ash. June 28, 2005

Refinishing Commercial Interior Paneling
Advice on touching up and "freshening" large areas of finished wall paneling in a public building with poor ventilation. April 24, 2014

Buffing Out Two-Part Polyurethane
Hard urethane coats need careful treatment to avoid fine scratches. January 14, 2009

Finish for a Teak Shower Floor
Most finishers agree that Teak in a shower floor should be left natural. Here's why. April 15, 2013

Static Eliminators and Dust Control
Gizmos versus spray products for keeping dust off pieces you're finishing. February 29, 2012

Oops! Forgot the Catalyst
A finisher grabbed the thinner instead of the catalyst, and now the coat won't cure. Fellow pros suggest stripping techniques, as well as ways to catalyze the uncured coat in place. January 13, 2006

Maple Stain Techniques
Tips on achieving an even tint in Maple using spray dye, a seal coat, and a wiping stain. October 13, 2008

Pre-Cat Lacquer Yellowing in the Dark
Some alkyds yellow in the presence of light and some yellow in the absence of light. May 18, 2010

Spraying Finish with a Small Compressor
A finisher wants to spray small amounts of moulding and face-frame stock, but has only a small compressor. Solution? A mini gun. November 25, 2008

Will Sawmill Blade Lubricants Cause Trouble with Finishes?
but here's a tip on how to test substances for troublesome interactions with finishes. April 9, 2007

Durability of Table-Top Finishes
Even the toughest clear finish is subject to scratching and wear. You need to make customers aware of that. July 17, 2008

Staining Birch Bright Colors
A cabinetmaker wants to stain birch a bright red, but still reveal some grain. Experts supply ideas. August 30, 2005

Is a "Gallon" of Lacquer Really a Gallon?
A gallon can of some finishing products may not really have a gallon of material in it. June 30, 2014

Adapting Shop Machines for Wire-Brushing
Thoughts on converting a drum sander or table saw to do high-volume wire-brushing of wood. October 1, 2010

Whether to Spray a Wiping Stain
Basic info about wiping stain application and the pros and cons of various methods. September 3, 2010

Dull Haze Problem when Cleaning Lacquer with Naphtha
A finisher gets advice on why he's getting a dull, cloudy look an a nitrocellulose finish after using naphtha to clean the surface. February 15, 2009

Green blushing in stained finish
Possible causes and solutions for green blushing in an NGR-stained finish. 1998.

Witness Lines from Shellac Application
Advice on hand-applying and sanding shellac in combination with transtint dyes and linseed oil. July 7, 2011

Will Lacquer Re-Dissolve Shellac?
Most top-coats include some sort of solvent that could melt into shellac. Here's advice on prep sanding and other issues relating to shellac as a bond coat. May 18, 2010

Glazing with a Needle
A discussion of various methods for pinpoint application of glaze to cabinet crevices. June 30, 2014

Correcting Stain Problems Caused by Glue on Wood
Where the trim installers glued their joints and wiped off the squeeze-out, stain may not take properly. Here are ways to cope with the problem. December 27, 2006

Staining Shelf Pin Holes
Tips for a pesky detail: coloring the inside of shelf pin holes so they won't stand out against the finished piece. August 30, 2007

Glazing Technique for Good Contrast
How can you apply and wipe off glaze so it highlights the glazed edges, but doesn't tint the base coat in areas you don't want glazed? April 18, 2013

Condensation Drips from a Respirator Mask
Moisture dripping from your facemask can be a problem. Here are some suggested work-arounds. July 28, 2008

Metallic Finishes on Wood
Woodworkers pursue some out-there metallic finish looks, using products from the automotive finishing world. April 10, 2008

Final Sanding on a Fly-Speck Finish
The last licks with 320-grit paper can make all the difference. January 9, 2007

Finishing MDF
How to achieve a smooth finish on MDF, where the sealed face has been removed. November 29, 2000

Improvised Mixing Containers
Little plastic doo-dads you can use to mix colorants in. February 23, 2008

Discoloration of Conversion Varnish
Acidic conversion varnish formulas can react with metals in the application system or with wood chemistry, causing a red, black, or gray discoloration. Here are some suggested precautions for prevention. March 29, 2006

Troubleshooting a Sagging Water-Based Varnish
Use a higher viscosity product or try the "tack on tack" method, say the pros. October 2, 2005

Creating colored lacquers
Information on tinting and coloring lacquer topcoats. August 23, 2000

Replicating a Limed White Oak Finish
White glaze over red oak tends to accentuate the pink hues. So how can you achieve a more gray or blue hue in the final product? December 31, 2012

Heating Lacquer
Lacquer formulas designed for a hot application offer particular advantages. You can also heat ordinary lacquer, but the results could be a mixed bag. August 22, 2013

Achieving Consistency When Spray-Finishing a Large Table
A finisher struggles with keeping his finish from flashing off prematurely when finishing a large piece of furniture. November 29, 2014

Air-Line Drying Options
Advice on setups to extract water from your sprayer air supply system. September 10, 2007

Troubleshooting Pinholes in a Lacquer Finish
A pinhole problem is traced to a dessicant cartridge that needs replacing. December 23, 2014

Repairing Wood Filler Smudges
Advice on touching up a flat finish where wood filler has affected the surface sheen near filled nail holes. April 30, 2009

Spraying Oil Paint with a Pressure Pot
Some finishers get good results with oil by over-thinning. August 12, 2014

Heating Water-Borne Coatings
Using an in-line heater to heat waterborne coatings brings similar benefits with water-borne coatings as with solvent-borneMarch 9, 2008

In Search of White Dye
There are no white "dyes" as such, but there may be other ways to achieve the desired effect. May 23, 2007

Adjusting to Changing Temperature as You Spray
As the day warms up, think about adding more retarder. October 3, 2007

Lightfastness of Dye Stains
Tips here on how to apply a subtle light-blocking pigmented masking coat over dye stain, to prolong the colorfastness in the presence of UV light. July 26, 2010

Gun Recommendations for Spraying Shellac
Advice on gun and tip choices for use with shellac. December 6, 2011

Protecting Yourself from Isocyanates
Isocyanate is a dangerous chemical, so have a good spray booth and wear full protective gear. October 19, 2013

Sealing the Edges of MDF
Various suggestions for sealing the cut ends of MDF panels. November 13, 2005

Correcting a Pink Tone on a White-Washed Oak Floor
Pros advise on a tricky staining problem. March 26, 2007

Exterior Primers for Strong Adhesion
Finishers recommend their preferred exterior primers for use with latex paint. July 24, 2006

Avoiding Glaze Ghosting
Advice on how to apply glaze in a tight area without ghosting into other areas. January 18, 2011

Glues Interfering With Water-Borne Stain on Veneer
Advice on fixing a problem where glued veneer seams telegraph through water-borne stain finishes. June 9, 2007

Thinning Precatalyzed Lacquer
Adding thinner reduces the solids ratio of the mixture; warming it up does not. April 19, 2006

Slowing Cherry's Color Change
you can slow it down, but you can't stop it. Here's a collection of ideas. March 9, 2008

Scuff Scratches Between Coats of Pre-Cat
With catalyzed finishes, it works best to apply successive coats before the previous coat is fully cross-linked, so the coats melt together. tober 28, 2008

Waterborne Formulas and Spray Booth Fire Codes
Whether or not you need fire-suppression gear, fire-safe lights, et cetera, in a spray booth when you only apply waterbornes is a fine point that should be discussed with your local authorities.May 26, 2011

Filling Grain with Automotive Polyester Primer
Advice on using polyester auto-body primer to fill deep pores in Oak. March 28, 2012

How Does Tung Oil Work?
A little basic information on Tung oil. March 28, 2010

Finishing Wood Stairs on Site
Formulas and methods for finishing a new staircase in a home. February 21, 2011

Low-VOC Finish Recommendations
California finishers share their views on finishes that comply with tough West Coast VOC regulations. December 8, 2012

Conversion varnish crackle finish
How small-scale finishers can achieve big-manufacturer results. May 22, 2002

Wenge Grain-Filling Discoloration Problem
Why is the grain turning a milky white after filling with a high-solids 2K poly? June 18, 2009

Duplicating a black lacquer finish
Methods and products for achieving a good black laquer finish. March 20, 2001

Lightening Up Alder
Alder mellows out naturally over time, but you can choose a finish that keeps it headed the way you like it to go. July 3, 2008

Customizing putty to match projects
Achieving the right match: Mixing putty from the jar or from scratch. October 31, 2000

Faking mahogany
What species are closest to mahogany in grain structure, so, when stained, will look like the real thing? March 20, 2000

"Wenge-ing" white oak
Turning oak black with an old-time method. August 29, 2001

"Pop" for a Walnut Kitchen Counter Finish
Advice on getting interesting grain effects in dark, relatively uniform Walnut. July 16, 2012

Why You Can't Recirculate Spray Booth Air
Filtering and re-using spray room air is not feasible, as this thread explains. October 27, 2005

Fuzzy Finish on MDF
A smooth surface on finished MDF requires sanding. April 17, 2009

Pricing: Paint Grade Versus Stain Grade Work
Many cost factors differ between a paint-grade job and a stain-grade job. March 18, 2005

Troubleshooting Adhesion Failure of Lacquer to Caulk
Lacquer may not stick to caulk properly, depending on the products and the technique. September 3, 2010

Finishing Schedule and Photo: Shellac Washcoat and Mahogany Toner on Poplar
Here's a picture of some finished Poplar moulding, with the recipe that got it there. October 3, 2007

Separation of 844 Colorants
Over time, stored colorants will clump or settle, and there's not much you can do to fix it. September 16, 2008

Heating Finishes in the Can
Ways to keep finishes warm overnight in an unheated building. December 27, 2006

Good Atomizing with an Airless Air-Assist Spraygun
Advice on how to get a good spray pattern and prevent striping with an AAA gun. January 14, 2008

Commercial Bar Top Finish Choices
Finishers suggest a couple of options for a tough and repairable bar top coating. February 21, 2011

Combining Long-0il and Short-Oil Finishes
A finishing schedule that includes both long-oil and short-oil varnishes can provide the water-resistance of one and the glossiness of the other. April 30, 2006

Ebonizing a White Oak Table
Grain filler is tricky to use with White Oak, which has pores that are already naturally sealed. October 1, 2010

Rub-Through Effects with Black Lacquer
Advice on how to create an aged look (worn black lacquer and exposed stained wood) on a piece of furniture. July 17, 2008

Re-Coating a Scratched Conversion-Varnish Table Top
Conversion varnishes take time to fully harden, and a customer used this one too soon. Luckily, repair is feasible: in this thread, finishers provide advice on sanding and re-coating. July 24, 2005

Understanding Transfer Efficiency
A quick discussion of "transfer efficiency" — how much of what you spray actually ends up sticking to the workpiece. July 14, 2010

Glazing procedures
Ideas on the proper application of glazed finishes. August 23, 2000

Webbing Spray, or Veiling Stain
Advice on guns and tips for achieving this unusual look. January 21, 2010

Gray Aging to Match Old Weathered Wood
Finishers suggest acid formulas to gray out new oak boards. September 16, 2008

Wait Time Between Coats
A finisher with a rush job to complete gets advice on dry and cure times between coats. August 21, 2006

Is It Worth Learning Touch-Up Techniques?
Is it worth taking a class on touching up finishes? Some say yes, and some say absolutely. November 28, 2014

Caulking Under Conversion Varnish
Gaps in a piece may become noticeable after a first finish coat. Here's advice on caulking before applying the second coat. March 26, 2013

Sprayed-On No-Wipe Glaze Application
Touch-up type sprayguns with small spray patterns let you apply glaze just to cracks and crevices, avoiding the need to wipe glaze off. December 30, 2007

Rancid Smell in Plywood Cabinets
Bacteria or a catalyzing problem could be the culprit. March 3, 2010

Best Finish for Bar Top?
Finishers discuss the options for a bar top, considering durability and the ability to apply on site. February 15, 2009

Sanding, Planing, and Stain Matching
Sanded wood and planed wood take stain differently. For a good match, prep all the wood the same way. February 12, 2010

Removing an Ink Stain from a Catalyzed Finish
To get ink off a finish, start with the mildest cleaners and move up slowly. January 14, 2013

Fiberglass Door Finishing Follies
Painting a fiberglass entry door ... what could go wrong? October 1, 2010

Heating Finishes
A north-country finisher with an unheated shop gets ideas for heating his finishes in the can, or in the line. February 28, 2006

DIY crazing
Choosing finishing materials that will produce a "crackled" look. November 29, 2000

Pre-Catalyzed Lacquer Odors
Pre-cat lacquers do create an odor that fades over time, so some finishers prefer to use waterborne finishes for drawer and cabinet interiors. September 11, 2006

Spray-Applied Coatings for Outdoor Metal Furniture
A finisher shops for a paint he can buy in volume to apply to outdoor metal restaurant tables and chairs using spray equipment. November 29, 2014

Resources on French polish finishes
How is this old-world look is achieved, and the modern alternatives. January 16, 2002

Suitable Gun for "Detail" Glazing?
Trying to find the best applicator for "pinstripe" glazing work. January 19, 2012

Coating Formula Terminology
Quick definitions for "pre-cat," "conversion varnish," et cetera. November 11, 2006

Applying a Chip-Through Finish
Wax or petroleum jelly applied in spots will break adhesion and allow the topcoat to chip off, exposing the undercoat. November 26, 2007

High-Gloss Tips and Tricks
Pro tips for a high gloss finish. November 11, 2006

Rubbing Out for a Smooth "Hand Feel"
Advice on hand rubbing techniques to give fine furniture pieces that silky smooth softness. April 9, 2007

Durable Topcoats for Pigmented Lacquer
Finishers discuss using a clear topcoat over a pigmented lacquer, and give other suggestions for durable pigmented cabinet finishes. July 24, 2006

De-Waxed Shellac
A few notes on the chemistry of de-waxed shellac. July 3, 2008

Making black walnut blacker
Suggestions on materials to use for staining walnut an ebony color. March 4, 2002

Troubleshooting Orange Peel
Basic tips on preventing and repairing "orange peel" with an HVLP sprayer. June 20, 2005

Troubleshooting Wood Cupping when Finishing
Unbalanced wetting of solid wood surfaces can cause the wood to cup. October 28, 2009

Is potassium dichromate worth the risk?
A highly toxic chemical is said to create amazing effects in finishing. April 4, 2000

A Hard Bar Finish for Soft Wood
No finish will make a soft wood hard. But for a redwood bar top, some finishers suggest a penetrating epoxy. August 21, 2006

Preventing lacquer overspray
Tops on preventing overspray when applying lacquer topcoats. August 23, 2000

Finishing Teak
Teak is a "greasy" wood that can pose finishing challenges. Here, finishers suggest formulas and approaches that have worked for them. April 30, 2006

Finishing Equipment
Basic description of production line finishing equipment. November 11, 2008

Tinted Filler for Engravings Before Finishing
Epoxy or polyester filler can both be tinted. April 10, 2008

Rubbing Out a Finish on Complicated Furniture
Rubbing out a finish on a flat surface is one thing. But what if you're working with a complex shape? Here's some advice. February 15, 2015

Temperature and Humidity Issues When Spraying On Site
Watch out — if it's too cool, catalyzed finishes will not properly cross-link. June 8, 2008

Spraying Post-Catalyzed Primer
Advice on equipment and application methods for a high-viscosity, high-solids post-cat primer. June 17, 2009

Sanding Sealer: One Coat or Two?
Finishers discuss sanding sealers, their purpose and attributes. August 6, 2010

Gray Wash on Birch
Finishers advise on achieving a washed-out gray look on birch cabinets. October 4, 2011

Brewing Up an Ebonizing Dye Stain
Iron steeped in vinegar makes an interesting stain for darkening wood. February 14, 2006

Agitators and Heaters for Air-Assisted Airless Equipment
Finishers discuss the value of investing in an agitator and/or a heater as accessories for an AAA setup. December 31, 2012

Water-based lacquers -- Good, bad, and ugly
Professional finishers share their experiences with water-based lacquers. March 20, 2001

A High-Gloss Painted Panel
Panel quality may be as important as finish choice and application method. November 13, 2005

Conversion Varnish over Shellac?
Finishers describe their experiences using shellac coats under CV. February 27, 2013

Sanding Plywood Bullnose Edges
Advice on efficiently sanding the bullnosed edge of plywood panels before finishing. February 19, 2013

Bubbling Failure with Shellac and Spar Varnish on Garage Door
An unusual coating combination fails dramatically in an exterior exposure. December 30, 2007

White Film after Spraying
A contaminated air line and filter turns out to be the culprit. March 12, 2015

Limed Oak Finish Schedule
A finisher gets step-by-step tips on matching a 1950's finish involving pigmented grain filler applied to Oak before the top coat. December 31, 2012

De-Nibbing a Finish with Paper
Brown paper works well (newspaper is too inky). March 28, 2008

Air Temperature Requirements for Conversion Varnish Curing
Cool temperatures can cause problems with conversion varnishes. February 12, 2010

Tung-Oil Floor Finishes
Thoughts about the characteristics of floor finishes based on or including Tung oil. July 3, 2008

Solvent reclaimers and gun washers
Info on automatic spray gun washers and solvent reclaimers. April 20, 2001

Overspray Advice
Ways to manage overspray when spraying a bookcase with the back on. October 14, 2006

Options for Finishing an Ipe Deck
Finishers chime in with approaches that have worked for them on Ipe decks. December 30, 2007

Air-Assisted Airless for Spraying Paint
Information on the suitability of AAA equipment for applying oil-based paint and waterborne latex paint. March 4, 2009

Finish Cracking at Face Frame Joints
Ways to prevent or correct finish cracking at cabinet joints. July 3, 2008

Natural Hand-Rubbed Finish Formulas
When you get the notion to mix up a potion ... February 12, 2010

Finishes for a Butcher-Block Countertop with an Undermount Sink
Suggestions for finishing wood in a tough environment. April 21, 2011

Penetrating Wood Stabilizers
Penetrating wood stabilizers can help to prevent uneven stain absorption or moisture-related warping. July 20, 2011

Understanding Pump Ratings for Air-Assisted Airless Equipment
Finishers explain how air pressure relates to fluid pressure in an air-assisted airless situation, and what it means when a AAA pump is rated "14:1," "10:1," et cetera. February 17, 2014

Filler Compatibility with Topcoat
A finisher finds that some varnishes pull out the vinyl spackling he's been using for to fill holes and grain. Others share ideas for solving the problem. December 31, 2005

Stirring, Flatting, and Sheen
Inconsistent sheen in a finish job could be related to insufficient shaking, stirring, or mixing of the material. October 18, 2012

Wrinkling Problems and the "Recoat Window"
not while it's doing it. February 26, 2007

Color Adjustment with Aniline Dyes
Advice on sneaking up on the desired hue and tint with dyes on a musical instrument. April 17, 2009

Staining: Maple Versus Birch
A comparison of the finishing characteristics of Hard Maple and White Birch. August 8, 2008

Finishing One-Piece MDF Doors
Profiled areas of MDF doors require additional labor and care for best finish results. Here's advice. June 18, 2013

Painted Door Details to Minimize Finish Cracking
A discussion of joint design, glue choices, crack filler, and finish choices in order to reduce cracking and telegraphing of joints. January 28, 2009

Moisture Readings on a Stripped Door
Stripper residue may affect moisture-meter readings on woodwork. February 13, 2006

Wood Truck Bed Finish
The advice in this thread about wood species and finish products for a wooden truck bed, applies equally well to any outdoor deck. October 26, 2005

Solventborne over Waterborne?
Applying an oil-based coating over a water-based coat is likely to create trouble. December 31, 2012

Keeping solid doors flat
Techniques for preventing warpage of solid wood cabinet doors. June 14, 2000

Low-Tack Masking Tape
Masking tapes are color-coded for tackiness. May 11, 2006

Fly Speck Finishes
Techniques for applying fly-speck finishes. April 30, 2006

Finishing routed MDF doors
Dealing with sealing and finishing routed Medium Density Fiberboard doors. April 11, 2000

Coloring Water-Based Lacquer
Paint stores can add pigment to a water-based lacquer, but the results may vary. This thread from the Finishing Forum supplies a few tips. October 19, 2005

Preserving a Bleached Appearance
Keeping the blond appearance of stripped, bleached wood, without ambering, is possible with the right choice of coating. September 18, 2012

Dye concentrate
Dye stain basics. October 16, 2003

Matching a vintage stain
There's much to consider when attempting to match a stain from early in the previous century. March 23, 2000

Virgin Lacquer Thinner
If the lacquer thinner from your supplier isn't what you hoped for, you can always mix your own from pure ingredients. July 3, 2008

Glazing Painted Cabinet Doors
Advice for applying a dark wipe-off glaze over paint. June 10, 2006

Finishing an Outdoor Cedar Log Bench
Advice on a durable outdoor finish for a half-log bench. August 30, 2007

Whether to Clear Coat Over Tinted Lacquer
On pine furniture, is it worth the cost to add a clear coat for durability over a tinted lacquer coat? September 27, 2008

Spraygun Choice for Applying Primer
Pros recommend a pressure-pot system over an air-assisted airless setup if all you're doing is applying primer. February 15, 2015

Conversion Varnish on Marble Table Tops
How to make wood finishes stick to stone. August 16, 2012

Spraying Stair Spindles
Tips on holding stair balusters for spraying. December 2, 2009

Shaken or Stirred?
Is it okay to mix lacquer by agitating it in a shaker? October 4, 2011

Pre-Primed MDO Finishing Issues
Finishers report mixed results finishing cabinets built using medium-density overlay (MDO) panels. July 3, 2008

Paste Wood Filler Problems
On mahogany, light-colored paste wood filler sticks out like a sore thumb. The trick is to use black-tinted filler. June 28, 2006

Blue Stain and Wood Grade
Stain is a defect in wood, and lowers its grade.April 18, 2010

Alternatives to conversion varnish
Is there a less-touchy alternative to conversion varnish? January 24, 2001

Wipe-On Finish for Cabinet Interiors
Here's a tip: try using a wipe-on water-based finish just for cabinet interiors, to avoid all the hassles that come with spraying inside a box. December 8, 2006

Clear Topcoats over Tinted Pre-Catalyzed Lacquer
Finishers discuss the risk of "wet-line" defects when applying and sanding a clear topcoat over a tinted pre-cat base coat. May 11, 2006

Gray Stain to Match a Rock
Here's an interesting challenge: custom mix a stain to match a chunk of gravel. February 1, 2015

Replicable Spatter and Speckle Techniques
Finishers describe various methods for achieving predictable spatter or speckle. June 30, 2014

Thinning of Polyurethane
Thoughts on thinning polyurethane for spraying. November 25, 2008

Correcting an Un-Catalyzed CV Coat
Thoughts on recovering from an "oops" — forgetting to add catalyst to a batch of conversion varnish. March 9, 2010

Setup for Perfect Polyester
Installer looking at a high-end polyester spray contract gets advice on booth, guns, oven, and more. July 12, 2005

Post-Cat Finishing Schedule for Rough Surfaces
Solving a complex tinting and adhesion problem: using a post-catalyzed finish with gel stain on rough timbers. June 30, 2009

Clarity of Gloss Finishes
High-gloss finish formulas are more transparent than dull or satin finishes. That can have both good and bad consequences. March 12, 2006

Finishing Area Temperature Control and Quality
Finishes tend to perform best in ideal temperature conditions, but controlling those can cost money. March 3, 2010

Masking Tape Concerns
ztp Finishing paint-grade cabinets on site — how long can you leave masking tape on? September 18, 2012

Spraying Paint Primer with a Cup Gun
A cabinetmaker has trouble spraying paint primer with a cup gun. Advice: either switch guns or switch coatings. August 29, 2006

Spraying polyurethane
Sources for information on spray finishing techniques and equipment. July 18, 2000

Preventing Overspray on Cabinet Doors
Tips and suggestions for handling an overspray problem. October 26, 2005

Gold Leaf for an Exterior Door
Advice on prime coats and a top coat for gold leaf on a door. March 26, 2009

Correcting Finish Fading Caused by Light
Advice on how to even up the finish tone in an area where a hanging mirror has left its shadow on a cabinet end. May 16, 2014

Bleeding Pitch Problem
Kiln-dried lumber hasn't been heated enough to set pitch, and the seepage can seriously damage finishes. November 13, 2005

Black Water-Based Dye Over an Oil Stain
You can mix black dye with de-waxed shellac, then apply a more durable topcoat over that. March 4, 2009

Finishing Exterior Teak Furniture
Recommendations for a renewable oil finish for teak furniture exposed to weather. December 8, 2006

Color-Matching Systems
A manufactured mix-and-match color system can help you learn the principles of color theory. October 25, 2006

Sniffing Out Silicone Contamination
Tips on detecting silicone in your shop air, and on protecting the wood from it. September 30, 2009

Matching a "Ginger" Glaze
A simple schedule using clear vinyl sealer and wipe-on Burnt Umber glaze can provide this requested match. June 28, 2006

Removing Super-Glue from Prefinished Flooring
Super Glue spilled on a pre-finished hardwood floor. How you gonna get it off? November 26, 2006

Evening the color of white oak
Creating a natural-looking, uniform finish for white oak. January 3, 2001

A Unique Ebonizing Recipe
Here's a custom chemical brew that goes on yellow and green, then turns deep black when the oil finish hits it. September 16, 2008

Glossy, Durable Table Finish
Finishers suggest coatings for a kitchen table top that may see some hard use. September 11, 2006

Definitions: "Paint" Versus "Lacquer"
An opaque pigmented coating is paint ... but there's a little more to it than that. May 6, 2014

Primary Color Dyes as a Substitute for Bottled Tints
You can buy blue, red, and yellow in bulk and make 90% of the colors you would ever want. July 16, 2012

How Varnishes Cure
A short but intense primer on the ways various varnish formulations harden and cure. December 31, 2005

Sticky Pigments
Newer varieties of paste colorant may need a special solvent in order to be stirred into stain base. October 9, 2006

Spraying Solid Color Deck Stain with a Pressure Pot Setup
Quick advice on spraying latex stain with simple equipment. January 24, 2014

Distressing wood
Creating a well-worn look on newly built furniture. February 6, 2002

Surface Feel of Spray-Applied Acrylic Paint
Pigment characteristics and a rapid dry time seem to affect the surface smoothness of paint. March 12, 2015

Closed Grain Finish
A finisher needs an efficient way to fill grain for spray finishes on exotic veneers. Suggestions include grain filler and an innovative mixing setup for his spray equipment. April 30, 2006

Simple Glazing with a Brush
A basic how-to on glazing by hand using a shop-mixed glaze. January 14, 2009

"Silver" Finish Formulas
Suggestions for applying a silvery metallic base coat with a clear top coat. December 8, 2006

Hot spots in lacquer
How do you handle them? January 21, 2002

Finish Cracks at Joints in a Five-Piece Door
Wood movement causes inevitable finish cracking at joints in cabinet doors. Here's advice on how to allow for it. April 10, 2008

Stain and Crackle for Distressed Alder
Ideas and resources for an unusual "crackle" finish project. May 23, 2007

Popping the Grain on Curly Maple
How to enhance contrast and definition with curly Maple. October 28, 2008

Tag-Team Compressors
Is there any point in hooking two cheap compressors to a big air tank, rather than buy a heavy-duty compressor? March 26, 2007

How Much Lacquer Thinner to Add?
You can add as much thinner as you need to spray effectively, and spray multiple coats — but stay within the specs for dry mil thickness of the coating. October 1, 2010

Tinted Shellac with a Clear Topcoat
Tinting shellac can give you a great pastel finish. June 17, 2009

Obscuring Grain and Figure
Basic advice on finishing wood so that what's underneath doesn't show. June 22, 2012

Killing Red with Green Tint
Green dye can neutralize red in wood or an existing finish, but proceed carefully to avoid over-correcting.March 28, 2015

Flap-Wheel Sanders for Doors?
Is sanding-wheel machinery practical with complicated shapes such as cabinet doors? February 2, 2011

Museum Archive-Safe Finishes
Expert advice on cabinet materials and finishes that won't damage sensitive materials stored in the piece. April 17, 2009

Subcontracting Finishing Work
An unfinished furniture maker considers contracting out finish work, and gets advice (mostly con). October 2, 2005

Staining a Beech Kitchen
If you use Beech as a substitute for Alder, achieving a consistent finish tone can be a tricky problem. July 27, 2008

Finish Room Wish List
Qualities of the ideal finish room (which most lack). February 18, 2006

Color uniformity in bird's-eye maple
Bleaching, tinting and staining to give bird's-eye maple boards a uniform color. December 12, 2000

Polyurethane Cure Times
Polyurethane hardening times are temperature-dependent. With multiple coats, the process can get tricky. February 21, 2011

Whether to Scuff-Sand Between Coats of Pre-Cat
Scuff coats improve adhesion when using formulas that may cure before the next coat is applied. December 23, 2014

Matching the Patina of Walnut
Finishers discuss ways to get new walnut pieces to match the golden appearance of older furniture. July 3, 2008

Heating Waterborne Finishes
Keeping your finish warm will improve flowability and maintain consistent viscosity — but check with the manufacturer for allowable temperature ranges. February 13, 2006

Lighting for the Spray Room
Artificial light needs to be bright, good quality, and at the right angle. August 9, 2005

Are Automotive Clear Finishes Suitable for Wood?
Those who've tried it say automotive clears work beautifully on wood. Here are tips and cautions. June 9, 2007

Gun Setup for 100% Acrylic Paints
A few simple tips for spraying paint. September 16, 2008

Fly Speck Splatter Techniques
A few tips and tricks for spatter finishing. November 25, 2008

Quick Stain/Topcoat Combination
Searching for a stain formula that allows topcoating without a long wait for the stain to dry or cure. September 14, 2006

Finish for an Exterior Door in a Seaside Environment
Suggested finishes for an entry door for a home located close to the ocean. July 14, 2010

Distilling Lacquer Thinner
Recovered solvents can be suitable for cleanup, but not for use in finishes. February 2, 2011

Prefinished Plywood Repairs
Touch-up finish products that are compatible with prefinished plywood factory coatings. January 29, 2009

Wax Coating Melts During Shipment
A furniture maker looks for solutions to a shipping problem: the wax on his pieces softens in the hot trucks enroute. July 3, 2008

Polish for Lacquered Furniture (Or Not)
Thoughts and reflections on furniture polish, snake oil, and related technologies. March 12, 2006

Working with Ribbon Mahogany and Brazilian Cherry
Tips on machining and staining two very hard, and very visually interesting, exotic hardwoods. October 27, 2005

Re-Coating Painted Furniture
Advice on applying a compatible, high-quality re-coat to painted furniture. January 14, 2008

Ultrasonic Cleaners for Cleaning Sprayguns?
High-end professional ultrasonic cleaning equipment works the best, but even a small inexpensive unit might be worth having. January 28, 2009

Pumice Furniture Antiquing
Tips on different ways to apply pumice or rottenstone to furniture, so that some dust remains on the piece for an antique look. April 17, 2009

Reproducing a Two-Tone "Haloed" Finish
Suggestions for imitating a custom toned and glazed finish on drawer faces. April 16, 2010

Black Lacquer Applications
Tips on quick, easy, and effective black finishes. January 27, 2008

Finishing a Black Walnut Slab Table Top
Finishers recommend hand-rubbed natural oils for a rich, deep finish on beautiful walnut. December 30, 2007

Bubbles in topcoat
Causes of air bubbles in the first coat. May 22, 2002

Suitable Substrates for White Conversion Varnish
Using a pigmented finish and trying to keep the cost down, a cabinetmaker considers his choices for trim material. November 23, 2012

Stripping Out Grain Filler
A finisher applied a grain filler that turned out to be incompatible with his chosen finish. Here, he gets advice on removing the filler from wood grain and pores. October 2, 2005

Avoiding Spray "Shadow" in Profiles
Advice on spraygun technique for even coverage of surface detail profiles. August 17, 2009

A Gray Weathered Finish for Furniture
Using bleaches or dye, sealer, and toner to get the look of sun and rain weathering on furniture. April 19, 2006

Catalyzed Finish Expiration Dates
Pre-cat lacquers are labeled with an expiration date. Use it after that, and here's the trouble you'll have. June 28, 2006

Need feedback on a spray system
Wood finishers discuss their favored spray finishing systems. April 18, 2000

LVLP Versus HVLP Spray Guns
Quick info on the difference between "high volume low pressure" and "low volume low pressure" spray equipment. August 8, 2008

Repairing a Table-Top Finish with Bad Fish-Eye
When it's this bad, you start over. Here's some detailed advice. January 14, 2008

Duplicating a Stickley Hand-Rubbed Finish
Advice and speculation about how to mimic the finish on a period Stickley furniture piece. January 18, 2011

Two-Tone Drawer and Door Finishing Problem
Advice on how to apply two colors to a door or drawer front without bleed-through or other similar problems. October 1, 2010

Coating Over Tung Oil
Once they're dry, tung oil finishes can be recoated with lacquer. November 12, 2006

Spray equipment for polyester coatings
Troubleshooting problems with internal mix polyester spray equipment. December 6, 2000

Paint Rub-Through for a Table Top
Thoughts on how to prep and undercoat for an opaque paint finish with some exposed wood. April 18, 2010

Cleaning Guns When Spraying Waterbornes
Hot soapy water, then alcohol or acetone for drying (and don't let it stand around). October 14, 2006

Sealing Cut MDF Edges
Three different approaches to sealing the cut edges of MDF panels, so finish coatings won't soak in. April 19, 2011

Eliminating Micro-Bubbles in Polyurethane when Spraying with an AAA Gun
A few tips on resolving a bubble problem in polyurethane finish when applying with an air-assisted airless spray setup. August 22, 2014

Heat Damage to a Shellac and Polyurethane Finish
Shellac has limited tolerance for heat. In this case, a laptop computer apparently damaged the shellac undercoat. April 17, 2010

Troubleshooting Paint Cracking on Door Frame Joints
It's hard to beat paint cracking if you build paint-grade doors out of wood. January 29, 2014

Post-Cat Material Flow Issues
Fluid temperature and tip size can make all the difference. September 16, 2008

Spray-Can Lacquer Finish
A craftsman shows off his wall unit, finished with lacquer from spray cans. Down side: it took 50 cans. October 2, 2005

Infra-Red Curing Setups
Basic advice on setting up infra-red heat lamps to speed finish curing in a small shop. April 9, 2007

Controlling Blotch in Birch Cabinet Doors
More thoughts on how to achieve even staining with troublesome woods like birch. June 28, 2006

Translating British Finishing Terms
What the heck does this British book mean by "white spirits" and "distemper"? Glad you asked, old chap. January 27, 2007

Taking a Red Undertone from Alder
Green is the opposite of red on the color wheel, but some fine fiddling with yellow and blue may be needed to balance out a too-red tone. September 26, 2013

Removing Excess Stain from Corners
Hand-work techniques for getting wiping stain out of cabinet corners. July 27, 2008

Finish Problems After Glue Clean-up
Washing off excess glue can alter the way wood accepts stain. Pros share some simple tips for preventing problems. June 27, 2005

Buffing to High Gloss
Tips on getting that high, mirror-like shine. August 9, 2005

Troubleshooting Sags When Spraying Alkyd Enamel
Tip size and spraying method may be at fault; here's advice on causes and cures for sagging paint finish on cabinets. May 23, 2007

Temperature-Related Problems with Conversion Varnish
Cross-linking finishes can suffer haze, flecking and other appearance problems if sprayed in an environment that lacks good temperature control. March 25, 2007

Suggestions for Opening Up Oak Pores
A finisher needs to create a deeper, more dramatic open look in the pores of Red Oak, and collects a few ideas. March 26, 2013

Water white lacquers
An industry expert highlights the differences between traditional and acrylic lacquers. February 12, 2001

Compressor Oil Leak
Tips for keeping oil in the hose, caused by a compressor problem, from contaminating guns and finishes. July 24, 2005

Spray Tip Sizes and Pre-Catalyzed Lacquers
Finishers discuss the uses of different tip sizes, and whether or not to thin lacquers when applying them. October 28, 2005

Lacquer over Urethane on Site
A builder gets advice for using a shellac inter-coat to isolate a lacquer top coat from already-applied urethane. October 28, 2008

Fixing a Sputtering HVLP Gun
A part replacement does the trick. January 27, 2007

Blending a Champagne Stain
Matching a popular color using the materials at hand

Troubleshooting Conversion Varnish Off-Gassing Odor
Formaldehyde or catalyst odor can draw customer complaints. July 26, 2010

Sanding in the Spray Booth
Tips for trouble-free sanding operations inside the spray area. July 11, 2005

Masking Between a Painted Exterior and a Natural Interior
Determining where to locate the transition between finished cabinet interiors and the exterior, and details of masking to isolate one from the other. December 6, 2011

Troubleshooting Tiny Hair-Like Fibers in the Finish
A finisher seeks advice eliminating contamination by small hair-like fibers. August 16, 2012

Spray Finishing an Assembled Lattice
Advice on finishing a lattice made of small slats, after assembly. February 13, 2006

Finishing door panels: before assembly? -- or after?
Should fears of wood movement after installation prompt pre-assembly finishing of door panels? July 18, 2000

Conversion Varnish Dust Problems
Imperfections in a CV finish could be caused by dust, air, or problems in the sealer coat. Here, pros suggest fixes for each. December 1, 2005

Enhancing natural colors of wood
Bringing out the reds and yellows in koa. October 24, 2001

Drying Rack Ideas
Ideas for shop-built racks for drying cabinet parts after spraying. November 12, 2006

Waterborne Finishes and the Fuzz
Water-based finishes can cause wood fibers to stand up, complicating the finishing and sanding sequence. October 14, 2006

Troubleshooting a Stalled AAA Pump
Coming to grips with a pump malfunction in an air-assisted airless spraygun rig (it was the magnet). January 12, 2015

A "Mahogany" Stain for Oak
You can match the color, but not the grain. October 2, 2005

Crackle lacquer: How-to
The basics for applying crackled lacquer finishes. March 26, 2000

Avoiding Drips and Runs with Water-Based Poly
Brief advice on how to brush-apply water-based poly to doors without creating drips at the lower edges. December 31, 2005

Keeping the Spraygun Tip Clean
Tips for a clean tip. May 21, 2009

Thinning Sealer for Tropical Woods
A finisher finds that thinning the sealer eliminates his bubble problem. January 18, 2011

Finishing Restaurant Tables
Official rules may override your customer's preference — and testing some samples might be a good idea. December 10, 2008

Troubleshooting Soft, Tacky Conversion Varnish
wrong catalyst. January 24, 2014

Whether to Spray Paint with an Air-Assisted Airless Gun
Cleaning an AAA after spraying oil-based paint through it can be a chore. September 29, 2014

Troubleshooting "Milky" Appearance in Finish
Diagnosis: the finisher missed the window for applying the topcoat. November 13, 2005

Finishing Carved Mahogany Doors
Techniques for staining and finishing intricately carved door panels. September 14, 2006

Primer Recommendations for Exterior Doors
Architectural woodworkers list their favorite exterior primers. March 12, 2014

Rounding Off Sharp Laminate Table Corners
A craftsman gets advice on softening the pointy corners on some pre-school furniture. July 18, 2008

Spray-Painting Shaker Doors
Advice on spraygun technique for painting doors laying flat. December 8, 2012

Grit Choice for Sanding
Grit selection may vary depending on wood type and finish formula class. April 19, 2006

Streaking with Spar Varnish Wipe-On Application
Advice on limiting visible streaks in wiped-on spar varnish finishes. June 28, 2010

Painting MDF for Entertainment Centers
Advice for a cabinetmaker on applying solid pigmented coatings to MDF. March 12, 2015

Is It Safe to Mix and Match Air-Assisted Airless Guns and Pumps?
Guns and pumps for an AAA setup don't have to come from the same vendor. February 21, 2011

Rotary Screw Compressor Advice
Finishers explain why they like rotary screw compressors: higher capacity and less noise. January 24, 2014

Clearing the Air Lines in an HVLP Spraygun
Tips on troubleshooting the airflow through an HLVP spraygun. March 3, 2010

What Customers Mean by "Natural"
When customers ask for a "natural" finish, they mean a simple sealer and clear top coat — no stain. April 30, 2006

Buying a new spray system
A discussion of preferred spray finishing systems. March 29, 2000

Bleaching Walnut
New and old school ways to bleach Walnut. June 4, 2012

De-Blushing Clear Lacquer
Simple advice for getting rid of blush in lacquer. January 14, 2008

Maple Toners and Finishing
Techniques and options. February 26, 2005

Controlling Stain Absorption on Poplar End Grain
Sanding and a sealer washcoat can help you fine-tune the way end grain takes up stain. June 28, 2013

Filling Gaps with Sawdust Mixes
The old "mix sawdust with glue" trick takes a beating here from skeptics — but there are other suggestions. October 1, 2010

Grit Selection for Sanding MDF
One school of thought holds that you can't sand MDF too fine, but that you can sand it too coarse. October 19, 2014

"Cow Tail" Antiquing
A "cow tail" brush and spatter technique is one tool in the antique finisher's kit. October 14, 2010

Cleaning Silicone Adhesive off Finished Wood
Silicone is hard to get off finished surfaces without damaging the finish. Here are some tips. February 15, 2009

Bleaching Anigre Veneer Panels
Finishers provide advice for lightening the color of a too-dark batch of anigre panels. November 25, 2005

Painting Melamine
Scuff sand and clean thoroughly, and paint should adhere well to melamine. March 29, 2006

Touching Up Knot Bleed-Through
Tips on sealing and re-tinting spots where knots have bled through a pigmented conversion varnish. February 12, 2010

Staining Oak Black with a White Grain
Called a "ceruse" or "pickled" finish, this look uses a black stain base, sealer, and a white glaze. March 1, 2006

Pouring Stain
Handy tips for dispensing paint and stain without drips or spills. June 17, 2009

Filling Torn Grain in Crotch Veneer
Advice on making an invisible repair to a torn veneer. May 18, 2010

Troubleshooting Thin Build at MDF Edges
Advice on improving coverage of MDF substrates, with a highly technical description of the way surface electrical charges affect the wet behavior of finishes. May 17, 2010

Affordable Sprayguns for Water-Based Paint
For occasional use, there are low-end rigs that will get the job done. December 29, 2008

Finishing Tricks for Edgebanding
or, how about this nifty drum rig? July 3, 2008

Keeping the Tip Clean
Pre-screening, good filtering, and periodic quick cleaning should keep that air-assisted airless spray tip shooting straight. July 24, 2006

Naugahyde Stuck to a Lacquer Tabletop
Who knew? August 30, 2005

Sanding Epoxy Inlay to a Gloss
When sanding an epoxy inlay fill with a fine grit, a woodworker worries about finish adhering to the adjacent wood. December 31, 2013

Nib Files for Dust Nubs
Quick tips on preventing, or removing, occasional dust nubs from finished pieces. March 9, 2010

Sprayer Type and Finish Quality
In expert hands, either HVLP or air-assisted spray guns can turn out premium work. The difference is really more about efficiency, economy, and equipment durability. October 28, 2005

Sealcoat Before Stain?
A discussion of whether dye stain should be the first or the second step in a finishing schedule. June 4, 2012

Spray booth lighting
Which type of bulb provides the best light for a spray booth? June 5, 2001

Are water-based finishes worth it?
An industry expert recounts users' experiences with, and motivations for, converting to water-based finishing products. 1998.

Minimizing Overspray when Spraying Cabinet Box Interiors
If you can't spray with the backs off, here are some other tips to reduce "bounce-back" of the overspray. December 8, 2006

What's sealed, what isn't?
Should all accessible surfaces of wood projects be sealed? July 26, 2000

Spray-Gun Choice for Latex
Tips on equipment suited for spraying latex paint. March 26, 2009

Avoiding Orange-Peel with Conversion Varnish
Advice on adding measured amounts of thinner to achieve a proper spray consistency and prevent orange peel. February 15, 2009

Testing a Corrective Toner Before Applying
Here's a slick trick for testing a toner to see if it will have the desired effect — before you spray it on and you're stuck with it. April 9, 2007

Tack Rags Versus Spray Dust Remover
Tips for dust removal between coats. August 3, 2009

Sealing Over Nitrocellulose on Existing Cabinets
Nothing beats shellac for sealing between coats. June 18, 2009

Black Finish to Match a Grand Piano
A furnituremaker gets tips on "ebonizing" a music stand to match a grand piano's black finish. August 22, 2005

Measuring and Mixing Catalyst
Tips and cautions for accurate mixing of catalyzed finishes. January 9, 2007

Bag Liners for Pressure Pots
Tip: You can line a pressure pot with a plastic trash bag. March 26, 2012

A Glossy Coating Over Milk Paint
A finisher has been asked to color-match some milk-painted pieces, but with a glossy finish. Pros consider the feasibility of using conversion varnish or clear acrylic over milk paint. December 15, 2005

Dripping HVLP gun
Troubleshooting a dripping spray gun. March 29, 2000

Buffing to a High Gloss
Advice on a progression of fine grits and buffing compounds to achieve a glasslike glossy finish. November 15, 2011

Spraying Face Frames in Upright Position
To minimize runs when spraying onto vertical surfaces, start with a fine mist coat. April 20, 2011

Wood Patch to Match Black Walnut
Thoughts on how to make a durable wood patch formula dark enough to match Black Walnut. February 26, 2007

Deep Black Hole Filler Ideas
Suggestions for filling pin-nail holes in a pre-finished black moulding. December 10, 2007

Finishes for Curly Maple
Finishers offer a few custom finish approaches for curly or quilted maple. January 14, 2009

Outdoor Furniture Finish
All finishes are temporary in outdoor exposures. But here are some suggestions for the more durable alternatives. September 18, 2012

Solvent Recyclers
A quick look at the practicality of equipment that reclaims cleaning solvents after use. February 15, 2009

Staining Exterior Wood Siding
Tips on picking a finish and predicting performance. June 28, 2006

Tung Oil Versus Bar Top Sealer
It's labor-intensive, but Tung oil can rival an epoxy bar finish for toughness and water protection. July 11, 2009

Solvents for Tack-Cloth Cleaning
Naphtha, denatured alcohol, acetone — what picks up dust best without attacking the finish? July 4, 2005

Shellac and Lacquer On Rosewood
One finisher's S.O.P. for finishing Rosewood. May 21, 2009

Oxalic Acid and Iron Stains
The best use of oxalic acid is in countering iron stains caused by metal contact with natural wood tannins. June 17, 2010

Adhesion Problems with a Post-Catalyzed Clear Conversion Varnish
Even a reliable and user-friendly CV may have trouble under some conditions. March 13, 2014

Tip Sizes for Mini Spray Guns
A few observations on spray-gun tip size equivalancies (it's the viscosity that most affects nozzle choice). December 15, 2005

Piebald Crackle Tips and Tricks
Creating a crackle finish with large bare areas. April 30, 2009

Cleaning Up a Shellac Spot
How to level out an accidental drip of shellac sealer. February 19, 2006

Turning Pure White Lacquer Off-White
Use pigment colorants, not dyes. September 16, 2008

Staining Maple
More tips on getting Maple to accept a dark stain. May 17, 2005

Finish Room - Coating a Finish-Room Floor
Epoxy is an option, but so is fire-retardant reinforced paper. January 25, 2013

Wiping Stain Rags
Finishers tell what material they prefer for rags, and why. October 26, 2005

Stacking Painted Items
What can you layer between painted items in a stack to keep them from sticking together in shipment or storage? June 8, 2011

Cleaning Equipment when Switching Between Solvent-Based and Waterborne Coatings
How to clean and flush when going from water-based to solvent-based formulas (and vice versa). January 27, 2007

Gel Finish for Kitchen Cabinets
Gel stain is one thing, gel polyurethane topcoast is something else. But both may be suitable in different ways. February 12, 2009

Kremlin Air Pump Teardown and Rebuild
Detailed advice and a video link for taking apart and rebuilding the Kremlin 10:14 pump. June 28, 2013

Wormhole Distressing
Finishers wander through a wormhole and end up in a distressing discussion in a parallel Norwegian universe. April 16, 2010

Glossy Finish for an MDF and Wood Veneer Table
Finishers recommend a two-part polyurethane, available as tinted or clear. February 21, 2011

Custom Mixing a Warm Gray Color
Gray is made by mixing complementary colors, and there is more than one way to get there. September 5, 2010

Primers for Signboard
Synthetic sign-board materials tend to soak up the paint and get blotchy. Here are some suggestions for a practical primer. June 8, 2008

A Compatible Glaze for a Cherry Cabinet
Experienced hands suggest burnt umber or burnt siena as tones that won't fight with cherry's complex natural hues. December 15, 2005

Eliminating Fish Tails in Finish
A beginner gets advice on tip choice and fluid and air pressure settings to help optimize his spray pattern. June 18, 2013

Adding White Colorant to Clear Base
It's hard to get good hiding and coverage with white coatings that you mix yourself from colorants and clear bases. September 10, 2007

ICA CNA stains aren't all bad
A review from someone who's tried them. January 16, 2002

Achieving an "Espresso" Finish
Tips on sneaking up on a dark brown "black coffee" look. December 2, 2009

Getting Good Coverage in a Shader Coat
Tweaking the material flow and concentration in the wide fan pattern helps solve a problem of inconsistent coverage. August 16, 2012

Water-Mark Stain Distressing
Suggested ways to imitate the look of antique water stains in new work. March 29, 2008

Wiping Stain on Maple
Pros discuss ways to get consistent color using a wiping stain on maple furniture. October 27, 2005

Yellowing Problem in White Paint over Meranti Wood
To keep pigments in the wood from yellowing a water-based paint finish, pros recommend a sealing primer. November 25, 2005

Stearated Sand Paper
Some experts have concluded that new types of stearated sandpaper no longer cause fisheye with water-based finishes, but not everyone is convinced. January 27, 2008

Cleaning Stain off an Oak Door
A customer changed her mind about the stain before the topcoat was applied. What to do? July 11, 2009

Troubleshooting a Leaky Spraygun Tip
There are several reasons why that gun might drool a little. December 10, 2007

Hole Filling and Touch-Up for Lacquer-Based Solid Color Finishes
Advice on filling nail holes and joints in a lacquer "paint" finish. August 31, 2009

Touch-Up Sanding of Shiny Spots in Lacquer
Advice on using abrasives to even out the sheen of finished wood. April 18, 2015

Clear Coat over Formica
Finishers report that spray coatings adhere well to Formica. February 12, 2010

Measuring finish thickness
How can you measure the mils of your applied finish? November 7, 2001

Sanding with Abranet
Fine points of using Abranet sanding screens. March 28, 2012

Colorants: What's What?
Quick description of 824, 844, UTC, and Japan colorants, with tips on what they're good for. July 29, 2007

Spray booth filters
Assessing the effectiveness of spray booth filters and spray fume removal systems. August 23, 2000

Historic Ship Finish Coatings and Treatments
How did they finish wooden ships, back in the age of sail? A Woodweb member has the answer. September 8, 2014

System for Spraying Balusters
Three ways to hang or prop balusters so that they can be finished on all faces before installation. April 19, 2006

Spray-Painting Beaded Face Frames
Suggested techniques for getting good coating coverage inside the narrow recesses of a beaded profile. March 29, 2008

Preventing the Grain-Raising Effect of Waterbased Pigmented Primers
Water-based formulas cause wood grain to swell. Here are a few suggested remedies. December 1, 2005

Topcoat adhesion over pigment stain
A coat of dye stain under a heavily pigmented stain can help assure good topcoat adhesion. 1998.

Sanding MDF Before Finishing
A fine grit is best with MDF because of the material's fine, fuzzy fibers. February 27, 2015

Black Coating for a Small Job
Suggestions for achieving a deep black finish without having to buy full quantities of expensive products. June 18, 2013

Safe Finishes for Toy Blocks
What's a practical finish for childrens' wooden blocks? December 9, 2010

Sealing architectural doors properly
Why linseed oil does not meet manufacturer's warranty requirements for sealing architectural doors. 1998.

Cleaning Surface Before Spraying
Silicone-free and wax-free furniture polish can pick up dust and kill static. June 28, 2006

An Appropriate Finish for Slate
Wood finishes won't work well with stone. Instead, use a stone sealer. June 10, 2006

Rub-Through Distressed Solid Finish Ideas
Antiqued rub-through furniture finishes are more art than science. Here are two takes on getting it done. March 9, 2010

Protecting Lacquered MDF Tops
Give lacquer finishes a little extra time to cure before trying to wrap and ship pieces. June 28, 2007

Recommended stains
Participants give their preferences when it comes to stain suppliers. March 24, 2000

Cutting board finish
Is there any way to add color to a maple cutting board? January 16, 2002

Compatibility Between Oil-Based Paints and Vinyl Sealers
Pros discuss how to properly seal and top-coat a brush-applied oil-based faux finish — or whether to switch to latex paint instead. December 1, 2005

A Black Finish on Furniture
Black paint can be added to most water-based finishes. Here are a few tips on formulas and application. November 13, 2005

Tooling Caulked Joints
Tips on achieving a clean caulk line. April 30, 2006

Refillable Glazing Pen?
A discussion of glazing pens, flow pencils, and similar technology for laying down narrow lines of finish formulas. February 21, 2011

Maintaining Even Pressure in Spray Equipment
Tips on minimizing pressure fluctuations in pressure-pot spray setups. August 30, 2007

Leaving Finish in a Pressure Pot: How Long?
Is it safe to leave paint or lacquer in a spray setup overnight? September 3, 2011

Appropriate HVLP Spray Gun for Waterborne Acrylic Enamel
Recommendations on spraygun choice, thinning, and more. November 25, 2008

Sealing MDF Door Edges
Problem: the rounded-over MDF edges of maple-veneer-faced are sucking in too much stain. Solution: edge sealing with gesso or shellac. March 29, 2006

Spraying of Satin Polyurethane
Application techniques to avoid runs or streaks and achieve a deep finish. February 12, 2010

Stain-Blocking Primer Tips
Advice on a sealing prime coat for maple casework. January 13, 2006

Fuming Tips and Tricks
Fuming to bleach wood is more art than science. August 29, 2005

Conversion Varnish as Primer Under Paint
Will a CV prime coat be compatible with latex paint? In this thread, pros advise against it. October 8, 2005

White finishes
Recommended finishing systems for achieving white, off-white and pickled finishes. February 12, 2001

Sanding Between Coats of Conversion Varnish
How to select the most effective grit for prep sanding of CV between coats. July 3, 2008

Chemistry of Polyurethane Finishes
Amaze your friends and relations with your grasp of polyurethane chemical structure, after reading this thread. January 14, 2008

Repairing White Discoloration on a Lacquered Table
How to get rid of milky-white spots on a lacquer finish. April 17, 2009

Tinting Water-Based Finishes
Adding dye to a water-based finish is simple, and gives nice results. December 1, 2005

White Flecks in the Pores Under Tung Oil
Filling the pores before finishing is a good preventative; tinted wax can be a workable fix. January 18, 2011

Custom Paint for Cabinets
Matching paint or stain colors using a waterborne conversion varnish isn't a big deal, but it's typical to apply an up-charge. December 6, 2011

Characteristics of Kingwood
Expensive, prone to movement, and maybe allergenic — but it sure is beautiful. March 12, 2006

Hand Application of Waterborne Finishes
Advice on choosing an applicator for waterbornes. September 18, 2014

Dealing with Pitch Pockets
Here's a nice handful of workable methods for preventing bleed-through of pitch from pitch pockets in softwood lumber. January 8, 2010

Cleaning Pressure Pot and Hoses with Waterbornes
Cleaning waterbornes out of lines requires specialized products. September 3, 2011

Options for a Glass-Like Finish
Finishers suggest products that will supply a deep, high-gloss finish. September 11, 2006

Protecting Door Backs when Glazing the Fronts
Advice on keeping smudges off the backs of doors when glazing. October 20, 2013

Making painted desk tops durable
Creating tough surfaces for office furniture. October 31, 2000

Filling Oak Pores
Tips on prepping Oak to achieve a finish that is smooth to the touch. October 13, 2008

Cleaning the Ballcheck on a Spray Pump
A fouled ballcheck valve can keep your pump from working properly. December 29, 2008

Re-Coat Windows for Catalyzed Coatings
Don't wait too long to apply later coats, or your finishes may delaminate.February 21, 2011

Canister and Gun Setup for Contact Adhesive Spray Application
It's almost too easy. September 30, 2009

Best stain for cherry?
Recommendations from visitors on the best processes and products for staining cherry. March 28, 2000

Best Wood for Paint Grade Cabinetry
Cabinetmakers discuss the relative merits of Soft Maple and Poplar for paint grade work. September 8, 2008

Pre-Conditioning with a Washcoat
A thinned-down version of your topcoat stain serves as an effective wood conditioner before staining. October 26, 2005

Changing out Air Caps, Needles, and Nozzles on HVLP Sprayers
Usually all three parts are swapped out at once, but sometimes it makes sense to mix and match. August 8, 2008

Solvent Cleaners for Spray Guns
Be careful, or these strong solvents will eat your seals. December 9, 2008

Repairing Polyester
Fixing a scratched polyester finish is a tricky job, and may call for an expert. August 30, 2005

Pink Stain in White Ash
Pink fungal staining is tough to bleach out, and may be allergenic. March 9, 2010

Cracking with Water-Borne Clear Over Milk Paint
Hard clear coatings over softer color coats can be problematic. June 9, 2007

Cleaning Up Stripped Doors
A paint-thinner fix for glossy spots on stripped and refinished doors. January 2, 2012

Simulated Goat Skin Finish
remember the '80s?)June 18, 2013

How to price contract finishing
How to determine a baseline cost for a long-term finishing contract. January 24, 2001

Finishing Restaurant Table Tops
A tough finish, and a cure time before cleaning staff are allowed to attack, are the recommendations. April 19, 2011

Bubbles in Brushed-On Varnish
Brushes sometimes add air bubbles to varnish. Here are tips on preventing it. August 21, 2006

Sources for Cheese Cloth Rags
There are a lot of places to get cheese cloth. May 15, 2008

Measuring Thinners and Catalysts
Old pros share several ways to measure proportions when mixing finishes. October 28, 2005

Touching up waterborne finishes
Things to consider when repairing waterborne topcoats. 1998.

Flatting Agent to Reduce Sheen
If you need flat-sheen finish occasionally, but not in quantities that make it worth keeping on hand, you can keep some flatting agent around instead to add when necessary. February 23, 2008

Replicating a Sam Maloof Varnish
How to mix your own formula to obtain that "warm glow" finish look. January 24, 2010

Air-assisted airless: What is it?
A primer on air-assisted airless finishing and how it works. August 10, 2000

Matching a Deep Brown Finish
Suggestions for matching a finish in a photo — something between dark chocolate and eggplant. June 21, 2012

Catalyst Shelf Life
If you have to ask, your catalyst is probably expired. June 29, 2009

Filling Knots and Cracks in Alder
Ways to deal with the surface roughness of this rustic-appearing wood. February 19, 2006

Cleaning and Storing Sprayguns and Lines after Spraying Waterborne Finishes
Advice on cleaning and storing spray equipment. September 26, 2013

Anti-Crack Tips for Sandpaper
Ways to keep sandpaper from cracking when you fold it. October 26, 2007

"White-Leaded" or "Ceruse" Finish on Oak
Quick explanation of this finish, which is white in the grain and natural on the surface. November 25, 2008

Finger Joint Telegraphing
Given time, finger joints in lumber will show up through almost any finish. November 12, 2006

Painting MDF Letters
A nail bed or a chicken-wire frame is good for supporting small pieces to be sprayed. October 1, 2010

Clear Coating Polished Aluminum
Several suggestions for a water-clear finish on exterior metal hardware. September 3, 2011

Viscosity testing
The benefits of checking fluid consistency as part of the finishing process. October 2, 2001

Outdoor Bar-Top Epoxy
Can any bar finish stand up to outdoor weather and rough treatment? April 16, 2010

Rounding Tenons
Thoughts on rounding over the corners of tenons to fit into bored mortises. November 11, 2008

Fixing a Too-Orange Finish
Carefully toning that orange with some blue should bring it back to an acceptable brown, say the pros. December 30, 2005

Reducing the Gloss of Finished Cabinets
Tips on rubbing or sanding methods for intentionally dulling a cabinet finish. January 4, 2014

Touch-Up and Refinishing Classes
Where to get instruction that can improve your touch-up skills. November 5, 2013

Panel Drying Racks
Advice on commercially made and shop-built rack systems for drying door panels after finishing. July 18, 2013

Finishing Wood Window Blinds
curing a wavy finish in a flat line finishing system - March 17, 2000

Matching Veneer to Solid Wood Surroundings
Advice for applying veneer to MDF and finishing it to match the European steamed Beech already installed in the room. January 3, 2012

Spray Room Radiant Heat and Makeup Air
Radiant heat is nice, but a spray room still requires conditioned makeup air to balance the exhaust. January 8, 2010

Wood Finish for a Hot Tub Surround
Finishers offer coating suggestions for woodwork next to a hot tub, where steam and hot water are constant stress factors. March 9, 2010

Tinting Linseed Oil
Oil based colorants, or just oil paint, are easy to add to linseed oil for color. October 15, 2009

Spraying Face Frames
Quick hints on spraygun handling techniques to achieve an even coating on face frames. March 29, 2008

Ebony Clear Finish for a Wood Bath Vanity Top
Suitable wood finishes for a moisture-tolerant, deep, clear black. August 15, 2006

Accelerating Oil-Based Enamel Curing
Is there any way to shorten the drying time of oil base enamel? March 29, 2008

Variable Frequency Drive Controls for a Spray Booth Exhaust Fan
Finishers report satisfactory results from controls to slow the spray booth exhaust fan when appropriate. November 24, 2008

Film Buildup on Glassware in a Cabinet Finished with Pre-Cat
It's not the finish — it's soap and water buildup from wet glassware, caused by the finish being vapor-tight. December 6, 2011

Uneven topcoating over dye stain
A primer on the proper preparation and application of dye stains. March 31, 2000

Establishing the Recoat Window for Pre-Cat Finishes
A lacquer thinner test could help you establish how much time can elapse between coats before you need to sand for good adhesion. April 10, 2008

A finish for outdoor furniture
A brief look at finish options for outdoor furniture. March 22, 2000

Preventing Glaze Cracking Problems
Troubleshooting a situation where glaze coats crack in the corners of doors. April 9, 2007

A Clear Coating for Purpleheart
Advice on a clear coating that won't darken purpleheart. February 19, 2006

Finishing Teak Furniture
A discussion of finish methods that can deal with the naturally oily character of Teak. July 16, 2008

Alternatives to Red Lead
In a fire repair job, a finisher wishes he had some "red lead" pigment (currently banned). He gets advice on a workaround. March 13, 2009

What is "fuming"?
Explanations of the process of fuming wood for color. April 11, 2001

Success with Black Stain
Pros provide tips for staining wood a deep, dark black without purple overtones. July 12, 2005

Glue Lines in Veneer
The veneer manufacturer should detect and eliminate glue lines; at the finishing stage, they are hard to deal with. March 26, 2010

A Slice of Finishing Shop History
Feeling creative, a woodworker takes a cross-section of the two-inch layer of residue on his finishing table after years of accumulation of overspray. The result is art. April 13, 2012

Glue Reacting with Cherry
A Cherry table shows witness lines at the glue joints. The culprit: a reaction between the wood and the glue. November 13, 2005

Clear Finish Over Milk Paint
Many clear coatings will work, and protect against staining. July 7, 2005

Glue Size Sources
Looking for a washcoat? You can buy glue size pre-mixed, buy your own, or use something else (like shellac). July 29, 2007

Preserving Leftover Catalyst
How to prolong the shelf life of unused catalyst for catalyzed finishes. March 12, 2006

Teak Stain on White Oak
You can stain Oak for a color match to Teak, but the grain patterns are totally different. October 28, 2008

Polyurethane Versus Catalyzed Finish for Residential Trim
Finishers sound off on the benefits of the catalyzed product. June 28, 2006

Quick-drying wood stains
Wood stains which dry fast and foster good grain definition. February 12, 2001

Toning and Shading with Water-Borne Finishes
Quick tips on toning and shading. December 8, 2006

Tung-Oil Varnish over Shellac
You can apply oil-based varnish over shellac, but you don't need both — just pick one or the other. May 7, 2007

Applying Tung Oil
A great Tung oil finish takes hand labor for rubbing in multiple coats. March 4, 2009

Tinting Tung Oil with Sawdust
A finisher tells how he gives tung oil a natural red-cedar tint. November 13, 2005

White lines on RP doors
Preventing white lines at the panel/frame joint on pre-assembled, raised-panel doors. March 20, 2001

Humidity and Conversion Varnish Cure Time
Dehumidifying, air-conditioning, or heat drying can speed CV cure times during muggy weather. October 26, 2005

Staining Basswood Trim with Water-Based Finishes
Finishers discuss how to deal with grain raise and consider compatibility issues with stains and topcoats. December 15, 2005

Removing Overspray from Eyeglasses
It's all clear to me now ... January 21, 2010

Waterborne Finishes Swelling MDF
Some, but not all, waterborne finishes cause troublesome swelling in MDF surface fibers. January 2, 2012

Ambient Temperatures and Pre-Catalyzed Finishes
How cool is too cool when applying pre-catalyzed finishes? April 30, 2006

Fixing Lacquer Drips
Drips and runs in a lacquer finish can be shaved or sanded down. June 30, 2007

Kremlin pumps
Forum visitors give their views of Kremlin pumps for spray finishing. March 24, 2000

Troubleshooting "Craters" in Latex Acrylic
Finishers suggest possible causes for a cratering problem with sprayed latex acrylic. October 25, 2006

Correcting Lacquer Blush with Thinner and Retarder
A thin misting of thinner and retarder can sometimes fix blushing and minor blemishes. December 1, 2005

Finishing Forum -- Comparing Pre-Catalyzed and Conversion Varnishes
Pros and cons of pre-cat versus CV, in a nutshell. January 13, 2006

Removing Imperfectly Hardened Epoxy
A brief account of how ugly things can get when an epoxy coating for a tabletop fails to harden and must be removed. November 8, 2007

Nylon Stocking Spray-Gun Filter Tip
A piece of nylon stocking works better than a store-bought filter for straining finishes in an HVLP cup gun. September 11, 2006

Thoughts on heated spray systems
Adding heaters for better performance in a lacquer spray setup. December 12, 2000

Stuck Gravity Cup Lid
Tips for loosening stuck cup lids. April 20, 2011

Metal Dye Container Leakage
Apparently some dye formulas eat through some metal cans, causing leaks. March 13, 2009

Air Pressure Settings for HVLP guns
Set the pressure regulator with the trigger pulled, is the rule. December 15, 2005

Gun Choice for a Turbine Sprayer
How to pick a gun that will work with a turbine setup. March 29, 2006

Conversion Varnish Compatibility Issues
Will conversion varnish play nicely with paints and glazes? Here are a few basic tips. March 12, 2006

Explosion proof lighting
What type of lights should be used in your spray booth? May 19, 2003

Prepping Old Hand-Hewn Beams
Thoughts on how to clean and restore old timbers before applying a fresh finish. March 29, 2006

Grain Filler for Painting Red Oak
How to fill open wood pores to get a smooth paint topcoat. July 17, 2008

"Metal Flake" Finish Tips
Advice on using automotive sparkle finish products for specialty woodwork items. August 30, 2005

Antique Finish for Natural Pine
Finishers share ideas for creating this effect. February 26, 2005

Maple Turning Pink
Maple sometimes takes on an unwanted pink hue. Here, pros discuss why. December 31, 2005

Waterborne finishes vs. nitrocellulose lacquers
Woody Sanders compares and contrasts traditional and waterborne lacquers. February 12, 2001

Toning Heart Pine Away from Orange towards Yellow
A basic example of using color-wheel knowledge to choose a tinting strategy. July 26, 2010

Painting Over Mixed Substrates
Mixing wood and MDF, and don't want wood grain showing through paint? Use a wood like Maple. April 6, 2007

Waterborne Poly Versus Waterborne Lacquer
Waterborne polyurethane and waterborne lacquer resemble each other more than they resemble any solventborne finish. May 18, 2010

Variations in Glaze Behavior
Glaze may wipe off solid wood face frames and plywood end panels differently, because of the different ways the two materials absorb the base coat. May 11, 2006

Polyester topcoat for automotive trim
Polyester topcoats: Best left to the experts? April 17, 2000

Semi-Gloss Over Flat Finish Coats
The last coat's reflective characteristics are what determines sheen. January 29, 2009

Electrostatic finishing of wood products
An overview of the uses of electrostatic spray technology in the wood industry. 1998.

Finishing maple and birch
Maple and birch are notorious for not taking stains evenly. Here are tips for achieving color uniformity in these popular, durable woods.1998.

Tung Oil over Wax
Uh-oh, blotchy spots! A thorough cleaning with mineral spirits should fix it — then, apply either wax or oil, but not both. October 28, 2005

Troubleshooting Caulk Discoloration
What could be making caulk at the backsplash joint of a new laminate countertop turn pink? July 18, 2008

Clear-Coat Over Vinyl Decal
Advice on how to apply and coat a decal on a wood table top. May 20, 2011

Eliminating Sanding Swirls in Waterborne Lacquer
Sanding issues could explain those swirl marks, but in this case, a second coat fixed it. January 19, 2012

Clear Auto Finish for Exterior Wood?
Will an auto finishing product work on an outdoor wood project? Most finishers in this thread say not. June 28, 2005

Masking Off an Unstained Area
How to keep stain from bleeding onto an adjacent area. March 9, 2006

Removing Paint Overspray from Lacquer Finishes
A light buffing with a fine abrasive will take paint overspray off lacquer. July 24, 2006

Troubleshooting a "Skipping" Pump
When the fluid pump in an air-assisted airless rig loses pressure intermittently, clean out the ball check valve. July 27, 2008

Tinting Caulk to Match Dye Stained Wood
Advice on doctoring a tube of caulk, and a commercial source for the same thing. July 16, 2012

Primer Color Under Red Topcoat on MDF
Dark gray is a good primer color under red. Here are tips on how to get that. June 8, 2008

Water Resistance of Wipe-On Polyurethane Finishes
With enough coats, wipe-on poly products can provide good moisture protection. March 12, 2006

Shop Heat and Finishing Quality
There are important reasons to keep your spraying area warm in winter. April 27, 2007

Consistent Tint with a Waterbased Stain
A finisher struggles with shade variations on a set of oak doors. Colleagues suggest ways to solve the problem. August 9, 2005

Spraygun Air Pressure Basics
How to match your compressor to your gun and set the proper pressure. February 17, 2014

Sealing Ultralight MDF Shop Jigs
Ideas for quick sealing of MDF. January 14, 2009

Polyurethane Bubble Trouble
A milky cast and bubbles in a poly finish probably mean the catalyst is old, and there's too much moisture. October 25, 2006

Water-based lacquer for small shops
Things small shops should consider when switching to water-based lacquers. 1998.

Dipping Lacquer
A little basic info on the dipping method for lacquer application. December 30, 2005

Managing Static Dust when Spraying Finish
Suggestions for reducing dust contamination of surfaces being sprayed. April 19, 2011

Troubleshooting Pin Holes in Lacquer
Advice on adjusting application techniques to avoid the formation of pin holes in the finish. April 17, 2010

Finishing Edgebanding
Thoughts on how to finish edgebanding, before or after application to prefinished panels. November 25, 2008

Rubbing out Spar Varnish
Like interior varnishes, spar varnish rubs and buffs to a gloss — but there are some things to keep in mind. December 1, 2005

Using Wax to Darken Tone?
Wax instead of toner to fix a few too-light doors? Well ... maybe not. August 16, 2012

Fumed oak finish
A tip, a trick and some suggested reading on the subject of fumed oak finishes. January 24, 2001

Sealing MDF Edges for a Clear Finish
How to seal the porous edges of MDF panels prior to applying a clear finish. March 9, 2008

What is Crawling?
Here's a description and photo of the finish defect called "crawling" (caused by surface contamination or incorrect prep).May 30, 2011

Spraying Black Gloss Lacquer on MDF
Good priming and pore filling are important. October 13, 2008

Preserving Two-Part Polyurethane Catalyst in Storage
Moisture degrades 2K poly catalyst. Here's advice on storing it. March 12, 2015

Adapting an Airless Pump for Use with an AAA Gun
A pump made for use with airless sprayguns can work with an air-assisted airless gun, but with some limitations. January 18, 2011

Finishing MDF Doors
Urethane-based paint versus pigmented lacquer for paint-grade doors. August 9, 2004

Tung Oil Finish on Ebony Veneer
Thin veneer presents limitations for oil finishes. December 10, 2008

HVLP Pressure-Pot Spray Hose Arrangements
Ideas about how to make spraygun hose setups less cumbersome. December 28, 2007

Adding Color to Clear Finishes
You can add small amounts of colorant to clear pre-catalyzed varnish to create a toner. April 17, 2010

Labeling Solvent Wash Bottles
Magic marker washes off, obviously. What kind of label stands up to strong solvents? March 16, 2015

Finishing in Hot Weather -- Hot Weather and Fishing: Yes! - Hot Weather and Finishing: Yuck!
How to get the best finish in hot weather conditions - March 17, 2000

Fixing Runs in Conversion Varnish
Tips on using a razor blade to clean up runs in the finish. April 17, 2010

Gun Clogs when Spraying Shellac Primer
It's the nature of the beast, but thinning helps somewhat. September 16, 2008

Finishing Zebra Wood
One finisher's experience with applying finish to Zebrawood cabinets and turnings. January 27, 2008

Wood Finish for Wet Sinks
What the heck do people use for a finish on a wood sink or bathtub? April 19, 2011

Ways to Get a Glossy Black Finish
Suggested products and methods for a black gloss finish, without a whole lot of buffing. March 12, 2006

Cleaning a Leaky HVLP Gun
Air bubbles leaking into the cup indicate the need for a thorough cleaning. September 11, 2006

Re-Padding a Vibrating Sander
Tip: leather works well as a replacement pad for an old-school pad sander. March 13, 2009

Cleaning a Pressure Pot
A routine for rinsing out a pressure pot and spraygun with solvent. April 18, 2015

Rubbing out water-borne lacquer
Tips for rubbing out water-based topcoats. March 16, 2000

Spraying Latex Paint
The basics of spraying latex paint with an HVLP spraygun. February 19, 2006

Touching Up a Wrinkled Spot
A light sanding, dust coats and a wet coat does the trick. November 15, 2011

Polyester Durability
Polyester is hard, but correspondingly brittle. There are trade-offs involved in the real world of hard knocks. January 27, 2008

Scratch-Free Rub-Through Finish
Tips on sanding through a paint finish without scratching, for an antique look. January 13, 2006

Reducing Contrast of Beech Boards
Tips for getting a more even color when finishing Beech wood. June 30, 2007

Spray Pattern Preferences
One pass or two? June 18, 2010

Finishing naturally oily woods
How to finish woods with high natural oil contents. 1998.

Dye Coverage and Oak Pores
Oak pores sometimes do not take stain or dye well. Here's some advice. December 6, 2011

Sealing Wooden Signs
How to seal over natural wood and painted lettering on an outdoor sign. September 26, 2013

Clear Finish Color Correction
Misting with purple successfully turns an ugly yellow finish to a rich brown tone. November 25, 2005

Sealing over an Artist's Acrylic Paint
Advice on clear-coating furniture after it has been hand painted with art paint. October 19, 2013

Restoring a Sauna
Bleaching and oiling to clean and rejuvenate the cedar in a sauna. November 15, 2011

The importance of balanced finishes
or in this case, do unto one side of your project what you did to the other. 1998.

Ways to Minimize Grain Raising
Sand after wetting, or seal with shellac before finishing. January 13, 2006

Qualifications for finishers
Make sure the finisher you are hiring is capable of doing quality work. March 20, 2001

Grain Filling for Mahogany
Two choices: grain filler, or high-solids poly. February 12, 2010

Finishing the Underside of Furniture
Sealing and finishing table tops on both faces helps prevent seasonal warping and cupping. January 18, 2011

The Trouble with Glazes
Recommendations and discussion about the tricky aspects of using glazes under different topcoats. July 11, 2005

Conversion Varnish Application Basics
A first-timer gets tips on applying conversion varnish, compared to the nitrocellulose laquer he's used to. December 1, 2005

Tung Oil for Quilt Racks?
Will tung oil come off on cloth? It's a risk. October 26, 2007

Does Lacquer "Burn in" to Shellac?
Shellac and lacquer melt together when applied in layers. January 9, 2007

Pressure Feed Setups
A visual guide to spraygun air-supply configuration, from the folks at Spray Gun World. February 10, 2007

Spray Equipment for Waterborne Top Coats
Advice on cleaning guns and lines when switching between solvent-borne and water-borne finish formulas. February 15, 2009

Polyurethane Finish over Oil-Based Paint
It works well, but be aware of the re-coat window. March 9, 2006

Heavy Build Epoxy Finish with Flat Sheen
Methods for getting a flat sheen on a bar top. June 4, 2012

Chemically "aging" cherry
Tips and cautions for using chemicals to quickly achieve the richer colors certain woods attain with age. 1998.

Correcting Overspray
Finishers discuss how to smooth the rough surface caused by slight overspray. December 15, 2005

Variations on linseed oil
How can linseed oil be altered? Let us count the ways... August 23, 2000

Target brand finishes
Making the switch to water-based finishes and finding the appropriate stains to use with them. January 16, 2001

Options for a High Gloss Opaque White Finish
Thoughts on how to create a durable glossy white finish. June 18, 2013

Positive tints
Some ideas for controlling color intensity and depth in stained finishes. 1998.

Refinishing Lacquered Maple
The basics of stripping and refinishing a lacquered maple cabinet. December 31, 2005

UV-cured finishes
A look at UV-cured finishes over water-based stains. 1998.

Soaking Spraygun Tips Overnight
Pros recommend soaking the spray tips (but not the air tips or gun) of air-assisted airless spray equipment. December 8, 2006

Filling Grain on Finished Furniture
Advice on prepping finished furniture pieces before applying a gloss lacquer topcoat. February 12, 2010

Finishing an Outdoor Sign
Penetrating epoxy sealer makes a good first coat under marine varnishes. July 15, 2014

Bee Propolis Wood Finish Formulas
Advice on mixing up an unusual recipe — varnish made with bee propolis resins. August 24, 2008

Wavy Results when Sanding Pine
Alternating hard and soft grain structure in pine can cause waves to form from sanding — that's why you use a hard sanding block. July 29, 2007

Eliminating Shadow Lines Inside Door Panel Crevices
Lower the gun pressure to reduce spray turbulence. July 9, 2005

Color Standards When Finishing
Use a color standard or guide panel to acheive consistent results

Aging and Bleaching Walnut
Quick tip on giving Walnut a driftwood-gray aged appearance while preserving the grain. November 29, 2014

When to Apply Glaze
Finishers share their procedures. February 26, 2005

When You Forget the Catalyst
What to do if you forget to add catalyst to your post-cat primer. June 17, 2009

Rubbing Out Overspray
Abrasive material choices for polishing a rough finish. April 30, 2006

Nice Build with Conversion Varnish
Quick application tip for conversion varnish finishes. July 14, 2010

Polishing a pre-cat lacquer topcoat
Ideas on products to use as mediums in rubbing out lacquer finishes. October 11, 2000

Sealing Pine Resin and Sap
Here's a tip for chemical surface treatment to harden sap and resin, preventing or reducing bleed-through. May 18, 2010

Caulking Painted Cabinets: When?
Finishers discuss the sequence of priming, caulking, and painting cabinets. August 27, 2012

Drying racks for doors
Different racks for drying doors and drawer fronts after spraying. July 3, 2001

The best bar top finish
What's the best finish for high-use areas like bar tops? March 26, 2000

CV over Milk Paint?
Finishers discuss topcoating so-called "milk paint" with modern clear coatings. October 1, 2010

Clay Bar for Overspray Removal
Clay bar products work well for taking overspray off, but be careful — you could alter the sheen. July 3, 2008

Polyester primer primer
Some primary information on primer of the polyester persuasion. April 4, 2000

Flushing Waterbornes from Spraygun Lines
Quick tips for clearing finish out of your spray lines so they won't harden up on you. May 17, 2010

Clouding Problem with Wax on Fresh Polyurethane
A finisher gets help figuring out why a freshly polyurethaned and waxed piece has turned cloudy. March 29, 2006

NGR Color Shift Caused by Stain Coats
A sealer between the dye coat and the stain coat will help keep NGR dyes from changing color on you. April 10, 2008

Silicone Oil Additives with Conversion Varnish
Thoughts on the compatibility of silicone smoothing additives with various finish types. June 7, 2011

Working with "Green" Wipe-On Oil Finishes
Tung oil is environmentally friendly in its own way, but drying times can be a problematic issue. July 3, 2008

Cleaning Wax off a Glossy Table Top Finish
Tips on how to remove wax before re-finishing. September 30, 2009

Making Gray Paint Using Tint Concentrates
A finisher in a hurry gets advice on whipping up a quick batch of gray paint to match the plastic edgebanding he has. October 19, 2014

Naphtha for Reducing CV in Hot Weather
Off the shelf standard naphtha isn't what you're looking for — you want "naphtha 150". January 19, 2012

Troubleshooting Weeping Oil Stain
Ideas to prevent oil stain from weeping out of oak grain pores in the drying oven. July 30, 2007

Matching the Amber Tint of Pre-Finished Plywood
A finisher gets advice on adding a slight amber glow to drawer fronts and boxes to match his prefinished plywood cabinet interiors. September 3, 2010

Staining and Leaching with Oil Finishes
Using natural oil finishes on bookshelves or clothing storage shelves is risky because the oil stays active and may stain your things. January 28, 2013

Benefits of Vinyl Sanding Sealers
Why use a vinyl sanding sealer under a conversion varnish? Finishers offers several reasons. October 26, 2007

Catalyzed Polyurethane Adhesion Problems
Quick hints on why a calatyzed poly topcoat might be peeling away from the previous coat. January 27, 2008

Highlighting Figure in Wood Grain
Here's a quick tip on using ferrous sulfate and dye to accentuate highly figured grain. July 10, 2007

Smoke Smell On Furniture
Shellac is reputed to work for sealing in smoke odors when furniture has been through a house fire. December 29, 2008

Converting to conversion varnish
Basic information on conversion varnish topcoats. 1998.

Envelope Table Details
Ideas for the mechanical details for an unfolding "envelope" table. December 2, 2009

Bleaching wood
Choosing the correct bleaching agent makes all the difference when altering the natural color of wood to achieve uniformity. 1998.

Brush Marks in Varnish
Brushing varnish on is tricky. A wiping varnish may give good results more easily. May 23, 2007

Clear resins for exterior use
Ideas and sources of supply for clear epoxy resin topcoats. September 6, 2000

High-gloss finish on MDF
Advice on producing a high-gloss finish on Medium Density Fiberboard. March 20, 2000

Using Nib Files on Pre-Catalyzed Finishes
Tips on getting good results with a nib file. March 28, 2010

Filter Specs for Filtering Lacquer
Advice on straining lacquer and conversion varnish. June 18, 2010

Basic glazing
Glazing steps for the novice. April 9, 2003

Fumes escaping from lacquer drums
Options for sealing 55-gallon drums of lacquer to prevent fumes from escaping. 1998.

Rubbing Out Lacquer for a High Sheen
Wax is a better choice than linseed oil for rubbing out on top of a film-forming finish such as lacquer. November 25, 2008

Quick-Reaction Fix for Drips
Quick action with a child's medicine syringe or a soldering bulb can suck up drips before they set. June 18, 2010

Catalyzed Finishes
There are many different types of catalyzed finishes; lacquers, conversion varnish, polyurethanes, polyesters and even some vinyl sealers. Each of these finishes has their own particular set of characteristics with different strengths and weaknesses. Here's a rundown on catalyzed finishes and what m ......

Waterborne Lacquer over Paint
Here are a handful of reasons to avoid applying clear waterborne lacquers as a topcoat over pigmented acrylic paint. June 7, 2011

Recommended finishes for cutting boards
Food-safe finishes for restaurant butcher blocks. December 6, 2000

Working with Dark Stains
Avoiding a muddy appearence with dark stains - March 17, 2000

Preventing Overspray Lines on Large Pieces
Quick advice on fixing or preventing overspray lines when spraying lacquer on full-size doors. October 3, 2007

Ferric Chloride for Aging Wood
Ferric Chloride is a strong chemical and should be approached with caution. March 12, 2015

Application Quantities for Dye Stains
A finisher learns why he's using up too much material. July 12, 2005

Epoxy for a Hardwood Floor?
Sunlight degrades epoxy, so it doesn't make a great floor finish. May 10, 2007

Durability of Aliphatic Urethane
Not cheap, but holds up in a tough environment. February 21, 2011

Gun Clogging with Two-Part Polyurethane
2K poly can clog guns or hoses even if it doesn't dry out. Here, pros troubleshoot a case. December 15, 2005

Wipe-On Poly Over Glaze
Tips for getting good results with a wipe-on polyurethane over a glaze. March 3, 2006

Keeping Paint Out of Door Cracks
How do you paint five-piece doors so that paint doesn't bridge the panel-to-stile joints? February 2, 2011

Touching Up Runs and Drips
Two words: razor blade. March 12, 2015

Shellac Sources
Looking for shellac powder or flake? Here are some leads. March 3, 2010

Cleaning a Second-Hand Spray Booth
Stripping may not be worth the effort. April 24, 2014

Conversion Varnish over Metal Hinges
Is it safe to use a wood finish on metal? December 6, 2011

Walnut-Shell Dye Recipe
How to boil Walnut shells for a dye stain that will match Walnut wood. May 27, 2008

Filling nail holes in stained finishes
For a good color match, mix putty with stain before filling nail holes. 1998.

Sanding and sealing MDF
Steps for sealing exposed core areas of medium-density fiberboard. 1998.

Wrist Fatigue and Spray-Gun Hose Choices
Here's how to equip your spray gun to reduce wear and tear on your wrist during use. October 13, 2008

Whether to Use a Pumice Rub on Pre-Cat
Finishers try rubbing out a pre-catalyzed lacquer finish with pumice, and like the results. November 24, 2008

Pre-Cat Lacquer and Laptop Computer Heat
Heavy laptop use could discolor some table-top finishes. March 28, 2012

Staining End Grain
A sealcoat first will help prevent uneven stain effects. August 29, 2005

Heating precatalyzed lacquer
What is the proper temperature to heat precat lacquers to? March 20, 2001

Finish fumes that last forever
If a set of cabinets still smells of finish after a year, what could be the problem? October 2, 2001

Semi-Opaque Sage Green Finish
Call it "French Provincial," but how do you mix it? December 6, 2011

Cleaning Pressure Tank Lines
Blow the lines out backward, then clean with lots of solvent. November 13, 2005

Waterborne Cleanup
Quick tips for cleaning guns and hoses after using waterborne finishes. August 9, 2005

Removing White Blush Under Lacquer
Two suggestions for getting rid of a white blush caused by putting a hot pot down on a table finished with post-catalyzed clear lacquer.February 16, 2014

Removing Excess Glue Before Finishing
Don't wet wipe — let dry, then scrape and sand. January 18, 2011

Finishing over Polyester
A fully cured polyester base coat accepts several kinds of topcoats. Scuff first. March 9, 2006

Back Painting Glass
Thoughts on how to paint the back of a pane of glass. January 8, 2010

Painting Nooks and Crannies on Site (Against Gravity)
Figuring out how to paint small detail in hard-to-reach spots on installed cabinets. August 16, 2012

Finishing Carpathian Elm Veneer
Troubleshooting finishing problems with elm veneer - March 17, 2000

Acrylic Urethane System
Achieving a high build wet-look gloss finish with a fast turn around time - March 17, 2000

UV-inhibitive topcoats
1998.

Use and finishing tips: Cottonwood
Cottonwood is a good quality, light-to-medium duty wood. 1998.

Making Your Own Crackle Medium
Here are a couple of recipe ideas for affordable crackle coatings. November 8, 2007

Final Sanding on a Varnished Guitar
Using fine sandpaper and polish for that glass-smooth finish. July 11, 2005

Staining Euro Steamed Beech
Advice on achieving a consistent stain finish without blotching on steamed Beech. April 16, 2010

The Illusion of Age
Creating a distressed finish is like playing a musical instrument, explains expert finisher Ron Bryze. September 18, 2009

Troubleshooting Mottling with Spray Stains
Advice on better equipment and technique to achieve an even spray pattern. March 28, 2012

Spray-Booth Fan Sources
Finding a vendor for spray-booth fans. December 6, 2011

Automotive Paint on Wood?
Two who have tried it say it works beautifully. July 8, 2005

Paint Booth Exhaust Filter Tip
Here's a handy way to apply filter cloth to the exhaust of a spray booth. November 12, 2006

Artistic Effects in Finishing
Striated finishes, ceruse, and five kinds of frottage: here's an illustrated tour of some advanced artistic wood finishing effects from top expert Ron Bryze. December 28, 2007

What causes a dull finish?
Why might a conversion varnish that is normally shiny turn out flat? February 28, 2001

Finishing in the Fall Season
Dealing with finishing problems during the fall season - March 17, 2000

Protective Coat Over Boiled Linseed Oil
Thinned polyurethane makes a tough, low-build topcoat over linseed oil. August 16, 2009

Clean-Up of Oil-Based Putty
Excess putty can make shiny smears around filled nail holes. Here are some tips on prevention and clean-up. October 28, 2005

Using Artist's Oil Paint to Make Toning Lacquer
Quick mixing tip for making toning lacquer using artist's oils. December 8, 2010

Mixing Cups for Colorants
Tips on buying economical (but safe) disposable color-mixing cups. September 11, 2006

Acrylic finish on maple
Using water-based acrylic on maple. May 4, 2001

Pre-Cat Over Shellac
Clear pre-catalyzed varnish over tinted shellac is an interesting treatment. May 15, 2012

Finishing Pine
WOODWEB's Finishing Team decribes how pine differs from hardwoods when it comes to finishing - March 17, 2000

Blackening Reaction Between Wood and Metal
Wood tannins react with iron to form black-staining iron tannate; oxalic acid can remove it. November 18, 2006

Crackling Lacquer
Quick transitions between heat and cold are another way to create a crackle effect in a lacquer finish. December 31, 2012

Precatalyzed vs. catalyzed lacquer
The technical differences between these two types of lacquers. July 18, 2000

Tung Oil Finish Staying Wet
In warm weather, tung oil finishes may dry more slowly. "Wet sanding" during application may help speed the process. October 27, 2005

Does Bleach Cleaning Weaken Wood?
Not appreciably, compared to sunlight and weather effects. December 1, 2005

Heat-drying conversion varnish
Conversion varnish requires a warm environment for timely drying. April 8, 2000

Brush Choices for Water-Based and Oil-Based Formulas
Oil-based finishes play nicely with natural bristle brushes; water-based formulas do not. December 31, 2005

Tinting lacquers
Universal colorants are usually safe for tinting lacquers. 1998.

Speeding up Drying Times
How to speed up the drying times when working with Watco Oils - March 17, 2000

Staining Bamboo
Quick tips on staining Bamboo products. April 18, 2010

Bleaching Mineral Streaks in White Maple
Bleaching mineral streaks from maple is virtually impossible - March 17, 2000

Plastic Damage to a Water-Based Finish
Plastic lying on finished furniture can wreck the finish. October 27, 2005

Examples of Darkening of Cherry from Sunlight
This photo clearly shows the effect of sunlight on Cherry wood. December 27, 2006

Color matching
Rectifying the color difference between a cherry table top and its stored-away extension leaf. March 30, 2000

Blush or Haze with Shellac Primer
Heat is a remedy. December 1, 2009

Leveling a sagging topcoat
Techniques for flattening sags in lacquer. July 26, 2000

Milky Haze Problem with Black Lacquer
Quick advice on getting a hazy "blush" out of a black lacquer finish. December 31, 2005

Basic spray equipment
Spray equipment suggestions for a beginner. January 24, 2001

Can You Bleach White Oak?
Short answer: Yes. June 28, 2013

Spray Techniques
Expert Ron Bryze offers this list of tips and tricks for spray finishers. December 31, 2007

Rough Finishes with open Pore Woods
Why open pore woods seem to produce rough finishes - March 17, 2000

Curing Rattle-Can Poly
Rattle-can polyurethane is still tacky two days later. What to do? April 19, 2011

Calculating finish coverage
Figuring out how much finish is needed for a given project. March 20, 2001

Grounding Spray Equipment
Attach the clip to a wire that goes to earth. October 4, 2011

Beeswax finish recipe
A formula for a beeswax-based wood finish. August 23, 2000

The Art of Aging Wood
Here's a nice how-to on wood distressing from expert furniture-maker, finisher and author Ron Bryze. December 31, 2007

Urethanes for Deep Color
Using urethanes to achieve a deep, colored finish in a production environment - March 17, 2000

Ultrasonic Cleaner Trick
For small parts, place a glass of solvent inside the tank of water. October 1, 2010

Bleaching Wood
Here's a practical two-page how-to on bleaching wood, contributed by finishing expert Ron Bryze. November 21, 2007

Is caulk an acceptable filler?
Is it O.K. to use caulk as a gap filler under painted finishes? March 30, 2000

Financial Success in Woodworking
Philosophies and turning points on the path to $100K a year. January 6, 2005

Butcher Block Finish Dispute
This long saga of a woodworker's difficulty with a customer who is dissatisfied with the finish on a butcher block shipped cross-country offers lessons on communication, contracts, and credit card company dispute resolution processes. March 26, 2010

Yellowing Paint on New Poplar Doors
This long discussion deals partly with the performance of paint on poplar, and partly with the division of responsibility between the cabinetmaker and the finisher. January 24, 2014

Finding Good Finishing Help
Tactics for attracting finishers, perhaps the industry's most difficult "get." December 26, 2004

NC lacquer for kitchen cabinets
Why shouldn't this old standby be used? March 23, 2003

Moisture Issues with Exterior Screen Doors
This extensive thread examines wood choices and finishing methods for custom-made exterior screen doors. March 26, 2010

Negotiating Prices with Customers
In custom finishing work, there comes a time when you have to draw a line. March 9, 2010

Responsibility for a Too-Dark Finish
A cabinetmaker is being asked to hold the bag for the poor work done by a painter who the customer hired. In this thread, professionals suggest ways to handle the problem. November 11, 2005

Building with Pre-Finished Plywood
Pre-finished plywood can streamline the construction and finishing workflow. Here are some tips and stories. July 12, 2012

When to use waterbornes
Applications where waterborne coatings will and won't work. May 22, 2002

Opaque Finish for a 1920's-Look Kitchen
Conversion varnish and high-quality latex enamel are the candidates. Here's a discussion. July 14, 2010

Exterior Door Finish
Finding a finish that will stand up to the elements over time. October 20, 2004

Darkening existing finishes onsite
Setting up shop in the customer's home in order to modify a finish. October 9, 2002

Glazing and Distressing: Productivity, Quality, and Pricing
Cabinetmakers and finishers share views on how to estimate and cost out the work involved in distressing and glazing cabinet doors. May 13, 2013

Hiring a First-Class Finisher
and how to assess those abilities. July 2, 2008

Choosing Compressed Air Line Piping Materials
Here's a long, detailed, and well-informed discussion about air supply pipe materials, sizing, and layout. January 19, 2011

Color Matching and Customer Relations
Can a finisher match colors that exist in a client's mind, and make money at the same time? March 26, 2007

Building Your Own Spray Room -- On a Budget
Technical advice and alternatives for a small operator building a new shop. February 25, 2005

Bleaching, Pickling and Antiquing -- Hardwood Flooring and Millwork
Customized hardwood finishes offer new decorative dimension. December 3, 2001

Spray Shop Layout
Setting up an efficient spray-finishing area in an expanded shop. December 26, 2004

Re-Flattening a Warped Countertop
A beautiful wood countertop warped after it was finished on one side only, then stored for years. This discussion is about making it flat again by kerfing the underside and clamping the piece. September 16, 2008

Fair Wage for a Color Matching Specialist
What's fair pay for a worker who's skilled and experienced at formulating a finish to match existing? January 4, 2014

Heating a New Shop and Spray Booth
Radiant heat could be ideal, but the spray room will need filtered fans. February 25, 2005

Does Your Sanding Make Sense?
"Trouble starts when taking off more than a belt can handle, or taking off more than the scratch pattern of the previous head. These are the most common mistakes in sanding... It can be incredibly frustrating to see a company trapped in a prison of their own design because they really never und ......

Resolving a Stain-Matching Dispute
By its nature, matching stain is an imperfect process. Here, a finisher's story about a problem with a customer leads to a discussion of contract terms and policies for matching stain. June 23, 2006

Finished Versus Unfinished Cabinet Installations
In some areas, cabinets are often delivered unfinished and sprayed on site, but in other markets that's practically unheard-of. Here, cabinetmakers discuss the pros and cons of both approaches. May 23, 2007

Hardwood Flooring and Millwork -- Finishing Options
Pre-finished or site-finished? November 16, 2001

Putty for Nail Holes in Windows and Trim
Struggling to find a nail-hole filler that's compatible with waterborne clear finish. December 6, 2011

A Tale of Two Grit Sequences
Sophisticated practical advice on the wise sequence of grit choices for a belt sander to optimize sanding effectiveness while removing final scratches and preventing burnishing defects. November 12, 2014

Drying racks for cabinet doors
Purchased and shop built varieties - the designs that work the best. Illustrated. (Finishing Forum) March 23, 2003

CV and formaldehyde fumes
The wrong respirator can lead to serious health problems. July 22, 2003

Safe sprayroom setup
Advice on everything from finish type to disposal of hazardous materials. December 17, 2003

Stepping Up to a Cheap Airless Spraygun
Here's an interesting argument for using a $300 home-center airless spraygun setup for cabinet finishing. June 8, 2008

Walnut Butcher Block Countertops
Techniques for creating a beautiful butcher block countertop are shared. May 10, 2005

Shop-Built Drying Racks
Cabinetmakers compare shop-rigged drying racks for freshly-finished parts. March 20, 2006

Troubleshooting Finish Failure
prep, site conditions, materials, or technique? February 26, 2005

Paint Cracks in Five-Piece Doors
Some cracking is pretty much inevitable when you paint five-piece wood cabinet doors. September 25, 2014

Finished Outside But Not Inside
How to handle things when specs call for finished face frames but unfinished interiors. February 8, 2005

Whether to Finish the Undersides of Upper Cabinets
Cabinetmakers discuss whether cabinet undersides should be finished. November 30, 2009

Epoxy for Joinery in the Marine Environment
Whether as an adhesive or a finish, epoxy will face unusual stresses when used for yacht construction. January 12, 2009

Why Finishers Use Samples with Customers
Customers don't have the vocabulary to describe finishes, or to understand how you describe them. That's why a signed sample is your best assurance of a clear agreement. August 29, 2011

Curling Problem with Peel-and-Stick Veneer
Pros suggest solutions to a problem with veneer that curls as it dries after finish is applied. August 14, 2007

Finishing Wood Edges of Laminate Tops
Suppose you want to edge-band laminate tops before finishing the edgebanding? Here are some creative ideas for protecting the laminate top from overspray while finishing just the edge. May 22, 2007

Visual Wood Match in Door Construction
Wood has natural variations in appearance — you have to explain that to customers. September 30, 2010

Prefinished Versus Unfinished Plywood for Cabinets
For a moderate up-charge, pre-finished plywood saves a lot of labor and finishing materials cost. December 2, 2010

Minimizing Tell-Tale Un-Stained Lines around Door Panels
Seasonal wood shrinkage often leaves a noticeable unstained margin showing around the edge of a door panel. Here are thoughts on how to minimize the occurrence. March 26, 2009

Finishing Before Assembling — Tips and Tricks
Cabinetmakers who assemble cabinets after finishing discuss their methods. July 31, 2009

Equipment Issues for Final Door Sanding
Cross-grain scratches from the wide-belt, then swirl marks from the random-orbit sanders — what's the solution to minimize the final hand-sanding stage? November 26, 2006

Troubleshooting Glue Lines in MDF-to-Wood Joints
Cabinetmakers discuss how to achieve a seamless look in paint-grade cabinetry. February 27, 2015

Chatter Marks in Production Moulding
It's hopeless to think of sanding milling defects out of cheap moulding. The lucky thing is, most customers won't necessarily consider this visual characteristic to be a defect. December 9, 2010

Butcherblock Countertop Finishing
Simple butcher-block counters are easy to finish on site with natural finishes. February 17, 2012

Conversion varnish basics
The pros agree: conversion varnish is best for kitchen cabinets. April 20, 2001

Avoiding Glue Marks on Cope-and-Stick Doors
Here's a long discussion about how to avoid fingerprints or glue stains when sanding, gluing, assembling, and finishing raised panel doors. October 13, 2012

Staining Edgebanding for Prefinished Plywood
Ways to make edgebanding match drawer and door faces when using prefinished plywood to build frameless cabinets. December 30, 2005

Pricing for Cabinet Finishing
A furniture finisher who would like to branch out into cabinet finishing gets feedback on how to charge for the service. February 18, 2007

Whether to Caulk Painted Cabinet Doors
Materials choices, assembly methods, and finishing techniques all affect whether a door looks seamless, or not. May 15, 2014

Cost for Staining Custom Moulding
A small shop does some basic cost figuring for unfamiliar work: an incidental stain job. October 19, 2013

Exhaust Fan Size for Spray Booth
How much ventilation is needed? August 17, 2004

Door Finishing and Wood Movement
Thoughts on how to prevent bare wood from being exposed when door panels and frames shrink during dry seasons. November 13, 2009

Wood Distressing Tips and Tricks
Making wood rough ain't easy. Here are some techniques that work. January 26, 2009

Lumber Choices for a Chocolate Brown Finish
Finishers discuss what wood species to start with when a deep brown color is the ultimate goal. July 11, 2009

Prices for Finishing a Kitchen
A craftsman who usually finishes only his own cabinetry gets feedback on setting a price to finish someone else's work. March 4, 2009

Screw Versus Reciprocating Compressors
Shop owners share thoughts and experiences with different air compressor technologies. August 31, 2009

Cleaning Furniture Polish Residue off Millwork
Suggestions for dealing with a hazy smear left on installed trim. June 18, 2013

Converting a Trailer to a Spray Booth
Finishers warn of the code and safety issues involved in providing lighting, egress, and other necessities to make a spray booth out of a metal trailer. February 15, 2009

Spray Booth Safety
A discussion of spray booth requirements, with some interesting photos. October 14, 2006

Is This Fan Explosion Proof?
The electrical code references a range of safety ratings for spray booth fans, which relate to the classifications of hazards and the rules for fan location and control switching. November 16, 2011

Glue Catalyst Bleed-Through on Veneer
Undissolved adhesive catalyst can bleed through and discolor veneer with unsightly spots long after finishing. November 15, 2010

Finishing a Wood Cabinet in a Shower Area
A commercial job in a wet area calls for extra-special care. December 6, 2011

Troubleshooting a Mold Problem on Redwood Siding
An unusual insulated wall assembly with redwood siding over asphalt paper and studs has a mold problem — but just between the studs. April 24, 2009

Hard or Soft Maple for Stained Cabinets?
Thoughts on choosing Maple for cabinet frames, and on staining versus applying dye and toner. April 9, 2008

Hook and Loop Versus Peel and Stick Sanding Pads
Cabinetmakers discuss sandpaper preferences. April 16, 2010

Electrical Grounding for Spray Systems
Effective grounding for your spray setup may reduce risks associated with static electriciy buildup. March 29, 2008

Sanding Tool Choices: Pneumatic Versus Electric
Woodworkers discuss the merits and drawbacks of various finish sander options. April 14, 2010

Orbital Sander Tips
Cabinetmakers give advice on avoiding swirl marks. July 22, 2005

Sunken Joints at the Glue Seam
Here's a good explanation of why glue seams in cabinet doors may appear visibly depressed. April 29, 2013

Box Lid Alignment Issues
Problems with jewelry box tolerances may be related to moisture in finishes. December 27, 2008

Staining Resin Corbels to Match Walnut
Advice on a finishing schedule to make synthetic trim elements blend in with natural wood. December 2, 2009

Wide Belt Sander Choices
More advice on selecting a widebelt sander. April 27, 2011

Finish Before or After Hinge Insertion?
Press-in hinges raise the question of whether to spray cabinets before or after installing the hinges. November 6, 2007

Should a Cabinetmaker Take Up Finishing?
A cabinetmaker considers bringing finish operations in house, and get advice both pro and con. May 11, 2006

Respirator Filter Storage
For long life, respirator filter cartridges should be stored in a sealed bag or container when not in use. April 30, 2009

Cabinet Cleanup Options for Ink and Glue
Tried using an orange peel? Cabinetmakers discuss less-noxious cleaning alternatives for on-site work. January 25, 2013

Contact Cement Failure with Veneer after Finishing
Is the problem caused by the finish, the solvent carrier, the adhesive, or what? September 25, 2014

Remotely Located Air Compressors
Cabinetmakers and finishers discuss how to locate their compressors in an outbuilding or basement. February 9, 2006

Beech as an Alternative to Maple
Cabinetmakers discuss Beech pricing, workability, and finishing characteristics. June 8, 2008

Finishing Doors
Finishers discuss ways to efficiently spray large quantities of interior doors. September 11, 2006

Breathing Protection with Conversion Varnishes
Finishers discuss respiratory health and personal protection issues relating to the application of acid-catalyzed coatings. October 27, 2005

Tung-Oil Based Finishes for Walnut Trim
Questions and answers about using Tung oil to finish trimwork on site. June 30, 2009

Troubleshooting Belt Loading when Sanding White Pine
What makes sander belts gum up, and how can you get them clean? Shop operators share experiences and ideas. June 28, 2005

Stripes in Fir Plywood
A cabinetmaker's finisher notices a strange defect in some Fir plywood, probably caused by grain compression that happened at the plywood mill. October 13, 2012

Finishing an Exposed Exterior Door
The harsh conditions of a south-facing exterior environment can trash any finish, and the door under it. But here's a closer look at the best bets. October 3, 2011

Finishing Backs of Face Frames
Is it worth the trouble to finish the back of a cabinet face frame? Cabinetmakers swap opinions and methods. October 13, 2005

Troubleshooting Sandpaper Scratch Marks
Sandpaper choices and sander settings both play a role in swirl marks created by small wood slivers that stick to the sandpaper. May 27, 2014

Soft-Starting a Compressor
A properly located buffer tank in the air line can keep a compressor from stalling or tripping the breaker on start-up. June 13, 2011

Brushable Waterborne Poly for Woodwork
Advice on choosing and applying a brushable waterborne polyurethane for interior architectural trim. July 23, 2014

Alternatives to Automotive Epoxy for Wood Filling
Woodworkers discuss hard, sandable wood-filling compounds. March 25, 2007

Pre-Finished Plywood and Wood Edgebanding
Advice on assembly and finishing of a cabinet made with prefinished plywood interiors and solid wood edgebanding. October 13, 2012

Explosion-proof fans
Building a safe spray booth to eliminate the risk of explosions. January 24, 2001

Painting wood cabinets
Suggested paint-grade materials for cabinets. October 15, 2001

Finishing Dimpled MDF
A three-dimensional dimpled pattern made on a CNC in MDF needs a metallic finish. It's not going to be easy.

Matching the Stain on Manufactured Cabinets
Large suppliers can supply you with the same stain they used on pieces you purchase. December 30, 2005

Troubleshooting Finger Joint Telegraphing
Examining why finger joints telegraph through a gypsum undercoat and polyurethane finish. May 11, 2011

Sap Bleeding Through Primer on Ceiling Boards
Advice on stain-blocking primer, on cleaning up sap, and on proper wood drying. January 14, 2009

Troubleshooting Stain Wicking at End Grain
Here's an interesting case example: a problem of stain wicking into end grain in a site-finished coffer ceiling trim job. April 18, 2010

Is There a Stain Sample Book for Architects?
Well no, there isn't. But here are some suggestions for obtaining samples. February 17, 2012

Filling Nail Holes on Pre-Finished Stair Treads
Tips on mixing wood filler out of glue and wood flour, to blend invisibly with the wood. March 4, 2009

Wood Trim Touch-Up
Advice on touching up trim when filler in the nail holes doesn't quite match the main finish on the pieces. November 9, 2008

Raised Glue Joints after Staining
Why would finishes cause glue joints to swell and telegraph? And what's the fix? April 24, 2012

Applying Nosing to Prefinished Plywood
The search for a satisfactory way to treat the seam where nosing meets plywood. May 10, 2005

Blotchy glue marks after finishing
How to prevent glue stains from ruining finishes. October 2, 2001

Sanding Face Frame Joints Flush
Advice on finish sanding methods and joinery for face frames. February 21, 2011

Whether to Finish Hidden Cabinet Ends
Cabinetmakers discuss whether to finish the ends of cabinets that abut slide-in appliances. April 9, 2008

Spray Booth Ventilation, Back Pressure?
A fan that works well mounted in a window has trouble moving air through a 50-foot duct with three bends. December 9, 2010

Recirculating Spray-Booth Air
Regulations don't allow it, because it raises concentrations of potentially dangerous chemicals. December 1, 2005

Matching Sun-Darkened Cherry
Color-matching new work with old is tricky when the wood is Cherry, because of the way Cherry darkens when exposed to light. May 24, 2006

Matching Old Cabinets: Is This Cherry or Maple?
Actually, the pros think it might be Alder ... or Red Birch. June 28, 2013

Compressed Air Line Piping Material
A discussion of copper, black iron, and PEX/aluminum air line tubing. March 28, 2015

Gluing to Pre-Finished Plywood
Nothing seems to stick to the UV-cured finishes on pre-finished plywood. March 25, 2010

Sanding Methods for Face Frames
Is it worth using the wide-belt sander, or will a random-orbital sander get the job done? Pros share opinions and experiences. July 22, 2005

Dealing with Fire Code Issues in a Spray Booth
Advice on communicating with a building department about the fine points of the fire code as it relates to spray finishing booths. May 27, 2014

Substitutes for Mahogany
Either lyptus wood or luan (also called "meranti") may be an acceptable lower-cost alternative to mahogany in cabinets. March 12, 2006

Ultraviolet-Light Tracer Dye for Glue
For easy detection of glue streaks before finishing, use a fluorescent glue or add a fluorescent additive. February 7, 2009

Raw Wood Showing at Panel Edges
Advice on preventing tell-tale raw wood from showing when door panels shrink over the dry season. December 28, 2014

Glue and Finish for a Wood Trivet
Thoughts on how a small item designed to protect tabletops from hot pots and pans can be detailed to withstand the heat itself. November 8, 2007

Compressors, Vacuum Pumps, Air Dryers, Air Makeup
Thumbnail descriptions of various kinds of equipment that move air. September 20, 2008

Dimensions for Glass-Paneled Cabinet Doors
A discussion of glass door design for structural strength and good looks. August 17, 2009

Tips for Paint Grade Doors
Advice on door materials, spackle, and paint techniques for paint-grade work. February 27, 2013

Part Labeling Tips
Advice on how to label cabinet parts for assembly on a very large production order. April 30, 2009

Coloring Epoxy to Fill Knots
Advice on tinting epoxy to match slab table tops. December 24, 2009

Exterior Cabinetry Materials Choices
Cabinetmakers suggest woods, synthetic materials, and finishes for cabinets exposed to the elements under cover. February 21, 2011

Controlling and Estimating Finish Thickness
A cabinetmaker facing a lawsuit learns a few basic concepts about wet and dry finish thickness. January 24, 2014

Using Ozone to Counteract Off-Gassing Odor
An ozone generator with enough capacity to make a dent in finish off-gassing odor would create indoor pollution concerns, says the voice of experience. December 23, 2014

Tag-Teaming Your Air Compressors
Woodworkers discuss various ways to tie two air compressors together to operate in tandem. January 27, 2008

Hard maple versus soft Maple
Aesthetic and functional differences between hard and soft maple

Constructing a Foam or Plywood Bending Form
Basic info on building a solid form for gluing up curved laminations. February 14, 2010

Flexible Crown Molding
Pros discuss product choices and finishing methods. May 4, 2005

Priming MDF Mouldings
A solvent-borne primer may reduce MDF's surface fuzz after machining, but some sanding is almost always unavoidable. January 22, 2006

Breaking Edges on Shaker Doors
Easing the edge on a door panel improves finish performance. January 3, 2014

Finishing Cabinet Interiors
Depending on the use, cabinetmakers may match the exterior stain color, or go with melamine or a light wood and clear finish. October 1, 2005

Allowing for Panel Movement when Finishing Doors
If you assemble five-piece doors before finishing, seasonal drying shrinkage can expose unfinished wood. Here's how some finishers address the issue. March 26, 2007

Isolating Air Lines from Compressor Vibration
To prevent vibration and noise, install a short section of suitable flexible tubing between the compressor and the copper air lines.January 3, 2012

Disposing of Spray Booth Filters
Are old filters from the spray booth hazardous waste, or regular trash? June 15, 2014

Inspecting for Glue Drips Before Finishing
Drips show up when you wipe with denatured alcohol, but new fluorescent glues and a "black light" work even better. December 2, 2006

Caulking Moulding-to-Cabinet Joints
Ways to get a decent color match with caulk and nail-hole filler on painted cabinet trim. September 11, 2006

Vacuuming Lacquer Sanding Dust
Is it safe? November 26, 2007

Variable-Speed Controls and Explosion-Proof Fans
Using a variable-speed controller likely voids the explosion-proof rating on a fan. August 14, 2007

Epoxy and Sawdust for Filling Checks
Advice on blending epoxy to fix cracks. January 19, 2011

Makeup Air Volume for a Spray Booth
Quick tips on sizing the inflow air fan capacity to match a spray booth exhaust fan. November 8, 2007

Figuring finish prices
Methods for determining how much to charge for finishing work. March 28, 2001

Filler for Countertop Knotholes
Advice on a filler material for knotholes that's compatible with a Tung oil finish. May 12, 2013

When to Change Finishing Booth Air Filters
You can go by air pressure or by airflow, but the limits vary depending on location. November 26, 2006

Heaters in the Finishing Room
Portable electric heaters create sparks and cause explosions. Don't do it. June 18, 2013

Glue Choices for Sizing
Use a soft, easy-to-sand inexpensive white glue to mix glue sizing. May 28, 2010

Respirator Filter Life
Quick tip on how to store respirator filters and when to change them. December 1, 2005

Will Cyanoacrylate Adhesive Accelerators Harm Finishes?
Be careful with the activator used to set quick-setting adhesives like FastCap's 2P-10. They can attack some finishes or even discolor stone. February 27, 2015

Battery-Powered Respirators
Are the positive pressure ("air fed") facemasks with a battery pack a good idea for finishers? July 16, 2012

Touch-Up Marker Choices
Advice on marker selection for touching up bare wood exposed by raised panel seasonal shrinkage. July 26, 2010

Tinting Your Own Black Epoxy
Advice on adding colorants to epoxy. October 27, 2008