Apollo Sprayers
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

Mahogany Finish - Custom Woodwork Finish for a Brazilian Boat Cabin
Want to get technical? Read along with this conversation as a newcomer to finishing gets expert feedback on his evolving technique for refinishing a yacht interior in Brazil. April 29, 2012

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

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

Cabinet Door Finish Failure Diagnosis and Repair
Finishers play detective on a case of finish failure, and suggest fixes. February 13, 2009

Removing Ring Marks in a Veneered Table Top
Refinishing pros offer opinions on how to refinish a badly marred wood-veneer table top. November 12, 2006

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

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


"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

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

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

A Clear Topcoat over Antique Paint
Old paint (maybe egg tempera) on antique corbels presents a puzzle for finishers how to protect it without damaging it? February 13, 2009

Fish-Eye Problems in a Table Refinishing Job
Here's a detailed and comprehensive thread about the causes of fisheye and the options for fixing it, from simple to advanced.June 18, 2013

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

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

Furniture Refinishing Basics
A beginner gets advice on cleaning, stripping, and refinishing several pieces of furniture. October 13, 2008

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

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

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

Refinishing Restaurant Tables with Existing Nitrocellulose Lacquer
best to sand it off and apply something tougher. July 10, 2007

Touching Up a Burn-Through in Maple Plywood
Striving for perfection in a tough touch-up: finishers swap expert tips. July 29, 2011

Glazing and Toning over Clear Lacquer
Detailed advice on formulas and application methods that will achieve a dark walnut tone on oak cabinets that already have a coat of clear lacquer. May 17, 2005

Refinishing Old Pickled Oak
A finisher needs to strip and refinish a 100-year-old staircase that has been "pickled" with white stain. A lively discussion ensues about dyes, stains, toners, strippers, samples, and the risks you take on one-of-a-kind old work. October 28, 2005

Touching Up a Veneer Burn-Through
but this thread delves deep into how to make them pretty good. July 3, 2008

Touch Up, Refinish, or Reface?
Thoughts on approaching some worn kitchen doors in a systematic, step-by-step way. September 3, 2010

Cleaning and Restoring a Historic Door Finish
Here's some detailed advice on gently and safely cleaning historic doors without damaging existing old finishes. July 2, 2008

Re-Finishing Kitchen Cabinets to Hide Yellowing
Five years down the road, a white lacquer finish on cabinets has yellowed. What are the choices for a re-coat? November 12, 2006

Dark Glaze Over Light Lacquer (On Site)
Here's a long thread about a tricky re-glazing job, with some excellent tips and insights. July 2, 2008

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

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

Filling Dents with Burn-In Sticks
Detailed advice from experienced pros on how to touch up dings and dents in furniture. November 8, 2007

Toning Oak Cabinets in the Direction of Cherry
Here's a discussion of the ins and outs of toning existing cabinets. June 30, 2014

Touching Up Scuffed Conversion Varnish on Baseboard in the Field
Tips for a pesky but manageable on-site repair: touching up scratched CV varnish on baseboard in a newly carpeted house. March 13, 2009

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

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

Recoating Over a Mystery Finish
We're not sure what's on this table, but it might be polyurethane. Can anything safely go over it? Now that's a messy subject. October 14, 2006

Matching Red Oak to Existing White Oak Cabinets
A difficult (if not impossible) matching problem leads to a discussion on how to get a uniform look in different woods. June 8, 2007

Troubleshooting Wrinkled Shellac
A refinishing job consists of a wiping stain over the existing finish, then two coats of shellac. What's making the second shellac coat wrinkle? Pros weigh in with advice. August 30, 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

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

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

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

Prepping Kitchen Cabinet Doors for Re-Painting
Here's a heaping helping of advice for a first-timer about to recoat some kitchen cabinet doors with an opaque finish. January 28, 2013

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

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

Matching Old and New Floor Finishes
A floor refinisher struggles with achieving a visual blend between old oil-finished floors and a waterborne refinish job. November 3, 2010

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

Darkening a Danish Oil Finish on Walnut
Thoughts on tweaking the color of Walnut after it has already been coated with an oil-based home brew.September 18, 2014

Refinishing a Silicone-Contaminated Antique
Silicone-containing furniture polish residue can be a refinisher's nightmare. Here, pros discuss the problem and suggest ways to cope. March 2, 2006

Re-Painting Kitchen Cabinets
Finishers discuss the options for painting cabinets in a home, while the owners are living there. August 24, 2008

Finish Stripping Basics
Tips on stripping finishes without damaging the cabinet or furniture piece. March 3, 2010

Refinishing an Old Leather Table Top
Here's a wealth of opinions on how to put a worn leather table top through rehab. March 30, 2008

Adding Glaze to Factory Cabinets
Recommendations for glazing stock cabinet doors in a way that will be compatible with the existing factory finish. April 24, 2014

Toning On Site with Water-Borne Formulas
Detailed info for a finisher preparing to refinish all the woodwork in a 9000-square-foot house. October 25, 2006

Troubleshooting "Prints" on a Waxed Table
Sock-foot imprints on a waxed, factory-finished table turned out to be only in the wax on top. March 9, 2010

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

Burning Off Water Damage
Wipe the white discoloration with alcohol, touch it with a lit match, and Bob's your uncle. January 7, 2010

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

Refinishing Reproduction Furniture
A finisher gets advice on how to make repairs to a piece that's not really an antique, but looks a lot like one. December 23, 2014

Touchup Fix for Sanded-Through Veneer
Ways to patch a sand-through problem using touch-up products like an air-brush, shellac, colorants and pencils. December 8, 2006

Repairing a Deep Gouge in Veneer
Expert advice on filling, patching, and blending for a repair job. November 14, 2009

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

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

Refinishing Kitchen Cabinets on Site
Here's an in-depth discussion of the difficulties of re-finishing a kitchen full of cabinetry in place. June 30, 2014

Protection for On-Site Spraying
Advice for avoiding overspray damage when refinishing cabinetry in a furnished house. April 18, 2015

Shellac as a Sealer under Lacquer
Pros discuss the fine points of applying a sealer coat of shellac when refinishing furniture. July 11, 2005

When Lacquer Goes Bad...
Finishers explain why a lacquer finish would fail after prolonged exposure to moisture, and suggest how to go about refinishing the affected cabinets. April 18, 2006

Appearance Match for an Epoxy Patch
Epoxy won't take stain like the original wood, so... amaze your clients with these professional tricks. August 9, 2005

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

Getting a Higher Sheen on Existing Conversion Varnish
Trying to make a kitchen cabinet shinier, in place. October 19, 2013

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

Renewable Finish for High-Traffic Doors
Finishers discuss how to finish some old doors that take a lot of abuse, so that maintenance staff can periodically do touch-up repairs. October 14, 2006

"Refreshing" a Very Old Table Top
Thoughts on how to clean and re-finish very old table tops still in active service, without lessening the value of any historic existing finish they may have. March 12, 2009

Paint Peeling Off Manufactured Cabinets
Troubleshooting a particulary bad case of paint peeling away from mass-produced kitchen and bath cabinets. December 23, 2014

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

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

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

Problems Caused by Water and Oxalic Acid Wash after Stripping Furniture
Rinsing with water and oxalic acid after stripping a piece with methylene chloride is standard practice. But it has to be done with care. July 15, 2014

Touching Up Furniture that Won't Take Stain
Sometimes a piece is still sealed, or has been sanded down to a glue-saturated veneer ply. Here are tips on restoring color to those pieces. May 24, 2006

Touching Up Natural Maple
Here's an extended discussion of using colorants and finishes to blend a repair into a finished Maple piece. March 26, 2013

Refinishing Over Plastic Laminate
The challenge is to apply a new coating over existing laminate restaurant tables. Finishers weigh in with advice. April 17, 2010

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

Refinishing a Metal File Cabinet
How to sand and clean a metal file cabinet, then shoot it with automobile finish. February 8, 2008

Troubleshooting Flaky Finish with Pre-Cat in a Humid Climate
Finishers list some of the possible reasons that a cabinet finish might be flaking at the edges, and debate the best fixes. March 8, 2007

Cleaning Old Cabinets Before Re-Finishing
Finishers share their secrets to remove old wax, cleaners, polishes, grease, and grime from existing cabinets before re-finishing. November 25, 2006

Dent Repair Debate
Pros compare steam treatment to sanding and refinishing for repair of a compression mark in a finished cherry piece. March 29, 2006

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

Diagnosing a Glazing Error
One party to a problem wanted to blame kitchen heat for a dark discoloration of some cabinetry. But an application error during the glazing process turns out to be the cause.March 13, 2014

Old-Furniture Refinishing Question: Dye or Stain? Lacquer or Shellac?
Pros discuss the differences between finishes, and share advice for thoughtfully refinishing old furniture. December 1, 2005

Dye Stains for Exterior Door Refinishing
Some finishers have had success pairing stain or pigment components with well-known exterior semi-transparent coatings. February 21, 2011

Wet Spots in Finish
If excess stripper isn't removed, it can stop laquers from drying properly. August 30, 2005

How Much Fish-Eye Preventer to Use
Advice on measuring and adding the optimum amount of additive to prevent fish-eye. December 28, 2006

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

Linseed Oil Finish for a Period Home
The clients want an authentic old-time linseed oil finish. A contractor gets advice on how to make it work. July 9, 2005

Touching Up Table Edges
When the color wears off a table edge, specialty markers are available to fix the problem. April 2, 2013

Recoating Old Cabinet Doors
Adhesion, compatibility, and durability are concerns when applying new spray finishes to old cabinets. March 3, 2006

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

Cleaning Poly and Glue off a Glazed Cabinet
A craftsman gets advice on how to remedy a flooring contractor's and installer's errors. October 30, 2005

Dark Refinish for Existing Maple Cabinets
Advice on using sealcoat and toner over a factory finish to darken maple cabinets a tricky process that may yield unsatisfactory results. January 28, 2013

Removing Black Stains from Oak
Advice on getting water stains out of Oak. January 24, 2010

Fixing a Too-Dark Stain Job
A finisher tried to match a stain color, and erred on the dark side. Colleagues offer advice and suggestions. July 11, 2005

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

Fisheye in a Kitchen Re-Finish
Cleaning and seal-coat advice for a kitchen refinish job plagued with fisheye problems. March 3, 2010

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

Fish-Eye Problem in Re-Finish Following Water Damage
The story starts with water damage to a conference table caused by leaks during a re-roof of the building, and just gets better from there. August 22, 2013

Can I Spray Nitrocellulose Lacquer over Waterborne Lacquer?
A touch-up and repair problem brings on a discussion of finish compatibility issues, yellowing, burn-in, and more. July 3, 2008

B-72 Acrylic
Detailed information on the properties and use of B-72 acrylic, a versatile sealant widely used as a barrier coating in furniture restoration and conservation. April 10, 2008

Refinishing Tables Without Stripping
Advice on a quick clean-and-recoat job on some lacquer-finished bedside table tops. July 29, 2007

Stripping and Bleaching Oak
After trying several suggestions, a finisher hits on the right solution to clean and brighten some old oak drawer fronts. November 11, 2006

Neutralizing a Vat-Stripped Door
what to do? November 27, 2007

Refinishing a Conference Table
A discussion about the challenges and potential pitfalls of restoring a high-build finish on a business conference table.June 16, 2014

Refinishing Doors Dulled by Cleaning Products
It's a case of over-zealous cleaning. What's the fix? November 15, 2010

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

Sanding Raised Panel Doors
Tips on sanding those pesky profiles. February 19, 2006

Dulling Down a Poly Finish
It's hard to remove gloss by sanding or polishing. A new topcoat may be the only practical answer. July 3, 2008

Touch-Up Repair for Cherry Veneer
When a sanding mistake burns right through a cherry veneer, quick or easy fixes are scarce. Here are a handful of suggestions for making the best of a bad situation. December 15, 2005

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

Assessing an Old Bedstead
Before he tries to refinish it, a furnituremaker asks for advice on a bedroom piece's worth. October 13, 2008

Removing Lacquer Without Removing Stain
A guitar repair job brings up the tricky problem of how to gently remove lacquer from a stained piece. March 8, 2007

Wrinkling of a Shellac Re-Finish
Pros advise on what could have caused the trouble in an application of shellac to an already finished wood bench. July 28, 2008

Refinishing Stained Oak Cabinets
A first-timer gets advice on the basics to kitchen cabinet refinishing. February 12, 2007

Using Toner and Glaze to Darken Existing Cabinets
Tips and cautions for on-site application of toner and glaze over an existing finish. July 29, 2007

Refinishing Teak Outdoor Furniture
The table in question might not even be Teak. But here are some thoughts about the choices for a natural-looking refinishing job. January 28, 2013

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

Removing Tung Oil from Existing Finished Cabinets
How do you get Tung Oil off cabinets without damaging the underlying previous finish? That depends on the nature of the underlying coat. May 6, 2014

Darkening the Finish on Existing Cabinets
A newcomer to finishing gets advice on applying a darker tint to existing cabinets in place. January 13, 2006

Refinishing Silicone-Contaminated Furniture
Suggestions for stripping, cleaning, and sealing furniture that may have been contaminated with silicone-containing furniture polish. February 21, 2011

Stripping Garage and Entry Doors
Advice on tackling a big architectural stripping and re-finishing job. July 14, 2010

Waterborne Lacquer over Solvent Lacquer
Product reps won't promise good performance, but some finishers have had good results by cleaning and sanding for a strong mechanical bond. September 3, 2011

Removing Masonry Lime Stains from Wood
Cleaning up lime stains on old woodwork. December 14, 2009

Dealing with Silicone Damage
A refinisher asks how to get silicone off a conference table he's refinishing, and gets a handful of ideas. June 28, 2005

Waxy Stripper Residue Problem
How to get stripper residue off imperfectly stripped and sanded doors, before spraying an opaque finish. May 7, 2009

Recoating Over an Existing Finish
Finishers advise on a cautious approach to recoating cabinets without sanding down to bare wood. August 21, 2006

Door Shrinkage Issues in Refinishing
A cabinet refinisher gets advice on how to limit the problem of wood drying shrinkage causing unstained edges to become visible. September 3, 2010

Bubbles in polyurethane topcoat
What causes bubbles in polyurethane topcoats applied by brushing? March 24, 2000

Matching a Fender Guitar Crackle Finish
Here's how to crackle lacquer: freeze it with very cold air. February 20, 2008

Touching Up a Cross-Grain Scratch in Mahogany Veneer
For deep scratches in veneer, your best bet is to start over. But in a pinch, here are some tips and techniques for hiding the mistake (sort of). May 17, 2005

Restaurant Table Refinishing
A beginner gets advice on stripping and refinishing some restaurant table tops. July 29, 2007

Refinishing a Wax-Finished Table Top
Advice on removing and existing wax coating, sealing the piece with shellac, and applying a compatible lacquer topcoat. December 30, 2007

Film on finish
Remedying a blush on finish which can be wiped off but reappears. September 25, 2002

Repairing Steam Blush to Lacquer Finish
Advice on fixing blush in a lacquer finish caused by someone using the tabletop as an ironing board. December 11, 2012

Can Spray Finishing Co-Exist with Hand Brushing?
Yes, in an on-site refinishing situation, some pros have success removing the doors for spraying in the shop, and brushing the carcases on site. Here are some details. April 21, 2008

Modifying Stain Color on Site
Applying a toner is simple enough, but there are safety issues when you do the work on site. August 27, 2013

Stripping-Tank Basics
Quick advice on flow-over tanks and dip tanks for stripping cabinet doors. January 9, 2007

Recreating a pine patina
Mixing just the right color to match an old finish. October 2, 2001

Salvaging a Bad Shellac Job
When a customer's efforts at tinted shellac finishing go haywire, how can a pro help? Here's advice on approaches to a fix. July 29, 2007

Dulling Down Gloss in a Lacquer Repair
Tips on matching the sheen of a coating repair to the surrounding area. December 2, 2009

Removing Furniture Polish
Tips on restoring the sheen to a catalyzed finish that was made to look "waxy" by application of furniture polish. November 25, 2008

Clear topcoats
Basics on post- and pre-catalyzed finishes and more. January 16, 2002

Darkening Cherry in Localized Spots
Advice on using artificial light to darken small areas of a Cherry cabinet that have been kept in the dark while the rest of the piece changed color with age and exposure to light. September 3, 2010

Bleaching to Remove Dye Stains
Adding alcohol to the solution may help remove some dyes, if straight household bleach doesn't do the trick. July 3, 2008

Repairing a Scratch in Old Veneer
If it's not a scratch but an indentation, then steaming would be wiser than sanding. February 21, 2013

Rubbing Out Badly Applied Conversion Varnish
Rubbing out conversion varnish might work well under ideal conditions. But will it save a badly applied finish? October 28, 2014

Grain Darkening and Stain Recipe Match for Oak
A finisher gets a few suggestions for how to match a piece of stained oak. December 9, 2010

Stripping Veneer
How to get old finish off a veneered desktop without damaging or lifting the veneer. April 30, 2009

Struggling to Remove a Super-Tough Finish
A seemingly bulletproof finish that seems to resist all chemical strippers finally yields to a heat gun. April 15, 2012

Barrier Coats for Preventing Fish-Eye
Advice on cleaning methods and barrier coat application when fish-eye rears its ugly head. November 14, 2014

Electrostatics and Finishing
The role electrostatics play when used in a finishing environment

Basic glazing technique
Pictures and descriptions of glazing methods. September 23, 2003

Repairing Dog-Chewed Furniture
Woodworkers suggest various post-canine repair strategies for a table top. June 30, 2014

Stocking a Furniture Touch-Up Kit
Here's a nice look at what you might want in your starter kit for furniture touch-up and finish repair. July 14, 2010

Colored Spray Finish for Steel Roll-Up Doors
What's a good aftermarket color coat to apply to steel storage-shed doors that already have a coat of clear polyester on them? Pros give advice. July 3, 2008

Paint Over Pre-Cat for Kitchen Cabinets
Can you paint over a pre-catalyzed cabinet finish when the customers change their minds? Sure. Should you? Not so sure ... July 3, 2008

Refinishing Plantation Shutters
Here's advice on how to handle the refinishing work on movable louvered shutters, and how to charge for the complicated labor that's involved. January 2, 2012

Decorative Finishes
A few sample images. March 14, 2004

Re-Polishing a Polyurethane Table Top Finish
Re-buffing an existing glossy finish involves some tricky procedures. July 2, 2008

Caustic Stripping Fiasco
A cautionary tale: Doors sent to be dip-stripped came back blackened. Finishers troubleshoot and suggest fixes. July 11, 2005

Renewing a Poly Exterior Door Finish
Short of stripping to bare wood, is there a way to freshen up a polyurethane finish on a door? April 17, 2009

Refinishing Old Church Pews
Thoughts on how to figure out what the original finish is on some church pews, and refinish with a compatible formula. February 13, 2009

Stripping Stain
It's hard to get pigment stain out of deep grain without sanding through a whole layer of veneer. Here are tips for a difficult refinishing challenge. May 5, 2011

Distressed finish
Techniques for making new furniture look old and beat up. February 19, 2002

Toning While Refinishing a Floor
Finishers discuss various ways to add toner over an existing floor finish, without stripping first. August 30, 2005

Peeling Failure of a Consumer-Grade Poly Re-Coat
Well, that sure didn't work. Here's why. March 9, 2008

Touching Up Finger-Rubbed Glossy Areas Near Knobs
Quick thoughts on how to correct shiny areas near cabinet door knobs, caused by continual rubbing by fingers in use. July 26, 2010

Glazing to Show Wood Grain
Techniques for achieving clarity. April 2, 2004

Stripping a Tough 1960's Finish
A finisher runs into a 1960's-era finish that resists stripping, and gets advice on how to tackle the job. June 28, 2005

Finishing Over Laminate
Finishers discuss the application of pigmented topcoats to existing laminate countertops. June 18, 2013

Primer Adhesion to Vinyl Sealer
A finisher gets help finding the right primer that will stick to vinyl sealer for a recoat job. August 26, 2006

Fisheye with a Rattle-Can Repair
Advice on cleaning and sealcoating to prevent fisheye in a repair to an existing finish. February 1, 2015

Refinishing Melamine Cabinets
Whether you want a solid color or a faux wood finish, melamine makes a decent substrate for a number of available finish coatings. July 3, 2008

Safely Cleaning Finished Cabinet Doors
Safely working your way up to a solvent that will dissolve the contaminant without damaging the finish can be tricky. June 30, 2014

Wood-Graining a Vehicle
Advice on applying a faux wood-grain look as part of an auto-body finish. October 28, 2005

Filling Flaky Leopardwood Veneer Before Finishing
Advice on fillers and compatible topcoats for a troublesome veneered tabletop. August 22, 2013

Quick and Dirty Refinish of Old Cabinetry
Ideas for a simple cleanup and refinish of an old, cheap bath vanity. November 15, 2010

Barrier Coat Between Polyurethane and Lacquer
De-waxed shellac should work well to protect an existing waterborne poly from a new coat of pre-catalyzed lacquer. May 7, 2007

Gel Stain over Lacquer in Place
A customer wants a built-in piece darkened after installation, without removing it. Will gel stain work over pre-cat lacquer? July 29, 2011

Caring for an Antique Clock
True antiques are best left in the hands of expert conservators. September 16, 2008

Stripping a Polyester-Finished Piano Lid
April 9, 2007

Troubleshooting Cracks in a Conversion Varnish Finish
Cracking in a CV finish might relate to excessive thickness. June 9, 2012

Cleaning Before Re-Coating Kitchen Cabinets On Site
Removing dirt, grease, and contaminants without damaging the appearance of the existing finish is the problem. Here are tips and suggestions. August 15, 2011

Color-Matched Caulk Repairs
With a little ingenuity, you can custom color your own off-the-shelf caulking. January 14, 2008

Grey Pore Problem in Refinishing Jobs
When pores show up gray after a refinishing job, the culprit turns out to be insufficient stripping. April 21, 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

Paint Stripping Problem: Stubborn Residue in Oak Grain
When traces of the lowest layer of paint on a piece don't want to come out of the grain, what are the options? June 22, 2012

Finishing Over Wax
Advice on cleaning and priming waxed furniture pieces. December 1, 2009

Old Finish (or Stripper) Bleeding Through New
Deficiencies in stripping and cleaning can cause problems with re-finish coats. July 18, 2008

Resources on French polish finishes
How is this old-world look is achieved, and the modern alternatives. January 16, 2002

Troubleshooting Unwanted Crackle
Crackle shows up in a catalyzed primer over vinyl sealer on stripped furniture. Why? October 17, 2012

Spray Toning Furniture
Advice on achieving good adhesion and maintaining some grain definition when darkening the existing finish on a wood desk. September 3, 2010

Is potassium dichromate worth the risk?
A highly toxic chemical is said to create amazing effects in finishing. April 4, 2000

Recoating with Conversion Varnish over an Old Finish
Adding a more durable topcoat over an existing softer finish can introduce tricky problems. August 26, 2006

Old Doors: Strip and Re-Finish, or Replace?
Opinions vary about whether it's cheaper to replace a cabinet door or re-finish it. October 1, 2010

Matching Fresh Poplar to a Stripped Old Poplar Door
Here's a discussion about what stripping solution does to Poplar, and about matching that appearance in fresh new wood.July 16, 2012

Repairing a Water-Damaged Lacquer Finish
If it's nitrocellulose lacquer, you can use specialty sprays or denatured alcohol to remove the white water damage. May 24, 2006

Fisheye Killer for Spar Varnish
Cleanup and remedy advice for silicone contamination affecting a spar varnish re-coat application. July 3, 2008

Bleaching Water Stains Out of Oak
A refinisher succeeds in restoring oak cabinets using a hot, saturated solution of oxalic acid. August 14, 2007

Finishing Over Pine Knot Bleed-Through
How to seal and cover knots before refinishing. November 15, 2011

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

Removing a Decoration from a Drawer Front
Advice on softening the adhesive or glue and on techniques for gentle prying. February 12, 2010

Repainting Installed Cabinets on Site
How do you handle painting the cabinet frames on site when you're spraying the doors in the shop? August 27, 2012

Color-Matching Aged Walnut
Tips on matching the naturally-aged color of antique walnut. April 30, 2006

Slow Drying and Curing in Refinish Jobs
Troubleshooting the cause of splotchy curing, where some areas in a refinished piece don't cure or dry for a long time.September 3, 2011

Making Acrylic Paint Stick Over Oil Paint
Quick answer: shellac primer. July 29, 2007

Tips on Stripping Conversion Varnish
Advice on choosing a chemical stripper, applying it, and scraping off the finish. August 21, 2012

Stripping Tanks: Build or Buy?
Finishers discuss commercial sources of stripping tanks, and ways to rig up your own. October 28, 2005

Removing Black Streaks from Maple
Advice on getting the last remnants of a previously-applied dye stain out of a maple door before refinishing. July 24, 2006

Recovering from an Epoxy Snafu
Epoxy table-top coatings should be self-leveling. But what if it doesn't level? Here are tips on repair for an epoxy job gone haywire. September 10, 2007

Blending a Champagne Stain
Matching a popular color using the materials at hand

Post-Stripping Treatment with Oxalic Acid
Wood that is turned gray by stripping agents can be restored to natural color by a combination of sanding and oxalic acid. June 18, 2010

Crackle lacquer: How-to
The basics for applying crackled lacquer finishes. March 26, 2000

Removing a Dark Ring
Tips on getting dark stains out of wood with oxalic acid and bleaching agents. July 13, 2005

Refinishing Water-Stained Cherry Furniture
Can a craftsman remove water stains from an old cherry piece without destroying its natural aged patina? March 29, 2008

Sealing Up a Bleeding Finish
Shellac is the go-to barrier coat for evil spirits that soak through topcoats. But don't sand the shellac or you'll defeat its effectiveness. June 18, 2013

Removing Wax Coats from Finished Wood
Advice on solvents and pads to scrub wax off of finishes. October 1, 2010

Repairing Blush on a Table Top
Hot pizza made a blush spot when the heat drove moisture into a table finish. Here's how to fix it. May 7, 2007

Tinting Waterborne Finishes for On-Site Refinishing
One company can tint another company's products for a visual match to an existing wood finish on site. April 20, 2008

Sanding Dust Trapped Under Post-Catalyzed Lacquer
A finishing mistake left white dust trapped under the finish. Now, stripping and refinishing is the only fix. October 8, 2005

How to "Non-Finish" a Rustic Recycled Door
Ideas for refinishing an old salvaged door to preserve its existing bare-wood-and-old-paint appearance. October 15, 2009

Dripping HVLP gun
Troubleshooting a dripping spray gun. March 29, 2000

Finishing Over Epoxy Acrylate
It's an all-solid UV-cured finish, probably very hard but maybe brittle. February 8, 2008

Refinishing Waxed Table-Tops with Polyurethane
A furniture-maker waxed some bamboo restaurant table tops, then had performance issues. Now, how to strip the wax and prep for polyurethane? May 23, 2007

Cleaning Up Latex Paint
Tips for getting a latex paint drip off a polyurethane finished surface. August 30, 2005

ICA CNA stains aren't all bad
A review from someone who's tried them. January 16, 2002

"Refreshing" a Finish On Site
Start with a mild cleaner, and use a light hand. September 18, 2012

Painting over Lacquer
Tips on surface preparation and priming when applying paint to a lacquered surface. March 8, 2007

Urethane over Spar Varnish
Hard urethanes won't last over a soft spar varnish finish. Instead, strip first, then refinish. September 11, 2006

Recommended stains
Participants give their preferences when it comes to stain suppliers. March 24, 2000

Re-Spraying Over Old Conversion Varnish
Suggestions for prepping an existing CV coat before re-applying. October 2, 2005

Touching up waterborne finishes
Things to consider when repairing waterborne topcoats. 1998.

The Use of Wax Finishes on Pre-Industrial American Furniture
Here's a scholarly paper on the history of wax finishes applied to early American furniture, and the difficult challenges of identifying and restoring original wax finishes. December 11, 2007

Touch-Up and Refinishing Classes
Where to get instruction that can improve your touch-up skills. November 5, 2013

Touch-Up Toning in Place
Spray can products might work for fixing a slight color mis-match in the kitchen. January 24, 2014

Re-Finishing Steel Doors to Look Like Wood
Gel stain, a squeegee, and toner add color to the raised grain imprint on a steel door. February 21, 2011

Quick-drying wood stains
Wood stains which dry fast and foster good grain definition. February 12, 2001

Painting over Lacquer on Kitchen Cabinets
Advice on applying oil or latex paint over existing lacquer. March 25, 2007

Grain Filler for Oak
Drywall compound is good for filling Oak grain before painting, but the results may not be perfect. October 18, 2012

Coloring Cane Work
A furniture restorer gets advice on toning new cane-work to match the existing piece. October 2, 2005

Ammonia-Based Stripper Darkening Wood
Don't use strippers that contain ammonia for wood you don't plan to paint: the dark staining from the stripper will not come out. June 30, 2007

Polyester topcoat for automotive trim
Polyester topcoats: Best left to the experts? April 17, 2000

Durable Finish for a Kitchen Table
Advantages of conversion varnish versus two-part bar-top resin. July 9, 2005

Removing Sanding Dust
Finishers describe how they remove dust when sanding between varnish coats. October 28, 2005

Prepping Poly for Paint
Tips on how to scuff-sand poly before repainting. February 13, 2009

Fumed oak finish
A tip, a trick and some suggested reading on the subject of fumed oak finishes. January 24, 2001

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

Color Standards When Finishing
Use a color standard or guide panel to acheive consistent results

Water-Based Formulas for On-Site Repairs?
Tips on finding and using water-based products to touch up or repair damaged finishes on site. November 25, 2006

Basic glazing
Glazing steps for the novice. April 9, 2003

Water Damage Discoloration at Base of Door
Discoloration may or may not be repairable. December 24, 2009

Working with Dark Stains
Avoiding a muddy appearence with dark stains - March 17, 2000

Testing Before Refinishing: Is It Lacquer?
Wipe a small, inconspicuous spot with lacquer retarder to see if the existing finish is lacquer or not. June 8, 2007

Stripping Waterbased Finishes
Use a high-pH (caustic) stripper for efficient (and relatively non-toxic) removal. July 20, 2011

Finishing Old Furniture: Veneer Sand-Through
Here's an interesting set of photos of an old furniture piece that shows some discoloration when stripped and refinished. The problem? The veneer was sanded through.September 18, 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

Finishing in the Fall Season
Dealing with finishing problems during the fall season - March 17, 2000

Finishing Pine
WOODWEB's Finishing Team decribes how pine differs from hardwoods when it comes to finishing - March 17, 2000

Speeding up Drying Times
How to speed up the drying times when working with Watco Oils - March 17, 2000

Bleaching Mineral Streaks in White Maple
Bleaching mineral streaks from maple is virtually impossible - March 17, 2000

Color matching
Rectifying the color difference between a cherry table top and its stored-away extension leaf. March 30, 2000

Rough Finishes with open Pore Woods
Why open pore woods seem to produce rough finishes - March 17, 2000

Sanding Through Layers to Match a Finish
By carefully sanding through one layer at a time, you can learn something about how the finish was applied. March 8, 2007

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stripping and Refinishing Pricing
Stripping furniture is laborious and slow and so a fair price may create some sticker shock. March 26, 2009

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

Exhaust Fan Size for Spray Booth
How much ventilation is needed? August 17, 2004

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

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

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

Removing Stains from Wood Floors
Suggested ways to remove stains from floors without deep sanding. November 28, 2014

Dyes and Wash Coats
Conditioning "naturally blotchy" woods to accept stains and dye uniformly. February 26, 2005

Finishing Custom Staircase
Tips, tricks, and rituals. February 26, 2005

Refinishing Failed Thermofoil Doors
Is there a reliable way to strip and paint RTF doors that are delaminating badly, or is it wiser just to buy new MDF doors and start from scratch? May 12, 2013

Pricing for Furniture Refinishing
A discussion of how to set prices for furniture refinishing. 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

Open Face Booth
Pros and cons. February 26, 2005

External Crosslinkers, Explained
Finishing Chemistry 301 is now in session. February 26, 2005

Maple Toners and Finishing
Techniques and options. February 26, 2005

Explosion proof lighting
What type of lights should be used in your spray booth? May 19, 2003

Antique Finish for Natural Pine
Finishers share ideas for creating this effect. February 26, 2005

When to Apply Glaze
Finishers share their procedures. February 26, 2005