Finishing or not finishing ? The inside of drawers and night stand

  • Advertise with us

« back to Finishing forum

Forum topic by Moosesman posted 11-09-2011 03:32 AM 2216 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Moosesman's profile


110 posts in 1810 days

11-09-2011 03:32 AM

I am building some some three drawer nightstands and need some advice on if could use a carnuabu or beeswax on inside of nightstand and drawers though i am using stain and poly on outside. Will this cause problems with wood expansiioonn ion ion ?

-- DanielBrewerWoodworking

6 replies so far

View Betsy's profile


3284 posts in 3201 days

#1 posted 11-09-2011 04:22 AM

I’ve never finished the inside of my drawers unless it is with leather or nice velvet for a classy touch. Depending on what you plan to put in the drawer – wax may not be a good thing as it could stain objects like clothing.

On dressers I’ve always left the insides unfinished but well sanded and make sure there are no splinters that can catch on clothes.

-- Like a bad penny, I keep coming back!

View Moosesman's profile


110 posts in 1810 days

#2 posted 11-09-2011 04:45 AM

I have read that stain and poly may cause it to smell for a long time and that not finishing both interior and exterior sides of the dresser can cause the wood to cup or have an effect on expansion. my original thought was not to finish the inside or the drawers. I wanted to educate myself on this a little and seems there is no right or wrong just a matter of preference. As a novice It is nice to get the advice from experience though.
Thanks a bunch

-- DanielBrewerWoodworking

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 3180 days

#3 posted 11-09-2011 05:44 AM

I wouldn’t bother to stain the drawer boxes – you almost never see them. Varnish does tend to smell for awhile, but it seems like water-based finishes have a shorter stink-time.

I’ve heard several places recently that you have to do the same finishing process on both sides of a piece of wood or you will have problems with cupping/warping. I don’t buy it. I’ve seen very old furniture that was finished one side and never cupped and I’ve seen furniture finished both sides that has cupped and warped to the point of splitting. Humidity changes will affect your wood whether it is varnished or not, and most of the moisture comes and goes through the end grain, not the sides.

I usually varnish the inside of cabinet drawer boxes and leave the inside of furniture drawers unfinished.

-- -- --

View Moosesman's profile


110 posts in 1810 days

#4 posted 11-09-2011 05:51 AM

Peter oxley
Thanks for the insight.

-- DanielBrewerWoodworking

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4242 posts in 3266 days

#5 posted 11-11-2011 09:10 PM

Solid wood drawer bodies? Plywood?
I like to finish all the drawers with a coat of shellac. Sand ‘em down lightly, recoat if ya want for a nice smmoth finish. After all, ya don’t want your drawers (as in underwear) to get all snagged with splinters. Makes’ em really uncomfortable and ugly too. (Snicker!)


View Moosesman's profile


110 posts in 1810 days

#6 posted 11-16-2011 04:10 AM

Bill the drawer bodies are made with 3/4 in. Pine
And i definitely dont want splinters in my drawers lol. When you use shellac do you have any problems with stinky drawers?

-- DanielBrewerWoodworking

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics