What do you use to clean wood before finishing?

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Forum topic by DoubleJ posted 322 days ago 688 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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9 posts in 1815 days

322 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: question

I have some unfinished oak 6 panel doors, in the process of mortising the hinges and drilling the lock sets, I’ve managed to get my dirty fingerprints all over the door. I don’t want to sand it out because the oak is veneered. So what do I use the clean off the dirt and oil?


-- JJ, Ohio

7 replies so far

View NiteWalker's profile


2709 posts in 1179 days

#1 posted 322 days ago

Mineral spirits or denatured alcohol.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View kdc68's profile


1942 posts in 878 days

#2 posted 322 days ago

+1 NiteWalker....Neither will raise the grain. Both will highlight any imperfections like glue and cross grain scratches with or without the use of a raking light. Both will give you an indication of what a clear finish may look like. And both dry fast (denatured alcohol faster yet).

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View rrww's profile


253 posts in 715 days

#3 posted 322 days ago

+3 Denatured Alcohol

View Finisherman's profile


189 posts in 451 days

#4 posted 322 days ago

I use VM&P naphtha. It evaporates as quickly as denatured alcohol, and yet, in most cases, won’t harm the existing finish.

View jumbojack's profile


1156 posts in 1226 days

#5 posted 322 days ago

I would use the product that thins your finish medium.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View Loco's profile


210 posts in 351 days

#6 posted 322 days ago

I would use solid wood.

-- What day is it ? No matter. Ummmm What month is it ? No moron. I paid for a 2 x 6. That means Two inches by six inches. I want the rest of my wood.

View dschlic1's profile


149 posts in 571 days

#7 posted 322 days ago

I used low odor mineral spirits to clean the bare wood and also between finish coats on the Oak entertainment center I built. Worked great.

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