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Forum topic by Medickep posted 297 days ago 1195 views 2 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Medickep

344 posts in 371 days


297 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: resource stain finishes

It seems like every time I work on a project, I get different tips on how to improve the finish of a project, better than the last time. Other than following the manufacture’s directions, which often don’t include these “tips” I was wondering if anyone had any good articles on finish procedures for the different type of finishes.

My current procedures:

(painted projects): I’ve been using Floetrol with a 4” roller

sand the project up to 220 grit
Prime and sand at 220 grit
first coat of paint with 220 grit
Second coat of paint

With this I sometimes feel like the finish project isn’t as smooth as it was prior to the las coat of paint, but I’ve never heard of sanding paint after a final coat (I’m to afraid of loosing the gloss).

Clear coats:

I’ll sand the project up to 220 grit
Spray multiple coats (at least 3)
I usually do no sand in between as I’ve been using the spray polyurethane and it says no sanding is needed as long as it’s less than 2 hours.

I have heard that if you brush it on you should use a foam brush and go with the grain the first coat and than against the grain the second one??

I’ve felt some bumps with this before and considered trying a 0000 steel whoop but never did.

Staining:

I don’t have a lot of experience with staining, but I’m guessing I would put the stain on, wait 5-10 minutes, rub it off and repeat after 24 hours for a darker look, followed by some polyacrylic????

Any help in this department would be much appreciated!

-- Keith


17 replies so far

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

3883 posts in 1013 days


#1 posted 297 days ago

Any clear finish will need some sanding or buffing to be completely smooth.

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

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Medickep

344 posts in 371 days


#2 posted 297 days ago

What do you use for that? Steel whoop?

-- Keith

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pintodeluxe

3335 posts in 1446 days


#3 posted 297 days ago

I think one of the most important steps is to let the stain dry completely.
Then I spray two coats of lacquer, with a 320 grit flexible foam scuff sanding between coats.
That is usually all it takes. If there are any dust nibs in the finish, or if the finish becomes too glossy you can wax the project with #0000 steel wool. Let the wax dry to a haze and buff it off. I use Howard’s Walnut wax.

Cherry and other blotch prone woods require a washcoat of shellac before staining. Here are a couple good discussions on that.
http://lumberjocks.com/topics/54321
http://lumberjocks.com/pintodeluxe/blog/38333

My biggest improvement in finishing came when I switched from a siphon type gun to a gravity feed spray gun. It sprays well at almost any angle.

Here are some experiments I have done with stains and dyes… http://lumberjocks.com/pintodeluxe/blog/35559

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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Monte Pittman

13822 posts in 971 days


#4 posted 297 days ago

When in doubt, contact LJ Charles Neil. Renowned for his knowledge of finishing.

I don’t use the same technique on everything. Different types of wood and different projects require different finishes.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

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Medickep

344 posts in 371 days


#5 posted 297 days ago

I’ve noticed that I get different results with the same products on different types of wood. At this point I suppose I’m looking for general rules of thumb.

I had a project as soft as a baby’s butt until the final coat of paint and polyurethane. Now it’s got little bumps everywhere.

Pintodeluxe-

Do you prefer laquer over polyurethane?

I’m sure they make something for smoothing out a project without damaging the finish.

Thanks for the feedback this far!

-- Keith

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pintodeluxe

3335 posts in 1446 days


#6 posted 295 days ago

Yes, I prefer lacquer over poly. I only use poly for exterior projects, doors etc.
The reason is lacquer dries in 15 minutes, while poly can take 8 hours or more. That is too much open time for dust to settle in a finish.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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Rick

6454 posts in 1666 days


#7 posted 295 days ago

I don’t know what type of Poly You’re Using but I Use Minwax and Flecto Water Based (Brush On) and the stuff dries TOO Quickly! It doesn’t get a chance to “Lie Down” the way it should.

It even says on the Can That It’s Re-Coatable in One Hour. Prior to doing that I use 000 Steel Wool and a Good Wipe Down to take off all Sanding Dust. Three Coats are usually enough for a Furniture Grade Finish.

I Do NOT Like Foam Brushes. I think it makes the Poly Itself Bubble Up Or Foam. I also never apply it AGAINST The Grain. 2/3 Coats with the Grain.

As far as Staining. One coat Brushed on. NOT Wiped off and as it starts to dry, keep Brushing to spread it out evenly. Then usually a 24 Hour Dry before the Poly goes on.

A lot of guys on here Swear By Wipe On Poly. I haven’t tried it yet, but I will.

-- COMMON SENSE Is Like Deodorant. The People Who need It Most, Never Use It.

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tefinn

1207 posts in 1070 days


#8 posted 295 days ago

I don’t really believe there is a “general rule of thumb” for finishing. Start out by getting yourself some good books on finishing. Some good authors are Bob Flexner and Michael Dresdner. As already mentioned Charles Neil is here on LJs. Watch his videos on YouTube.

Different woods finish differently under different conditions. All of us here have our own methods for doing something. What works for me might not work for you. Experiment and find what works best for what you want. Make up sample boards and try different finishes and methods on them before applying to your project.

My usual method for most of my projects is sand to 220 or 320 grit depending on the wood. Then I apply poly(oil and water based) or lacquer (my prefered finish) by spray or natural bristle brush. If you use water based poly you can use a foam brush, but you’ll get better results with bristle. I sand with 320, 400 grit paper or 0000 steel wool between all coats. It’s not always needed but I do it anyway to keep consistent. Don’t ever use the steel wool between water based finishes as any wool dust left will rust in the next coat. After I have the number of coats I want (usually three) I sand lightly with 600 grit then wax or wax with 0000 steel wool.

This is about as general as I can get with my finishing method. As I said before different woods and different conditions mean different methods. If you need help with a particular problem, ask here. You’ll get all the opinions you can handle.

-- Tom Finnigan - Measures? We don't need no stinking measures! - Hmm, maybe thats why my project pieces don't fit.

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pintodeluxe

3335 posts in 1446 days


#9 posted 295 days ago

Richard,
I use Deft brand poly. I think the can says 4 hour dry time, but it always takes 8 hours or longer.
Hearing about your experience with Minwax poly doesn’t make me want to use it very badly.

So instead I thin lacquer 10% with lacquer thinner and spray it. The second coat melts into the first, and it makes finishing reliable and consistent for me.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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Medickep

344 posts in 371 days


#10 posted 295 days ago

Well I new it was a big topic, but I like to get some general tips before I start my own experimentations! I didn’t even know what 0000 steel wool was four days ago. I used it to smooth a finished, painted project that had some small rough spots.

tefinn-

What does the wax do? add a layer of protection over the lacquer?? are you using the fine 600 grit paper prior to the wax? or taking off the wax with a 600 grit or 0000 steel wool?

-- Keith

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tefinn

1207 posts in 1070 days


#11 posted 295 days ago

I sand with the 600 grit, then apply the wax. The sanding just smoothes the final coat and the wax helps restore the gloss and does add some protection to the finish. When using the steel wool, apply the wax with the steel wool. The steel wool will smooth and apply the wax at the same time. Just saves a step and sometimes it’s easier than using the sandpaper.

-- Tom Finnigan - Measures? We don't need no stinking measures! - Hmm, maybe thats why my project pieces don't fit.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112016 posts in 2210 days


#12 posted 295 days ago

Hi Keith
Like many subjects on LJs Answers to finishing is all over the map. Many times members view responses to their questions as gospel but often people who try and help have minimal experience in finishing even though they think there approach to finishing is good they use bad techniques or recommend poor products,this is why I recommend taking finishing advice from experts in finishing and the expert I recommend is Charles Neil who has a on line finishing course http://www.cn-woodworking.com/finishing-class/ and now Charles has a new book on finishing with information on all of the newest products and techniques beyond what older books have. Some times people think information you have to pay for is not worth it when you get free advice on line ,but getting good correct advice can save you hundreds of dollors by avoiding poor products that cost any where from $5.00-$50 a can. Besides the savings in material cost you can save yourself time and frustration in experimenting on your own. This post is not intended as criticism of advice given here or to offend anyone who has posted here in an effort to help.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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Medickep

344 posts in 371 days


#13 posted 295 days ago

A1jim-

I appreciate the help,I do try to take things with grain of salt as I know many here are professionals and I’m a hobbyist. I’ll take a look at Charles stuff, so appreciate it the links. I’m old enough to know I don’t learn well from books. I learned this when I was learning to do film editing. I much prefer video tutorials!

-- Keith

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a1Jim

112016 posts in 2210 days


#14 posted 295 days ago

Keith
If you like videos Charles has a whole library full of them in his on line finishing class plus a forum to answer your questions just on finishing.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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Rick

6454 posts in 1666 days


#15 posted 294 days ago

”Pinto” I hear you My Man. I’m just a “Hobby Woodworker”. Certainly My Experience doesn’t come close to yours.

Jims Comments are right on the mark! This type of topic will drum up Answers that are all over the Mao. As he also says if anyone is “The Expert” it’s Charles Neil.

Good Luck Keith. It takes a while and sometimes it doesn’t work the way you hoped it would. Those AREN’T MISTAKES! It was just PRACTICE.

-- COMMON SENSE Is Like Deodorant. The People Who need It Most, Never Use It.

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