how to finish drawer slides and dividers

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Forum topic by mpinjp posted 09-12-2014 12:42 PM 1148 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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11 posts in 2617 days

09-12-2014 12:42 PM

Topic tags/keywords: staining oak finishing question drawer drawer slides drawer dividers finish offgas

Hello all,

It’s been a while since I posted – I’ve spent quite a while working on a large quarter sawn white oak dresser. It is now just about complete, and I am starting to apply finish. What I’ve decided to use is Transtint medium brown dye, followed by a coat of dewaxed shellac, then a coat of General Finishes Nutmeg gel stain, and then a couple of coats of General Finishes wipe on poly. Whew!

My question is this: My drawers are going to be set in about an eighth of an inch, so the drawer slides and dividers will be partially exposed. I don’t want an oil based finish inside the dresser because of the smell, but I want it to match the outside. I was thinking I would just apply finish in about half an inch on those parts, but how would I get a nice neat line? That dye bleeds very easily.

I would appreciate any ideas – thanks!


-- Myanna, Boston

2 replies so far

View dbray45's profile


3320 posts in 2772 days

#1 posted 09-12-2014 01:09 PM

I don’t finish the inside of the drawers as a rule, just the drawer front panel and its’ top edge.

-- David in Damascus, MD

View paxorion's profile


1107 posts in 2041 days

#2 posted 09-12-2014 01:25 PM

I forget which forum I read about this topic before (I feel like it was SMC), but the question has been posed before. The going consensus was either no finish (majority) or shellac (minority). Oils and varnishes were strongly recommended against.

I’ve been (slowly) working through the drawer boxes for a dresser rehab project for my daughter and built new drawer boxes myself (nothing special, just big box store birch plywood, glue, and nails). I figured some protection is better than no protection and put on 2 coats of de-waxed shellac (unthinned Zinsser Sealcoat).

-- paxorion

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