10 Wood Finishing Techniques

Check out the top 10 wood finishing techniques and learn how to fix the most common finishing mistakes.

| May 2014

Never fear finishing again! The Editors of Fine Woodworking will give you the skills necessary and confidence to apply finish with ease. Best Finishing Techniques (Taunton Press, 2011) is an invaluable reference that offers foolproof techniques to guarantee a perfect finish every time. In the following excerpt, Teri Masaschi will teach you a few wood finishing techniques, tips and tricks for fixing finishing mistakes.

You can purchase this book from the MOTHER EARTH NEWS store: Best Finishing Techniques.

Top 10 Wood Finishing Techniques for Fixing Mistakes

Hobbyists and professionals alike make mistakes in the shop. When you’re building a piece, fixing an error is fairly straightforward: Back up and start again by milling a new piece, recutting a joint, or fitting in a patch. But finishing mistakes can be harder to overcome—hence the dread many woodworkers feel.

Problems can pop up at any one of three points in the finishing process—surface preparation (and assembly), staining and coloring, and applying the topcoat. I’ll show you some of the methods I use as a professional to back out of a mistake and to try to keep it from happening in the first place.

The best way to avoid mistakes altogether is to practice on a sample board. Testing the colors and materials you want to use will alert you to problems before you risk ruining an expensive project. Also, resist the urge to rush through the finishing process. You can nearly always tell when someone has taken a shortcut.

And finally, even if you make mistakes you can’t fix, after suffering through them you probably won’t repeat the same ones again.

5/22/2018 9:46:21 PM

I use the plans at WWW.EASYWOODWORK.ORG to build my own DIY projects – I highly recommend you visit that website and check their plans out too. They are detailed and super easy to read and understand unlike several others I found online. The amount of plans there is mind-boggling… there’s like 16,000 plans or something like that for tons of different projects. Definitely enough to keep me busy with projects for many more years to come haha. Go to WWW.EASYWOODWORK.ORG if you want some additional plans :)

mother earth news fair 2018 schedule


Next: August 4-5, 2018
Albany, OR

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!


Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

Money-Saving Tips in Every Issue!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard