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/r/finishing is a forum that encourages the respectful exchange of wood or metal finishing knowledge and projects

/r/finishing is a forum that encourages the respectful exchange of wood or metal finishing knowledge and projects. Please check your ego at the door. Before hitting submit, check that your content doesn't violate the rules below.


  • No self promotion or direct linking to items for sale. Instead, post it at /r/ArtisanGifts. Self promotion isn't showing off something you made; it's linking to items/services for sale.

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  • To prevent spam, accounts must be older than 1 hour to post

  • Self posts need at least a few descriptive words or they will be removed

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71,913 Subscribers


How To Sand and Polish Aluminum Bronze to Mirror Finish

1 Comment
16:10 UTC


Wax/oil recos for beech high chair

As the title suggests, I am looking to find out what I should use on a beech high chair that I am currently sanding down from the original white paint to bare wood?

I need something that I can easily wipe clean with detergent and will withstand all manner of food stains.

Looking to keep the grain visible.

Thanks in advance.

14:17 UTC


Water stained wood.

Hello, I know nothing about wood refinishing. I am gonna be ordering some furniture for my gun that is water stained. Will the stain affect the finish I go with? Or will it not matter if I send it a lot.

1 Comment
13:11 UTC


GF High Performance over off-white paint?

I was planning on using a Urethane Alkyd paint (I've used the BM Advance one and really liked it, but due to availability I was planning on using the Behr one that they sell at THD) on a piece of furniture. My color choice is an off-white/linen color - basically a light beige.

My plan was to topcoat that with General Finishes High Performance (which I have on-hand, like using a lot, and would be a good choice for this piece). However I just read that GF does not recommend High Performance over white paint as it could cause yellowing.

Does anyone have any experience with HP over a lighter or whiter color, and have you been satisfied? It definitely will not be a 'bright white' but I'm not sure how cautious to be here - I could use a plain old polyurethane if I was concerned, I just like using the High Performance. TYIA!

03:56 UTC


Repair Wood Split

Wondering the best way to repair/secure this splitting piece of wood on a coffee table? Not sure if I should just use wood glue, or a specific type? Goal is to not lose this piece and then have a missing chunk. Any advice or specific product you’d use will be helpful!

03:38 UTC


Outdoor White Oak Shower Surround.

Just built an outdoor shower and have a slat privacy wall made out of white oak 1x6 boards. PS I have a lot of oak left over from a post n beam garage... and its all from my property.

Was going to apply a few coats of Marine Varnish as I have a quart... anyone have a better idea. Just want to preserve it a bit, add some waterproofing and maybe a slight color. Its not a big deal its only about 12 boards or 4x6 feet.

Ideas? Recommendations.

23:39 UTC


Dog poo damaged finished stair tread

1 Comment
23:37 UTC


Refinishing an old door – how should I approach staining?

New to refinishing here. I'm refinishing our front door (the interior side) and could use some advice on the staining portion. I've sanded and stripped it down – all paint layers, about three. The house is 100 years old, so I imagine the door is nearly as old.

Now that I have a fresh door, what should I use? I was thinking of using a gel stain, but now am hearing that might not be the best approach. Should I instead use oil / seal? I'd like to use a dark color.

Would also love any insights on using wood conditioner.


1 Comment
18:06 UTC


Mixing Linseed Oil with Milk Paint Powder

Has anyone tried mixing a milk paint powder such as Old Fashioned with BLO instead of water? I was looking up some recipes for linseed oil paint, and a lot of times it seems to just be a pigment and oil. Could the milk paint work as the pigment?

Note: I have never been unhappy with any of the milk paints I have used, so have no reason to change things up like this. I’m just interested after Christopher Schwarz’s transition to recommending Linseed Oil Paint.

17:43 UTC


Wood Baseball Bat Finish

Looking for some advice on wood baseball bat painting and finishing. Step by step guide would be amazing. Type of paint, polyurethane, how to apply, ETC.

Thanks in advance

1 Comment
13:46 UTC


advice on refinishing/rebuild project

Hi all,

A friend and myself are looking to repurpose a very old breakfront/china cabinet. It used to be in the first floor of his house but was removed by a previous owner. The pieces were stored in the basement and left behind when my friend bought the place. There are built in bookcases on the second floor made from the same wood in the same style. The idea is to salvage/re-use as many of the pieces as possible for two new wall cabinets above a wet-bar. The house was built in 1904 and my buddy tries to restore as much of what is original to the house as he can.

I know my way around a woodshop but have little experience salvaging and/or refinishing hardwoods. I'm more of plywood/pocket hole/face frame/rabbit/dado guy. Trying to dabble in finer carpentry in my free time. The current cabinet pieces are oak and are stained/finished. My friend does have some refinishing experience but that of a "hobbyist". My end of the project is the construction/carpentry. We will need to incorporate some new oak hardwood into the build.

My very "simple" question is if it makes sense to just strip and sand all of the existing wood from the start. I'll end up sanding some of the finish away in some areas during the re-build regardless. The idea of "blending in" and matching a new stain on the existing oak let alone matching to brand new oak is intimidating to say the least. I say "simple" question in the sense that I feel like it might have a complicated answer.

For reference I'm talking about two individual wall cabinets roughly 48" tall 40" wide and 10" deep. The 10" depth comes from 3 existing side panels that are in good shape. I will have to build a 4th along with 2 new bases. Then we will be adding some open shelving between the two and crown molding made from new material. I could get some photos if anyone was interested/it would help them help me.

01:24 UTC


Is there a quick fix. Pinholes in lacquer finish.

I occasionally discover these while sanding. I will dig them out with an exacto knife. And fill with lacquer. I hate doing this. Any other solutions?

1 Comment
19:23 UTC


Spraying exterior 2k poly in high humidity

We are working to finish up a project this week. We have two weeks of rain in the forecast with 90% RH (Pacific Northwest). The areas we are spraying are dry and under cover (tarped) but the humidity will be close to 90%.

Spraying a ICA 2K isolante and solvent-borne exterior urethane clear finish on wood.

Any issues spraying this in high humidity or anything we can do?

16:28 UTC


Can I stain white birch veneer (left) to look like the tabletop (right)? If so, how?


When I showed the picture to the guy at the veneer store, he said yeah it's no problem. But in my tests with stain samples, I can't keep the light striations light or darken the dark ones. The contrasting cathedral effect is what I'm looking for, but am unable to achieve. Is there a trick? Maybe I just haven't found the right shade of stain yet. Latest try was Varathane Premium Gel Stain in Golden Pecan, but the dark just doesn't get dark enough.

It's possible that the tabletop I'm trying to copy isn't birch at all, but maybe walnut of some sort. If so, is it even possible to copy it in birch?

Any guidance appreciated.

13:07 UTC


Advice on trying to spruce up an old timber ceiling?

We are refurbing a house currently. Note that I have no experience with wood or refurbing and we are having professionals carry out the work, including a professional painter.

We have a ceiling like the attached, and it's very dated. We are trying to go with a more rustic look in the house whilst also trying to keep bits of the old house there and not have it all completely new.


In an ideal world, we'd have something like the below, but the painter has said it would be a nightmare to sand it. I trust him and am fine with that answer.


He suggested that we could stain over it, but it would be darker. I'm just looking for advice on does anyone suggest a finish on it? How can we tell how dark it would be? Really, we are looking to remove the 70s "red" colour off it. We'd love something more smokey, country or rustic. Any advice would be great! Thanks

10:28 UTC


I really need some help

Few days ago I have stained my table with ink and I tried to erase it with solvent and sand-paper. Part of the stain ramained though and I tried to remove the rest with water and baking soda…but it just made everything worse :(

Does anyone have any suggestions about what I should do? I don’t have any experience with wood treatments and i really need some help

10:04 UTC


Oil It Or Leave it Alone Until I Can Stain It?

Apologies if this isn't the right forum for my question--I just got a coffee table in need of TLC. Due to logistics, I won't be sanding, staining and finishing it for about 6-8 months, so I'm preparing it for storage. The climate is fairly dry. I'm tempted to wipe it down with Pledge orange oil before it goes in the storage container, but I don't want to decrease the wood's ability to uptake stain/add an extra step down the line. How would you approach this?



06:08 UTC


What’s happening here?

I’m in the middle of stripping the paint from this heavy armoire/cabinet and while the wood is lovely, there looks to be some uneven staining going sideways across the grain.

I’d love to know what is the likely cause of this so I can hopefully save the piece. Is it just an improperly applied stain? It doesn’t look like a natural feature of the wood to me, though the bordering pieces of wood do have entirely natural irregularities. Any advice on how to proceed? I was hoping to get it stripped, lightly sanded, and apply an oil.


05:31 UTC


Tips for staining pine?

Hello! I am working on a DIY guitar amplifier and need to stain a matching pine head shell and 2x12 speaker cab. I have been doing some research and was hoping to get some advice from this community!

The pine enclosures will be shipped to me sanded to #220 already. My current plan was to apply pre-stain conditioner directly without further sanding. Wipe it off then apply a layer of oil based stain. Then wipe that off.

Question 1: I have read that it is difficult to get an even stain on pine and that sanding + pre stain conditioner helps. Are there any tips to getting an even finish when working on such a large surface area (26-1/4” x 19-1/2" x 10-1/4" and 16”-3/8 x 10” x 7”)?

Question 2: I have read conflicting info on oil based stains vs gel stain for pine. Is gel stain a better/more beginner-proof method for pine?

Question 3: This is an example of a stain I would like to achieve. Nothing too fancy, just a little bit darker and even. Is this realistically achievable for my first staining project? It is more important to me to be done well than to be done by me, so I would be willing to hire a local woodworker if that’s what’s needed.

Thank you for reading and for any advice you may have.

1 Comment
04:36 UTC


How to make a wood finish with mineral oil and beeswax?

Hi, I want to put a protective coating on the handle of my wooden knife. I have mineral oil and beeswax. What is the ratio of wax to oil in weight that I should mix? Also, what characteristics am I looking for- e.g. hardness while being fluid? Thanks!

03:46 UTC


Can you help?

My wife and I wanted to redo our floors, and decided to save some money and do it ourselves. It was my first time attempting something like this. I think I did a decent job overall, however I did make a few errors with the edging sander. Is there anything I can do to fix this?

16:47 UTC


Not sure how to fix

Hello, I bought this ethan allen desk a few years ago off of msrketplace and have no idea what its made of or how I can refinish this. It has a waterstain which is prompting me to actually refinish the whole thing. Help?

15:23 UTC

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