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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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83,098 Subscribers


I bought a walnut butcher block for a desk. I would like a satin or low gloss finish. So far I was thinking of using a satin polyurethane but I'm not sure what I should use under it to give it the nice brown walnut color. This is my first project and I'm worried about it. thanks for any help :)

09:37 UTC


Perserving an autograph

Hey guys Don’t know if i’m in the right place but looking for help to protect a signed headphone.

The headphone is made out of plastic in case anyone was wondering.

02:46 UTC


Behr cabinet paint won't lay down

Behr cabinet paint won't lay down. I've tried foam roller, 1/4" nap, soft bristled brush and the paint doesn't lay down. Behr primer, sanded 320 then cabinet paint. Am I going to have to build this up and sand down to a smooth finish? Same results on laser smooth surface as a more grainy start. I'm getting frustrated. Please help

02:43 UTC


Best HVLP gun with least amount of overspray.

Doing bursts and I am so tired of overspray getting in areas and having to scrape it off later. Recommend me the best gun. Also one for metallics. I get a solid amount of cfm. 18 at 30 psi I believe with my 60 gallon compressor.

18:41 UTC


Tinted Clear to Use?

I'm looking to tint a clear coat on a guitar body I'm working on. It already has a couple coats of KBS Crystal Clear on it and they don't really have much information about what you can use if anything to tint it. It's a solvent based product containing Xylene. The information I have is that it can coat over just about any existing finish so long as it's fully cured, so I'm hoping I can find something to add to get a little red/brown to it. Just not very familiar with solvent based dyes that are out there. Any thoughts?

15:12 UTC


Any reason I can't use toner over laminate?

I'm sure this is a really stupid question. Can I use toner over laminate to try and adjust the finish shade? Would there be an issue with it adhering? Do I need a topcoat after?

01:38 UTC


Any idea what finish this is in this eames stool? And how best to strip it without sanding it?

21:09 UTC


When staining a batch of doors, how do you store them to dry?

I’ve found that the stain will get marks where it was touching a drying rack, any solutions to this?

22:22 UTC


Any guesses on the type of wood and if these tables are solid? Wondering if it would be worth refinishing.

02:40 UTC


Front Door Stain - too dark, how to lighten?

Wanted a dark brown (sample below) and I got black. Using General Finishes 450 Exterior Black Walnut. Is there any way to lighten this up? or do I have to sand it down again and try a lighter color? Mine has no topcoat yet. Thx



01:34 UTC


Natural finish for white oak

I'm going to be putting up some box beams made from white oak. I'm looking for suggestions of what to seal it with that will keep it looking like the natural material. I tried water based polycrilic bit it darkens and turns a slight bit toward orange. I tried a dab of white was before the poly and it was just then too washed out / white.

Any thoughts? Also any downsides to not sealing at all and just putting it up unfinished? Thanks!

20:53 UTC


Seeking Advice on Refinishing Machinist's Chest

I'm planning to refinish this machinist's chest as a present for a family member. I've got a rough plan for what needs doing, but I would appreciate advice on a couple of points.

As it stands, I've broken the job down into the following tasks:

  • Sanding down and refinishing the wood.
    • I'm thinking of just using a varnish here, since the wood underneath seems to be quite attractive.
    • The metal attachments/corners present a bit of a problem for me. I'd like to avoid removing them if I can (not sure how well they'll go back on), but I'm not sure how I should take this into account when refinishing the wood. Any advice here would be appreciated.
  • Cleaning and polishing the metal pieces
    • Here, I'm mainly uncertain of whether I should do this before/after applying the varnish to the wood.
  • Repairing the handle
    • I'm wanting to try making a stacked leather handle for this, to avoid it wearing in the same way as the current handle has.
  • Getting a key made for the front by a locksmith

In the past, I've done a couple of these sorts of tasks on their own, but never all together, so I'm unsure of how I should be sequencing things.


15:30 UTC


Is the Earlex 5500 worth it still?

Hey guys

I have a few larger projects in my house coming up (kitchen cabinet doors - oak ply slab, floor to ceiling book shelves, etc) that will require me to apply a large amount of Poly. I don’t know how comfortable I feel wiping/brushing poly on something so visible at all times and pieces that are that large (some doors will be 6 feet+)

Lee Valley near me has this unit on clearance for $350 Canadian. Is there a more suitable unit out there now for that price range?

Any insight?

14:16 UTC


What can I do with this dresser?

Hi everyone, I was given this dresser about 20 years ago to take to college, and it was in pretty bad shape, so I tried my hand at sanding it down, staining it, and putting new handles on. I also tried to be different and rounded off the sharp corners a bit. I did not add a coating after the stain. As you can probably see, it turned out...OK.

Today, my very supportive wife uses it for some of her clothes, but she doesn't particularly like it, not the least reason for which being that I obviously had no idea what I was doing and the smell never quite went away. 😬 So, I'd like to do us both a favor and have a spring project in trying to refinish it properly. We finally moved into a house after many years of renting an apartment, and I now have space to work on it. But, just like 20 years ago, I don't really know what I'm doing. If possible, I'd like to wind back the dark stain I used and give it a lighter natural finish, but if that isn't possible, I'd like to sand it down and probably paint it, either a solid light color and new handles for a modern look, or maybe some sort of uneven paint for a rustic look.

Most importantly, I need it to not have a lingering odor. I've tried to do my homework and learn about my different options, but I'm still kind of confused. If I want to paint, is there a coating or treatment I should use first (or after the paint)? I would like to avoid handling a bunch of harsh chemicals if possible, but I'm also a pragmatist and will do so as long as I can properly use them and dispose of them.

Also, maybe it doesn't matter, but I have a router for a separate project and I was thinking of using it to restore some of the original edges. I don't imagine that will affect anything either way, but I wanted to mention it in case I am once again missing something obvious 😂.

Thanks to anyone who reads this essay about my dresser and provides any pointers.

13:35 UTC


Any ideas on how to fill in these cracks?

I thrifted this dresser and it has a few cracks. It’s made out of glass. Any advice on how to fix it or fill them?

02:20 UTC


Walnut veneer after stripping. After a light sanding, what would you recommend?

I was going to use tung oil but I think the color looks amazing as is. Wood conditioner and a matte poly? I didn't want it any darker, although that may change after sanding. I also don't care for a glossy finish

00:43 UTC


How to make this Outdoor Patio Couch look decent

Been reading over this subreddit, and you all are so kind and patient -- thank you in advance for any advice / next steps:

I inherited this once-pricy outdoor sectional from a neighbor for free, and I have the gumption to sand it and refinish.

However, I don't know the:

- Type of wood,

- the best sander to use (dont' own one, would borrow or buy),

- or the best finish

Already in my possession:

- "Brightener" that would take away the gray

- A quarter gallon of Cabot Clear Wood Protector One Coat Weatherproof (normally for decks I assume)

- Howard Sunshield Wood Conditioner and UV protectant 16 fl. oz. -- i'm assuming this won't be useful, but would love to know if it is.

volatile midAtlantic climate - full sun exposure most of the day.

(I do understand that exterior oil based paint would be the best bet, but that's not the look I'm going for).




21:32 UTC


Brushes and Rags

How do you all clean your brushes after staining and applying poly? I don't want to keep buying a new 10-15$ brush each project. Any way to keep the brush clean and flexible?

Do you reuse rags? Is it safe to put them in the wash?

15:33 UTC

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