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Home > Finishing

How to choose the right finish, Part 1

This is the Holy Grail for many woodworkers.  Or at least you'd
think so by how tight lipped woodworkers can be about their
finishing techniques.  "What finish did you use?".  For some
woodworkers you may as well have called their Mothers ugly by the
look you may receive.  

Finishing wood is an art unto itself.  With that being said though,
it's still not as complicated as some would have you believe.  Much
of the confusion comes from the manufactures themselves, mostly in
the form of how they label products.

Why do so many woodworkers simply throw their hands up in the air
and just use one type of finish for all their projects?  Because
they're afraid of trying something NEW!

Well, as with most things that seem complicated, if you take the
time to break  the process down into smaller pieces, it becomes
much easier to understand.  With this understanding, the decision
making process becomes much easier.

When choosing a finish there are six major qualities to consider:
1) Appearance
2) Ease of Application
3) Protection
4) Durability
5) Health Concerns
6) Ease of Repairing

In Part 2, we'll look at each of these to help you determine what's
the most important qualities you need in finishing your particular

Craig Stevens
Woodworkers Resource