How to Finish Interior Drawer Parts
Should the interior parts of a drawer be finished? If so, what type of finish should be used?
Anderson Curry, Hannibal, MO
I recommend finishing them. A finish slows the wood’s seasonal movement, making the drawer less likely to bind in summer. It also makes the surface easier to keep clean. Finally, a finished surface feels better, especially important on the drawer bottom, which your fingers often touch. Choose a finish that has little inherent odor when dry, like shellac, lacquer, and waterborne finishes. It takes only a few thin coats of shellac or lacquer, or one thin coat of a waterborne finish. Never use an oil-based finish on the interior. They cure by oxidation and inside a drawer there is not enough oxygen to cure, so their unpleasant smell will never go away.