Preparing a Surface - Fine Woodworking How-To

Preparing a Surface

No matter what type of finish you choose to put on a project, the end result will depend upon the degree to which the surface was properly prepared. The Basics: • Planing: Hand planes offer a nice surface, while machines are rough • Scraping: A well-tuned
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  • Secrets For Sanding Part 3: Wet-Sand Your FinishesVideo: Secrets For Sanding Part 3: Wet-Sand Your Finishes

    with Ed Pirnik

    Wood finishes tend to raise the grain of the wood, lifting tiny whiskers that are rough to the touch. The best way to smooth those fibers back down is wet-sanding.

  • Secrets For Sanding Part 2: Follow with Hand-SandingVideo: Secrets For Sanding Part 2: Follow with Hand-Sanding

    with Ed Pirnik

    In Part II of our series, you’ll learn how and why you want to follow power-sanding with a sanding block and finer grits, to get the wood ready for a truly perfect finish.

  • How to Use Traditional Milk PaintVideo: How to Use Traditional Milk Paint

    with Matt Kenney

    Learn how to apply a classic Shaker finish

  • Sanding BasicsSanding Basics

    by Jeff Jewitt

    Power tools leave their marks on wood, so if you want a dead-flat, smooth surface ready for a finish, you'll probably turn to sandpaper. Finishing expert Jeff Jewitt ...

  • Secrets for Better SandingVideo: Secrets for Better Sanding

    with Ed Pirnik

    Learn the right way to random-orbit sand in Part I of our 3-part video series on sanding and surface prep

  • Texture Wood to Highlight the GrainTexture Wood to Highlight the Grain

    by Geoff Guzynski

    Learn a fast and simple way to replicate the ancient Japanese Jin di sugi finish using an angle grinder fitted with a wire brush, some stain, and this technique. ...

  • The Language of Finishing: Part 2The Language of Finishing: Part 2

    by Mark Schofield

    In part two of The Language of Finishing, learn the terms used to describe the process of preparing a surface for finishing, and applying the finish itself. From ...

  • Are You Sanding Right?Are You Sanding Right?

    by Teri Masaschi

    Just about everybody has one, but not everybody knows how to use it effectively. To get the most from your random-orbit sander, you need to know how to handle the ...

  • How to Break an EdgeHow to Break an Edge

    by Garrett Hack

    How you break the edges can make or break your projects

  • Best Finish for Spalted WoodsQ & A: Best Finish for Spalted Woods

    by Sara Robinson

  • Surface-Prep ShootoutSurface-Prep Shootout

    by Asa Christiana

    Which method works best when preparing wood for a finish -- handplane or sandpaper? To find out, we set up a friendly competition between two FWW staffers. Each ...

  • Finish Recipe: Display Cabinet on a StandFinish Recipe: Display Cabinet on a Stand

    by Jim Budlong

    A shellac polish finish can be a very attractive option for cabinets or other low-wear objects.

  • High-Gloss Finish Made SimpleHigh-Gloss Finish Made Simple

    by Sean Clarke

    Learn the secrets to applying a high-gloss finish that brings out the color, depth, and figure in wood. Brushing or spraying alone won't do it. The secret is applying ...

  • Invisible Patch for Lumber DefectsQ & A: Invisible Patch for Lumber Defects

    by Christian Becksvoort

  • Re-creating a Shaker FinishRe-creating a Shaker Finish

    by Linda Coit

    Linda Coit specializes in antique restoration and repair, but she rarely gets the chance to duplicate an entire piece. So when Chris Becksvoort enlisted her shop's ...

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