Keep Your Finish Fresh
All finishes have a shelf life, but you can learn how to keep your leftover products from expiring prematurely
Synopsis: Even when stored unopened in ideal conditions, finishes deteriorate. And a finish that’s going bad is not one you want to use on your carefully crafted project. In this article, finisher Andy Charron offers strategies for extending the useful life of your shellacs and varnishes. He also explains how to distinguish a still usable product from one that’s gone bad.
Your shop probably has a shelf cluttered with cans, jars, and bottles of finish left over from previous projects. Some of the containers aren’t labeled, so the contents are a mystery; others are so old that the lids and tops are either glued on tight or won’t seal at all. These leftovers represent a waste of material and space, because the fact is you shouldn’t let the vast majority of old finishes anywhere near your next project.
Although there are ways to preserve finishes…