10 Best Fixes for Finishing Mistakes
Cures for common problems, and how to prevent them in the first place
Synopsis: No one, whether hobbyist or professional, is immune to finishing mistakes. In this article, professional finisher Teri Masaschi offers remedies for 10 common problems, from surface flaws such as scratches and tearout, glue residue, and oversanding; to color mistakes such as uneven dye stain, bad color, or blotchiness; to topcoat problems such as drips and sags, contaminated finish, burn-through, and witness lines from oversanding. Masaschi demonstrates how to fix these problems after they happen, and what to do differently to avoid the problem next time.
Hobbyists and professionals alike make mistakes in the shop. When you’re building a piece, fixing an error is fairly straightforward: Back up and start again by milling a new piece, recutting a joint, or fitting in a patch. But finishing mistakes can be harder to overcome—hence the dread many woodworkers feel.
Problems can pop up at any one of three points in the…