Wednesday, January 30, 2013

How to Varnish by hand

                          Varnishing by Hand
If you have a small shop, and limited equipment,  like I do , it might be more feasible to varnish by hand as opposed to spray painting or varnishing. To spray paint you would need a compressor and a sealed room to spray it in. Hand varnishing can yield very nice results and can sometimes apply the finish more evenly everywhere then spraying. this is particularly true when you want to apply special finishes.
This is a batch of furniture that I am finishing in my shop.  I have just applied the stain.

I made these  by inserting a screw into a block of wood to allow me to put the finish on both sides of the furniture at once. The screw supports the furniture so it dries evenly and does not touch the table.
                  How to varnish by hand.
1. Make sure your project is well sanded.
2. Vacuum the pieces thoroughly to remove dust.
3. Use a tack cloth to remove small particles of dust.
4. Apply the stain with a cloth and a brush for the corners and edges. Let it dry .
5.Apply one coat of varnish. Check for drips. Let the varnish dry thoroughly.
6. Use a sanding sponge to sand lightly.
7. Pass the tack cloth to pick up dust.
8. Repeat steps 5, 6, and 7 two more times.
Now you should have a nice soft  even glow to your project. For hand finishing, Satin finish is the most forgiving. If you apply a  high gloss finish, every speck of dust or imperfection will show. I also think a satin finish looks more like wood. 

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