What is the best recipe for a smooth finish on interior wood furniture? – News from Mother Earth


Question: How do I apply a smooth finish to the interior drink? I am never satisfied with the quality of finish that I manage to obtain on my interior drink projects. Even when I use tack cloths to wipe the surface and be careful not to overload the brush, I still have (and I mean

ALWAYS!) Get those hard little bumps to the surface when I’m done. I’ve tried many different brushes and brands of urethane, and even considered using spray hairspray if that could accomplish anything. Is there a way to get a decent finish on my furniture projects without installing a professional paint booth?

A: I’m sorry you’re having trouble, but you shouldn’t feel bad. Most people have the same difficulties as you. Here is a finishing recipe that I know works perfectly.

  1. Get some oil-based urethane (I prefer a satin sheen) and a natural bristle brush and smooth bare wood parallel to the grain using a progression of sandpaper up to 220 grit.
  2. Dampen the surface with a damp cloth to enhance the grain of the wood, then let dry for 2 days.
  3. Sand again with 220 grit sandpaper only, then vacuum all the particles from your project and the entire finish area.
  4. Apply a coat of undiluted urethane and let dry for a day. Apply another coat and, when completely dry, sand the surface with 220 grit paper using a hand sander.
  5. Vacuum again, coat again and sand again, for two more coats. It will be four in all.

After all of the above, you should find the surface to be quite nice. Any remaining hardened dust particles can be removed by rubbing with 000 steel wool or 3M friction pad. If you want a more refined finish, sand the area by hand with 400 grit wet / dry sandpaper, lubricated with plenty of water after the last coat. Finish by buffing the area with 0000 steel wool. You will get the best finish possible using a random orbit sander on an ultra-fine 3M friction pad. This gives a spectacular result.

A word of warning: When sanding between coats, or with the wet / dry paper after all coats have fallen, be careful around the corners. It is very easy to sand all the way through in these areas, exposing the bare wood.

Steve Maxwell, Canada’s Most Handyman, has been sharing his DIY tips, how-to videos, and product reviews since 1988. Visit him on www.SteveMaxwell.ca, Facebook Where @Maxwells_Tips on Twitter.


Contributing editor Steve maxwell has been helping people renovate, build and maintain their homes for over two decades. “Canada’s Most Practical Man” is an award-winning home improvement authority and woodworking expert. Contact him by visiting his website and the blog, Maxwell’s house. You can also follow it on Twitter, like him on Facebook and find it on Google+.



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