budget friendly wood finihses for beginnersPhoto by Keith “Shin” Schindler, 2017

Woodworking is one of the most rewarding hobbies, generally requiring hours to carve, lathe, glue, route, sand, and lacquer pieces. Finishing woodworking projects usually takes less time than the first however-many steps particular projects require. Properly finishing makes pieces stand out and make others think or say out loud, “That’s nice work. Where did you buy it?” As such, finishing is very important to crafting high-quality works.

Without further ado, let’s touch over basic tips to make your finishing jobs pop and spur most people who see your works say, “Where did you buy that, anyways?”

Carefully removing left-over glue

It’s difficult sometimes to use just enough glue to hold pieces together without excess seeping out, causing your works to look tacky. Fortunately for you, here’s one good way to remove glue residue without damaging pieces themselves.

Place a drywall scraper flush against sides with excess glue to protect against scratches and scrapes. Next, gently chisel away excess adhesive. Remember, it’s best to leave a little excess following scraping than forcefully removing too much glue. Next, wrap fine-grit sandpaper around a scrap wood piece lying around and carefully sand away any excess left after chiseling.

Quickly, manually age varnished finishes

You could wait years for varnish finishes to gain timeless, rustic looks, or you could use this trick.

Get a brown paper bag, like those from convenience or grocery stores, crumple it up and unfold it. Keep crumpling and un-crumpling the paper bag until the bag is nice and worn. Fold it in a square or rectangle one or two times. Next, rub the now-worn paper bag in circles against varnished finishes.

Congratulations, your work now looks semi-rustic without having to wait years and years.

Evening out splotchy, visually unappealing stains

Every wood worker accidentally drops excess stain over pieces at least once in their woodworking careers. You can fix these goofy gaffes by wetting an old, clean shop rag and evenly spreading it across the goofed-up surface.

Gently rub the rag back, forth, and in circular motions. These movements even out the dye stain to make it less noticeable. Lather on a coat of shellac, then apply desired stain.

Use coffee cans for finishing stands

Finishing both sides of pieces often proves difficult. We might ask someone else — innocent bystanders totally uninvolved with your projects, our wives, friends, or even strangers — to hold a piece up while we finish both sides.

Without help, you must wait hours for finish to dry, and nobody wants to wait that long to finish projects. With a little modification, coffee cans can be our best finish-helping friends.

Drill three holes in the bottom of several coffee cans. Next, place screws in those drilled holes. You can place projects across three or more coffee cans to hold them up. Screw tips are minuscule, allowing you to finish both sides without waiting for them to dry.

Implement these tips into your woodworking projects and your work look better, be better, and take less time. You can thank me later!