At the outset of this trio of articles about finishing, my plan was to give you a basic understanding of the nature of wood and how to use it to your advantage when finishing your pieces. And rather than give you a mind-numbing series of steps that produce results as consistent as the medium in which we work, I am presenting an understanding of why things go wrong. The theory is that you’ll be able to prevent problems before they happen if you know what to expect when you work with wood.
I’ve heard from countless woodworkers that finishing a project is the part they dread the most. And the more I talk to them, the more I have come to understand that they simply lack enough knowledge and understanding of wood and the finishing process to overcome their fear.
Everything I’ve talked about in the previous two articles (click here for FoFF I & here for FoFF II), from wood selection to surface preparation to application of color has been presented to help you overcome any fear and the associated problems. And now that you’ve practiced preparing wood for color and played around with various coloring methods you need to understand how to protect and preserve that perfect surface. That’s where topcoat finishes come into play.