Many woodworkers hate finishing, and with good reason. It’s part of the process where a misstep can take hours, or days, from which to recover (if at all). For many, the process is filled with fear and doubt. But it doesn’t have to be that way – it is a process after all.
While you may be working with liquids, finishing isn’t chemical magic. It’s a building process just like any aspect of woodworking. And it takes practice to gain proficiency. Problems crop up when people try to rush things or skip steps (and often both). You wouldn’t skip transferring your dovetails from one board to the other, would you? So, why do so many woodworkers insist on skipping, or abbreviating, steps when it comes to the most noticeable part of any project?
I believe the answer lies primarily in fear. Because the finish (in which I include any coloring of the project) is the first thing people see, woodworkers are afraid to make a simple mistake that will forever stare in the face of every would-be project admirer throughout time.