Good practice or proper finishing of the woodwork means: The right way of doing the job and the use of correct material, which means a longer-lived finish and one that costs less in the long run.

Kinds Of Finish

1. Staining

2. Varnishing

3. Enameling and painting

4. Waxing preparing the surface

For soft gray effects, white oak, white birch, and ash are the best to use.

Painting and enameling are most adaptable to birch (because of its hardness and close-knit grain), white pine (because of the fact that it is free from resin), poplar, and gum wood.

The general preparation of the surface is very much the same in all finishing. There are certain precautionary measures to observe in order to insure a good clean finish which the careful finisher looks after instinctively. The number of tools necessary to have at hand for the best results is not burdensome, and the number of precautionary measures referred to is not formidable, but both are essential.

1 Adapted from Interior Woodwork for the Home (mimeographed circular). Montana State College of Agriculture.

Someone has said that the principal cause for difference in the finish of the piano and the average woodwork job is sandpapering. Sandpaper the wood smooth-and then take finer sandpaper and sandpaper it again! Do not apply any finish over a poorly prepared surface. All sanding is to be done with the grain. Scratches are bound to show if sanding is done across the grain.

For rough sanding, No. 1/2 sandpaper is best; for finishing the wood, No. 00 is generally satisfactory, but for sanding enamel undercoats and varnish coats, No. 0000 is the best grade to use. Good emery cloth or carborundum sandpaper will outwear ordinary sandpaper considerably and cut cleaner. Always dust the surface thoroughly after sandpapering.

Painters often use a dust brush to remove any dust which may have settled on ledges or on corners. Every particle of dust that is varnished or enameled over becomes greatly magnified in size. Before varnishing or enameling, the surface should be gone over carefully with a cloth, dampened with benzine.