The wood is now of the proper color and presents a smooth and continuous surface, which must now be protected by means of the finishing coat. The most easily handled finishing material is prepared wax, which is put up in various sized cans and can be well applied with a soft cloth. The polishing may commence about fifteen minutes after applying. It is usually done with a polishing-mitt, although a dry cloth will answer the purpose quite as well No particular care is necessary in putting on the wax, as any overlapping does not show after polishing.
There are many excellent finishing preparations on the market having wax in composition, which are sold under suggestive trade names. These are usually applied with a brush, and are put up in various sized cans, upon which will be found any special directions required in applying them.
Should it be desired to secure a rather harder and more impervious surface than that afforded by a single application of wax, a coat of thin shellac may be applied before waxing or applying the finishing coat. Pure shellac varnish - that is, dry shellac dissolved in grain alcohol - is very quick-drying and is therefore a rather troublesome material to apply uniformly, particularly on a large surface. There are, however, many preparations marketed under fancy names that serve the same purpose as shellac and can be much more easily applied. After this coat has thoroughly dried go over the surface with the finest sandpaper obtainable before applying the filler.
The high polishes so popular in the past were secured by the use of varnish, which is a resinous substance incorporated with oils, turpentine, etc. After each coat the surface is thoroughly rubbed with pulverized pumice-stone and linseed-oil. The dull, wax-like finishes, however, are now meeting general favor, deservedly so, for the reason that the surface may be freshened up at any time by a few minutes' application of the polishing-mitt.