DIY Organizers and Storage Projects: Tools / Techniques: Finishing

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Scraping, puttying, and sanding initiate the finishing process. They don’t require a lot of time, as long as you give the process some good, concentrated attention. The tone and quality of your finished product will reflect the care you take in preparing the surface for finishing.

Scraping

Scrapers clean off dried glue, bring face frames flush to case sides, remove saw marks and burns, and perform other pre-sanding tasks. When the scraper stops bringing up frothy curls with each pass, it’s time to sharpen it.

Puttying

Wood putty fills voids, defects, gaps, and nail holes for surfaces on which you’ll use a natural finish. Apply it with a flexible putty knife. Fast-drying putty, in a tone that matches your material, stains very well. Apply it sparingly and sand it thoroughly until no “ghosts” show around the puttied hole. Spackling compound, rather than putty, is used for filling surfaces you plan to paint. For the best job, apply it right over the prime coat, when defects are most fully visible.

Sanding

You’ll get the best results from sanding when you do the work in the proper sequence. Do inside surfaces once, before the parts are assembled, with medium fine sandpaper— 120- or 150-grit, for example. When your construction is complete, putty outside surfaces as needed, then sand, completing the process with one grit before you graduate to the next finer.

Wood Finish Processes

Belt sander. (U) For early phases of the finishing process. Use grits from 80 to 120 for the initial sanding.

Electric vibrator sander. (E) For middle to final finish. Orbital sanders in particular can go with and across the grain. Use grits from 120 up.

Hand block. (S) For all phases of the finishing process. Use any grit.

 

Stained and Sealed Surfaces

 

Primed & Painted Surfaces

For an All Lumber Project

 

For an All Lumber Project

1. 80 S U

smooths uneven surfaces, removes mill marks, removes surface putty and excess glue

1. 80 S E

2. 120 S U

continues smoothing and evening-out process

2. 120 S E

 

 

3. Prime; fill imperfections with spackling compound when dry.

 

smooths raised grain and compound

4. 150 S E

3. 180 S E

smooths raised grain and compound

5. 180 S E

4. Apply first finish

prepares surface for finish

6. Paint

5. 220 400 S E

keeps surface smooth and even between

7. 180 S

6. Reapply finish

 

8. Apply final paint coat

For a Plywood & Lumber Project

 

For a Plywood & Lumber Project

1. 100 S E

smooths and evens surfaces

1. 80 S E

2. 150 S E

continues smoothing process, begins to prepare surface for finish coats

2. 120 S E

 

 

3. Prime; fill imperfections with spackling compound when dry

 

smooths raised grain and compound

4. 150 S E

3. 180 S E

completes surface preparation for finish coats

5. 180 S

4. Apply first finish coat

 

6. Paint

5. 220 400 S E

keeps surface smooth and even between coats

7. 180 S

6. Apply final finish coat

 

8. Apply a final paint coat

For a Particle Board Project

 

For a Particle Board Project

1. 100 S E

smooths surface and edges (this is all the surface-preparation sanding you need do; particle board is rough, and more sanding will make little difference to the finish)

 

 

smooths surface

1. 120 S E

2. Apply first finish coat

 

2. Prime; fill imperfections with spackling compound when dry

 

smooths raised grain and compound and prepares surface for paint

3. 150 S E

 

 

4. Paint

3. 220 S E

keeps surface smooth and even between coats

5. 180 220 S E

4. Apply final finish coat

 

6. Apply final paint coat

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ALL ARTICLES in this Guide:

DIY and Custom-Made Storage Solutions: Components You Can Build for Home, Office ... as a Hobby or for Sale (Profit, earn Income)

  1. Storage Components
    1. Shelves
    2. Pockets
    3. Dividers
    4. Modules
    5. Rollouts
    6. Cases and Chests
    7. Tops, Doors, and Toes
    8. Racks
  2. Tools, Techniques, and Tips
    1. Materials
    2. Spans and Loads
    3. Sizing Up Your Space
    4. Layout and Cutting List
    5. Cuts and Joints
    6. Detail Milling and Edging
    7. Drilling and Fastening
    8. Gluing, Clamping, and Assembly
    9. Doors and Drawers
    10. Face Frames and Miter Boxes
    11. Hardware
    12. Finishing

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Modified: Tuesday, 2010-08-24 2:55 PST