I used to hate applying a finish, until I realized it is crucial to the final appearance of any piece, whether it is a candlestick, or a huge entertainment center. I believe I used to hate finishing because I did not know that sanding was a critical part of the finishing process. Of course, I did not know anything about finishing, either. And this became even more critical when I found I better learn how to properly apply waterborne finishes.
I spent many hours reading, and re-reading, books on finishing and on the application of waterborne finishes; I asked questions of friends and colleagues I thought knew finishing. And then I finally started to apply some of the principles others used successfully. As a result, my finishing technique started improving, albeit slowly.
I finally realized that sanding properly between layers of coating is much more important than I previously thought. It all starts with the initial sanding with 150 or 180 grit paper on the random orbital sander, to remove all tool marks. And when applying a finish, proper sanding now means cutting small squares of 600 grit sandpaper, and “feeling” the surface of the workpiece. This allows me to get a truly good “feel” for the smoothest surface, or the smallest bump.
When applying the finish, I sand with 600 grit between every coat I apply to a work piece. Here I am sanding a work piece to remove small nibs from the surface after applying SealCoat™ – it resulted in a nice, smooth surface, ready for the top coat:
Today we had the best Spring weather yet. Early in the morning, on the way to the shop, the big sycamore stood guard to the East of the entrance to the shop:
And later in the day, as I headed to the house for lunch, this view greeted me – the reason I love Spring, the sense of renewal all around us:
It was a wonderful day – spent applying finish to a work piece; mowing the grass while the sprayed coating dried sufficiently to sand; and getting ready to apply the next coat of finish.