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Color putty. A quick and environment friendly approach to fill the small nail holes usually discovered on cupboard frames is to press some extensively out there “Color Putty” into the holes with one finger and wipe it degree with one other. This is finished between coats of end, and there’s no have to sand.

Not every thing has to have a furniture-grade end.

If you learn the woodworking magazines or look on-line, you usually come throughout directions for filling pores, glazing, firming, rubbing out, and so forth. These are fantastic methods to be used on subtle initiatives equivalent to furnishings. But they’re usually overkill for fundamental kitchen or toilet cupboards.

So it might be useful to divide ending into two classes: furniture-grade and cabinet-grade. This article describes the easier cabinet-grade ending. It includes simply three – perhaps 4 – steps: wooden prep, sealing, topcoating, and typically staining.

Wood Prep

Mill marks. Mill marks attributable to machining the wooden need to be eliminated by sanding, scraping or handplaning. Otherwise, they are going to be highlighted, particularly when utilizing a stain – that can create an unprofessional look.

Preparing wooden for a end includes sanding, steaming out dents, filling gouges and coping with glue seepage, which can trigger a end or stain to look lighter in colour.

The purpose of sanding is to take away mill marks attributable to machining and different flaws. You want solely sand sufficient to perform this purpose. Sanding might be finished with stationary or hand-held energy instruments or by hand. Whichever technique you employ, the steps are the identical.

Begin with a grit of sandpaper that removes the failings effectively with out creating larger-than-necessary sanding scratches. Then work up via the grits, making the scratches smaller and smaller till they received’t be seen after staining or ending. In most circumstances, you’ll start with #80 or #100 grit and work as much as about #180 grit. The best grit you employ ought to at all times go along with the grain to assist disguise the scratches left.

Dents can usually be steamed degree by dripping some water into the despair and touching it with a sizzling object equivalent to a soldering iron to show the water into steam.

Gouges can’t be steamed away as a result of a few of the wooden is lacking. So fill these with solvent- or water-based wooden putty. Colored wooden putties can be found in wooden tones, which you need to use to extra intently match the top colour.

Sanding sealer. Sanding sealers include components that make the end flip to powder when sanded. You can use a sanding sealer beneath lacquer and non-polyurethane varnish to assist preserve the sandpaper from gumming up.

Glue seepage must be eliminated or it would hinder penetration of the stain or end and have an effect on the colour. To cut back glue seepage, apply much less glue to joints and preserve your palms clear.

Remove glue seepage by washing off the still-wet glue or ready till the glue begins to arrange, then raise it off with a putty knife. If you have got utilized a stain earlier than noticing the issue, sand or scrape off the glue, then moist sand your entire half with extra stain to assist even the coloring.

With dent, gouge and glue-seepage repairs, you’ll want to sand once more with no less than the best grit to degree the restore or take away raised grain.


Sealing is achieved by the primary coat. This might be the end itself or a separate product used to resolve an issue. Whatever you employ, you must sand this primary coat to create a easy floor beneath subsequent coats.

Use sanding sealer to make sanding simpler – besides beneath oil-based polyurethane or water-based finishes as a result of these finishes are straightforward sufficient to sand themselves.

Shellac is usually talked about as a sealer, however it’s wanted solely when attempting to dam off an issue within the wooden, equivalent to silicone oil, odors from smoke or animal urine, or pure oily resin in lots of unique woods. Shellac is a helpful sealer when refinishing however hardly ever wanted when ending new wooden.


Cabinet doorways. Be positive to use full coats of end to the sides of each the frames and panels of cupboard doorways. This is very vital for doorways beneath sinks to stop splashed water from working its means via and inflicting the end to peel.

The topcoat is essential as a result of it’s the layer that gives a lot of the safety in opposition to moisture (essential in kitchens and loos) and sturdiness in opposition to scratches and warmth. It additionally offers the sheen (gloss, satin or flat) and a few of the coloring. For the topcoat you’ll in all probability select from among the many following:

Oil-based polyurethane is among the many most sturdy and water resistant of all finishes. It dries slowly so it’s straightforward to brush on. It imparts a slight yellow-orange coloring to the wooden.

Water-based polyurethanes and acrylic finishes are sturdy and water resistant sufficient, however much less so than oil-based polyurethane. Neither provides a lot colour, so these are good selections for gentle woods equivalent to maple and ash while you wish to preserve the pure colour. The first coat, although straightforward to sand, raises the grain greater than solvent finishes.

Nitrocellulose and cab-acrylic lacquers dry quick so they’re sprayed. Both are much less protecting and sturdy than polyurethanes, however they’re straightforward to make use of if in case you have a twig gun.

Pre- and post-catalyzed lacquers and varnishes are sturdy like polyurethane and in addition dry quick, so they’re sprayed.

Shellac is much like nitrocellulose lacquer in scratch and water resistance.

Oil finishes are too skinny and tender to carry out properly on kitchen and toilet cupboards.

The commonest error made in topcoating cupboards, whichever end is used, and particularly when spraying, just isn’t coating the sides of the doorways properly sufficient. A skinny end at these areas is rapidly damaged via by water. Pay particular consideration to the sides and all three-dimensional surfaces, equivalent to raised panels.


Blotching on birch. The most effective approach to stop blotching on hardwoods equivalent to cherry and birch is to use a washcoat earlier than staining (prime half). Wood conditioner is a varnish washcoat. Contrary to instructions, it should be allowed to dry totally, often in a single day, to be efficient.

Stain is utilized earlier than sealing so as to add ornament to the wooden, but it surely additionally will increase the chance of issues, together with the next:

Blotching is often attributable to irregularities within the wooden. For pine use a gel stain to keep away from the issue. For blotch-prone hardwoods equivalent to birch and cherry, apply a washcoat (the end thinned with three to 10 elements thinner) and let it dry totally earlier than staining.

Darkened finish grain is primarily the results of insufficient sanding. The still-rough floor retains extra stain when the surplus is wiped off. A washcoat will assist even the coloring and in addition stiffen the wooden fibers to make sanding simpler. You can use a rag or brush to focus on the washcoat simply to the top grain.

Poor bonding is most frequently attributable to not wiping off sufficient of the surplus stain. Stain has a lot much less binder than paint, so it separates when knocked in opposition to.

Poor bonding may also be attributable to making use of a water-based end over an oil-based stain earlier than it has totally dried.

Whatever end or process you employ, it’s finest to check on scrap wooden earlier than committing to a full set of cupboards.

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