Builders and Finishers

by Alan Noel
Professional Wood Finisher


I have a few cabinet maker friends that call me from time to time to get advice about finishing. Most of the time they will complain to me that the staining/coloring isn't coming out evenly or no matter how many coats of stain they use the color still isn't as rich or as dark as they hoped or it's the wrong color all together. The list goes on.

Here are some tips to help you save time and a lot of frustration.

  1. Use the same species throughout the project.
  2. Don't skimp if at all possible. Plywood sides and a solid face is going to take color differently.
  3. If mixed components have to be used, be sure to wash coat all of the surfaces before coloring.
  4. The more vibrant or interesting the wood, less coloring or no stain at all is usually a good idea.
  5. For very dark colorations softer woods will work better because they will absorb color more readily.
  6. Always remember, it is much easier to color from light to dark than the other way around.



Visiting Atlanta? Attend one of Alan's upcoming highly informative Highland Woodworking wood finishing seminars:

Finishing the Finish, October 6, 2010

Antiques Show and Tell, October 9, 2010

French Polish Workshop, October 13, 2010

Antique Restoration, October 23 & 24, 2010

Spray Finishing, November 6, 2010

Antiques Show and Tell, November 13, 2010

French Polish Workshop, November 17, 2010

Finishing the Finish, December 15, 2010

Visit Highland Woodworking's Online
Wood Finishing Supplies Department




Alan can be reached directly via email c/o Alan Noel Furniture Refinishing at anoelfurniturere@bellsouth.net.


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