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Finishing in Cold Weather

wood finishing

by Alan Noel
Professional Wood Finisher



For over 25 years I was lucky enough to have a small shop that was both heated and cooled year round. Now, I have a very large space with 16 foot ceilings, concrete floors and block walls. To say this space gets cold is an understatement, so dealing with the cold has been a challenge to say the least.

Here are 7 helpful tips:

  1. Try to figure out a way to bring the temperature up to at least 55 degrees.
  2. Apply very thin coats for faster drying times.
  3. As always, keep the air moving in the room to promote drying.
  4. Try to keep the projects as far from the floor as possible. Heat rises.
  5. When spraying lacquer, use a hot plate on low to heat the finish in the gun.
  6. Shellac will dry in temperatures approaching forty degrees.
  7. Oil and water based finishes will be slowed even further but in the end, will dry with good air movement.


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


Dec 6, 2014  Finishing 101
Dec 10, 2014  Finishing the Finish
Jan 21, 2015  French Polish Workshop



Visit Highland Woodworking's Online Wood Finishing Supplies Department




Alan recently had a feature about him, his finishing career, and his businesses A. Ross Noel and Associates and Noel's Woodworks in the October 2014 issue of Woodshop News. CLICK HERE to read the article. He can be reached directly via email c/o Alan Noel Furniture Refinishing at anoelfurniturere@bellsouth.net.


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