It's All About the Finish
by Phil Colson
It's all about finishing. No matter how good your turned piece may look unfinished, finishing it
will make your piece pop.
This tip is not about what finish to use, it's about what you do after you close the can or
bottle of finish. How many times have you closed up your finish and put it on the shelf only to find
it skimmed over the next time you open it? Air has leaked into the container allowing the dryer in
the finish to start drying the top layer. We can't help getting a little finish on the rim of the
container and thus possibly compromising the airtight seal.
What I have been doing for years to fix this problem is to simply store the container upside
down. That's right, upside down. This puts the finish at the lid, blocking air from entering the
But what about those screw-on capped containers? For those, I use a wooden board and drill a hole
just larger than the screw-on top and pop that container upside down. You will find that you can use
every last drop of finish in the can. Another advantage of the upside down finish is when friends
come over to your shop and see all the upside down cans, they will start to be concerned about you.
This is not a bad thing!
Happy finishing and happy turning.
Phil can be reached directly via email at
Take a look at
Highland Woodworking's great selection of Woodturning products.
The Highland Woodturner