Here at Wood-N-Choices we offer finished and unfinished furniture. If you choose to let us finish the furniture for you it will be sealed using a top of the line conversion varnish. Catalyzed Conversion Varnish is the most durable finish available for wood. It will resist moisture and damage from almost all household chemicals. Even nail polish remover will not damage the product. Unlike a lacquer product (which is softer and more susceptible to moisture damage) this product will last years.
With excellent resistance to water, scratching, common household spills, alcohol, yellowing and marring, our catalyzed varnishes are the toughest and most durable finishes available in the furniture industry today.
We also have easy to follow finishing instructions to assist you in getting the one of a kind look that you want on your own.
Easy Finishing Instructions
Finishing is an art not a science. There is always more than one way to finish a piece successfully. The following are some methods that have worked for us:
Tips to keep in mind
Always work in a well ventilated area
Read manufacturers instructions on label
If you are mixing products from different manufacturers, always test in a hidden area for compatibility
Always dispose of finishing materials, including oil or stain soaked rags promptly and properly
To prevent warping and checking, seal all surfaces, including undersides of tables and legs. Drawer interiors are optional
Remove all hardware from the piece. If your piece has wood knobs, don't forget to finish them.
Fill all holes with a quality stainable wood filler
Lightly sand your furniture: Softer woods (pine, aspen, etc.) require a 220 grit sandpaper; Harder woods require a 150 grit sandpaper
Always sand with the grain of the wood
Wipe down sanded piece with a tack cloth. This will remove the fine sanding dust from the wood grain.
There are two types of stain covered here - oil and gel. Certain woods like aspen, birch, beech and maple, become blotchy if stained with a penetrating oil. We recommend gel stains for these woods.
Be sure to wear rubber gloves. Stains have a tendency to stain skin as well as wood.
Remember to test your stain color in a hidden area to be sure you like the color and to become familiar with the type of stain you are using.
Use a lint free cloth to apply stains. Cheesecloth or old white t-shirts work well.
Mix before use
Stain should be applied in a circular motion making sure to wipe it into the grain of the wood. Because polyurethane is already in gel stain, it starts drying much faster than oil stain. You should always work in sections and wipe off excess stain within 1-5 minutes. Avoid doing half a surface and wiping and then the other half since a lap line may result. The trick to getting a good finish with gel stain is in the wiping off. Always wipe will with the grain where possible (against the grain if necessary).
Let coat dry 8-12 hours
Apply a second coat like the first. This will darken the color slightly but more important, this coat assures you get the protective finish you want since the polyurethane is included. If you a re not applying additional coats of polyurethane to your piece, you a re done. You should wait 24 hours before using your furniture.
Stain should be mixed well and remixed every 10 minutes.
Apply liberally and wipe off the excess stain after 5-15 minutes.
Let coat dry 12-24 hours
Apply a second coat like the first for darker, richer color if you like
Let dry 12-24 hours
Polyurethane comes in different sheens. We carry gloss and satin. There is no difference in the amount of protection. Two coats of polyurethane are require for best results.
Water based polyurethane only should be used over white or pastel colored stains to avoid discoloration or yellowing of the color.
High humidity days are not good polyurethaning days
Always stir, never shake polyurethane before using. We recommend good quality disposable foam brushes for applying. Use long, smooth strokes of the brush, always going with the grain. Polyurethane can drip or wrinkle if applied too thick.
Let dry 12-24 hours for oil-based poly
Let dry 4-6 hours for water-based poly
Sand the first coat with 400 or 600 grit sandpaper. Sanding should produce a fine white powder if the polyurethane is completely dry. If not, allow more drying time.
If you would like to further smooth your final satin finish, you can either rub briskly with a brown paper bag or buff with furniture grade 0000 steel wool. Then polish with a very soft cloth. Always work with the grain.
We use K.I.L.Z. for priming. Sand with a 320 grit sandpaper, and topcoat with a top quality oil based enamel such as Sherwin Williams, which has worked well for us. Also, sand between coats of paint with 320 grit sandpaper.