Finishing, oh finishing, how I loathe thee...

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Blog entry by Matt Przybylski posted 04-07-2013 02:08 AM 1479 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch

As if I didn’t hate sanding enough, I’m starting to really loathe finishing. I’m making three baby gates for my little girl and there is a lot of spindles involved. Needless to say I am having a nightmare with the finishing process. I first tried spraying them but was getting too many runs as I don’t think my gun was dialed in properly and overspray everywhere because the spindles are pretty thin. I then sanded most of that down to lose the runs and primed it (I didn’t do it in the first place, probably should have) by using a foam brush (wanted to try it out and see if it helped). The foam brushes were ok but at times parts of the foam would break off and end up part of the primer.

Also, because of the makeup of the gates and my inability to hang them properly to brush them (no room, really), I was laying them flat on two tupperwares upside down so when I’d turn them I’d get nasty paint smudges on the other side of the two spindles that were laying down on top of them. I had made a lazy Susan for finishing a different project so at dinner I finally got the idea to screw from the underside of the susy into the bottom of the gates (nobody will ever see that part) and paint them with a brush standing up. FINALLY I just finished one and not only was it faster than what I was doing before but I was able to control the runs since I had access to both sides at will. The downsides are of course that I only have one of the Susans so I can only do one at a time and wait for each coat to fully dry but after all the other trouble I’ve been having on these the wait in between each coat may be a blessing in disguise and allow me to keep my sanity.

This is really more of a rant than anything as I’ve had a frustrating time with these things but I wanted to get it out. I actually at times had thoughts of “am I doing the right thing with this woodworking thing? I love to work wood but hate sanding/finishing and that’s going to be a part of every project…” I snapped out of it though and I think the key for me was just good preparation and not trying to rush through it. It’s definitely a process and takes special care and attention just like the building portion.

For what it’s worth I’m using General finishes water based white gloss poly and while ill have to brush on more coats because it definitely isn’t as much as spraying, I think I’ll be happier with the results.

Anyone else have experiences like these? Want to help walk me off the ledge a bit? :)

-- Matt, Arizona

1 comment so far

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161 posts in 2823 days

#1 posted 04-07-2013 03:13 AM

I hate painting too. I did make a couple of porch side tables last spring and ended up putting a coat of poly varnish over the final coast of paint. Hid the faint brush marks that were still a little visible in the top coat and gave it a great gloss finish. Also adds some protection since they’re outside all the time. I’d rather finish with anything than paint but the wife wanted them to match our chairs so I had to paint them.

-- Marty, Wilmington, OH, learning every day....

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