How to finish shoji/kumiko

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Forum topic by SleepingFox posted 12-23-2020 06:11 AM 367 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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48 posts in 946 days

12-23-2020 06:11 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question finishing

I recently finished a shoji screen type project but have yet to put a finish on it. I don’t think that traditional shoji are finished and am trying to decide what to do with this one. I believe one of the problems with finishing a shoji screen is that the finish will raise the grain in areas it will be difficult or impossible to sand out. Also the finish would almost certainly have to be sprayed to be able to get everything and even then some areas will be quite difficult to get finish on.

What does everyone here think about finishes for a project like this? The lattice is fir and I’m actually not sure what the frame is. I bought it from a hobbiest who said it was cherry but it is not cherry.

2 replies so far

View Dark_Lightning's profile


4456 posts in 4124 days

#1 posted 12-23-2020 02:51 PM

If it were mine to do, I would have finished the pieces before putting it together. That’s a bit tough to do, at this point. I’m interested in what someone may have for a solution, as I want to build one of these, eventually.

-- Steven.......Random Orbital Nailer

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6681 posts in 2403 days

#2 posted 12-23-2020 03:01 PM

I would finish the strips before any cutting is done so that you don’t have to worry about keeping the finish out of the joints but for an already assembled piece, an oil based finish should not raise the grain. It is generally only water based finishes that risk raising the grain but if you pre-raise the grain prior to assembly by wiping them down with a wet rag and sanding again, raised grain from a water based finish should be a minor concern as well. Even if you don’t finish it or use a water based finish, it might not be a bad idea to pre-raise the grain so that it will stay smooth with time. The biggest problem with that piece may be getting finish into all of the tight spaces and if you spray it , it will be tough to avoid runs.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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