I am in the process of finishing a drawer that will get a water-based
polyurethane finish. It needs two holes drilled in the face for the
Would you recommend drilling before applying the poly or after? If I
drill before, I can see the poly dripping into the hole and needing to
be drilled or scraped out, which will probably mar the finish around
If I drill after, then I am drilling through a thin film of plastic on
top of the drawer face, which I can imagine might crack or spider-web
Which is the least error-prone way to do this?
Ken McIsaac wrote:
> I am in the process of finishing a drawer that will get a water-based
> polyurethane finish. It needs two holes drilled in the face for the
> Would you recommend drilling before applying the poly or after?
Drill holes first, then finish using a pipe cleaner to apply finish to
hole walls, then finish remainder of drawer front.
Handle mounting screws will remove any excess material.
Works for me.
It is generally an accepted practice to mount all your hardware before
beginning your finishing process - hinges, knobs, etc., then remove the
hardware, apply your finish, and remount the hardware as the final step.
I still say it does not matter but to cover a few points more specifically,
If you drill and use pencil marks or similar marks to mark the location and
do this in the wrong place, it is easier repaired before the finish goes on.
You can resand after drilling the holes to remove marks or sand down the
repair. Dont worry about the finish gettin in to the hole. The finesh is
going to remain relative soft for weeks and even then a decent drill bit
will cut the finish if you need to resize the hole.
I have done a lot or repairs and modifications to pieces with finishes that
are years old, I have never witnessed any checking or spider-web or
something. You are not drilling through glass. ;~)
The least error-prone way is the one that you use that works best for you.
Typically the way that is the easiest to repair should you make a mistake is
to drill the holes first, finish, resize holes if necessary and attach
I drill before finishing. That way I can mark the locations etc....
I've never had a problem with the hole getting filled up but I've not used
poly either. I suppose if it's thick enough and you put down a seriously
heavy coat, you could have a problem but you really don't want to be
finishing that way anyway.
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