I am to the point in a nightstand project where I can apply a finish. Is
there some preferred treatment for the outside / inside of the drawer? I
know the front will follow with the rest of the nightstand, but what about
the inside and outside surfaces of the drawer sides, back and bottom?
Judging from most of the furniture in my house, I'm guessing they stay
unfinished, but I am not sure about applying some sort of "sealer"? I'm
using Watco on the rest of the project.
Pretty much your choice. Personally, I prefer to do kitchen drawers with no
stain and clear shellac, and my tables and nightstands, etc., with the same
finish as the the rest of the piece and/or shellac on the drawer box before
I attach the drawer front, which is generally finished like the piece.
With wooden drawer slides, a follow up of periodic waxing with parafin,
furniture wax, or candle wax on the sides and runners, works well.
Shellac is hard to beat for drawers, IMO.
I once used a "recommended" finish for inside drawers, lemon oil.
Damn stuff stank to high heaven, to the point where I tried to mask it
by leaving it outdoors in the sun for a few days and then filling it
with lavender. I won't be using that stuff again in a hurry.
For the drawers in the bedroom hall I used Baltic Birch and after a
few days my wife complained about her undies absorbing the wood odor.
Quick single coat of shellac cured it. Dewaxed is all I use and now
Seal Coat gets more use than flakes on hand.
I like using a hot wax mixture, part parrafin, part carnuba, melted in
paint thinner and applied hot with a brush. Sinks in, seals againts
moisture way better than most finishes (see FWW #64) thereby reducing
movement, a good thing in drawers. I've used this finish on the
outside of my kitchen cabinets, although it's rubbed out (not easy)
and then rubbed with linseed oil to bring up some luster (Don't ask me
how this stuff sticks to the wax but there is definately a layer of
linseed oil built up). Spills wipe off easy, scratches rub out, and
the wooden edging along the counter has lasted 10 years with no water
I also applied laminate to my drawer bottoms (no particle
board/melamine allowed) for easy cleaning, and extra strength to the
1/4" ply. (Did all kitchen shelves as well)
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