I just went through the staining step with refinishing a desk and I
experienced a problem whick I think will be even greater with the
The desk is competely taken apart and I have separate boards. Some of
them I have to refinish on all six sides.
When I stained on side and the edges and set it down on the remaining
flat side, the stain dripped, got underneath the board and mucked up
the bottom. Then when I stained the bottom, the top got mucked up.
Basically, I'm confronting this fundamental problem that a pieace of
board needs to sit on something and the side that's not being worked on
gets damaged in some way. Also, I'm using a cardboards and rags as
working surfaces and as they get dirty I replace them, but that's
happening so quickly, I'm running out of them.
How does one deal with these general problems (other than suspending
the pieces in mid air)?
Thank you very much in advance!
make a work (finishing area) surfacethat has "spikes" sticking up from it -
not nails, but maybe dowels or some such. You rest the piece that you are
finishing on the spikes, and that keep it from contacting the work surface
and wicking finish under the piece. Also, be carefull when you are working
near the edges and corners. brush (or wipe) off the surface - from the
center out, not from the edge in. This will help prevent a bead from forming
at the edges.
as for using up rags and carboard, if you're being careful (and you have to
be to get a good finish), you shouldn't have more than an occasional drip on
the work surface (I'm guessing thats the cardboard). same goes for rags. Of
course, if you're wiping a finish, your wiping rags will need replacing when
they dry out, but for "clean-up rags" you shouldn't need more than a couple
unless you're doing majorly huge amounts of finishing. I just finished a
project that was 5 sets of freestanding bookshelves 5' tall and 4' wide with
doors onthe front. The finish was tinted varnish over oil. I used part of a
T shirt to apply the finish (total of 6 coats), and a rag less than a foot
square to do all of the cleanup......
work slow, work carefull, and you'll get good finishes without a huge
mess )and you'll get more coverage too).
Thank you very much for your response! My results are much better, but
not yet good enough.
So I'm wondering: if I have two flat sides and 4 edges, should I do 1 +
5 or 5 + 1. In other words, first get the topside and the 4 edges, then
turn over and do the one remaining side; or do one side first, flip
over, and do the other side with the 4 edges.
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