My Finishing Process – Ask Matt #12

24 Apr My Finishing Process – Ask Matt #12

Surface prep is as important as applying a wood finish well.  If there are any defects in your workpiece, they will become painfully obvious once a finish is applied.  A good surface prep regimen is essential for a great finish.  My go to finish is Arm-r-Seal from General Finishes.  It is a wiping varnish that I apply with a rag.  I’ll typically apply 5 coats of finish.  The first coat I apply heavily, allowing the finish to soak into the wood.  I follow up each coat sanding with 600 grit sand paper.  For the last coat, I’ll more aggressively sand the dried 4th coat to fully clean up the surface and then I will apply a very light coat of finish.   This final coat of finish cleans up the scratch pattern from the sandpaper and restores the sheen.

This is the twelfth episode of my Ask Matt series where I answer broader topic questions.  If you have an idea for a topic for a future episode, please let me know.

Products Used
General Finishes Arm-r-Seal Semi-Gloss:
Painter’s Pyramids:

  • Matty King
    Posted at 17:33h, 13 December Reply

    How long in between each coat?

  • Paul Spooner
    Posted at 17:39h, 28 April Reply

    Great finishing summary! Have you considered building a clean room so you don’t get dust nibs?
    Also, love the beard trick.

    • Matt Cremona
      Posted at 04:51h, 25 May Reply

      Thanks! At this point, I don’t really have the space for one. The nibs aren’t too bad. They’re plenty manageable with a little sandpaper :)

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