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Tip #41
Finishing Touches

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This marks the beginning of a six-part series on finishing…one of the most often overlooked elements of creating a professional-looking woodworking project -- and without a doubt, one of the most important. Beginning and experienced woodworkers alike frequently spend countless hours building a project to perfection, only to get in a hurry as the project nears completion and end up ruining everything by doing a half-hearted job of applying the finish. Our first installment, “Preparing the surface”, will be followed in the next issue with Applying an oil finish. Then, we'll move on to Applying a natural finish, Applying a synthetic finish, Refinishing and finishing-up our series with Paints & Stains. So, let's get started.

Part 1 of 6 - Preparing the Surface

The first step in applying a professional finish is preparing the surface to receive it. Poor surface preparation will botch-up all the work you've put into the project to this point and cost you money, since rough surfaces can easily suck-up 20% to 30% more finishing materials than a properly prepared surface. And depending on the finish you're applying and the overall size of your project, this could translate to some big bucks!

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