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Tip #42
Finishing Touches
Part 2 of 6 - Applying an Oil Finish

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Oil finishes are among the easiest to apply and most difficult to botch. And, since they produce a soft, natural-looking appearance that emphasizes the grain of the wood, they're also among the most beautiful.

Oils are penetrating finishes, soaking deep into the wood and protecting it from within. They can all be applied with the same tool -- a soft rag, wrapped around a piece of sponge. The sponge is saturated with the finish before the rag is wrapped around it. As you work, you can control the flow of the oil onto the surface by squeezing the sponge.

However, although all oils are applied with the same tool, the actual method of application varies since there are many different types of oil finishes. Some of these are 100% natural, some are synthetic and others are a blend of both. Many serve a variety of different purposes, while others are manufactures specifically for application to only a few types of wood or projects. The application method will depend on what you build, the wood you build it with and most importantly, your choice of oils.

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