How Thick Should I Apply My Finish Coats?

Q&A Woodworking Forum IndexCategory: Wood FinishingHow Thick Should I Apply My Finish Coats?
Brian asked 2 months ago

This is a universal rule for finishing and once you know the perfect thickness to apply your coats of finish, it will solve the majority of your finishing problems. What is it?

1 Answers
Brian answered 2 months ago

Your real question should be how thin can you apply your finish coats. Thickness should be nowhere near the conversation when it comes to applying a finish, especially applying by hand.

The thinner you apply your coats, the faster they dry, the smoother they lay out, and the better your piece will look.

You should be having a contest with yourself to figure out how thin you can go when you apply your finish. It should almost be like you’re just getting the surface wet.

These coats will dry a lot faster than if you were to apply a very thick layer of finish. This will let you move from coat to coat a lot quicker, and you’ll be able to build your layer a lot faster.

These coats of finish will also be a lot smoother, which will result in a better looking finish overall in the end.

It may be a little extra work up front, because you have to apply more layers this way, but it will be a lot less work on the back end trying to level out a lumpy and uneven finish.

If you’ve never done this before, I challenge you to try it on one of your scraps. When you do, you’ll be amazed with the results, and you’ll be excited to try it on a real project.

Happy building.

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