Finishing the woodwork, Part two

After the shellac coat and the touch-up process, we did the next and last step ending up with my favorite finish for natural woodwork. It’s simply a very thin coat of varnish applied over the shellac with a cotton rag ‘pad’ that I make. Here are some of the perks using this process: There is minimal build up giving the wood an oil like finish, yet the varnish is more protective. It’s silky smooth. And finally – to appease my dutch sensibilities (read: frugal), it goes a loooooong way; I finished the entire interior with one gallon! 13 doors, 18 window frames, 32 window sashes, all the baseboard and casing in seven rooms!! To boot, the Window sills and the sashes were brushed on to give a little extra protection.

I fold a lint free cotton cloth around a rag core, use a ‘zip-tie’ to tightly form the desired shape, then trim so it fits nicely in the hand.  I do a combination of applying the varnish to the wood and the pad.

Leaving just enough Varnish

Walt is using a light that rakes across the surface, so he can, while standing off to the side, clearly see any trouble spots.

About mdejong11

Residential contractor/artist
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2 Responses to Finishing the woodwork, Part two

  1. Remco says:

    Mark, your house has beautiful details. I especially love the doors, they are beautiful and from another time that are unavailable and unaffordable today. Funny, today I was at Habitat for Humanity’s Restore off Paddock road and they told me that every month someone comes in and buys all the old doors (and sinks) and containers them to Egypt, where, presumably, they have the labor power to strip and hang them which is the piece that’s missing here, I won’t buy an old door because by the time I’ve hung it and stripped it etc, I have too much time in it. Curious what you do next.

    • mdejong11 says:

      In the building that Dan works, there is a moving company on the ground floor in the back. If I remember correctly, some African business men collect used bikes and very efficiently pack a container there to send back to Africa. Crazy and kind of cool.

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