Category Archives: Finishing

How I Mix Shellac

Fresh-mixed shellac is an excellent film finish, and we go through a lot of it in our shop. Here is how I mix it up for general use as a furniture finish (i.e. not as a barrier for urine, smoke … Continue reading

Posted in Finishing | 29 Comments

Our Shop Finish Recipe

We use a lot of finishes in our workshop, from soap to shellac, but the one we recommend for beginning finishers is one we mix up ourselves. It’s what Bob Flexner would label an oil/varnish blend. We just call it … Continue reading

Posted in Finishing, Uncategorized | 72 Comments

Finishing Lies

Covers in one coat Protects from inside the wood Stain and polyurethane in one step No harsh fumes – strips multiple layers Danish Oil (ask the Danes about this finish) Spar varnish – exceptional protection from sunlight, rain & moisture … Continue reading

Posted in Finishing, Uncategorized | 36 Comments

Don Williams! Beeswax! Pollisoirs!

I don’t think I’ve ever used that many exclamation marks… ever. If you are coming to the Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool event at Braxton Brewing on Friday or Saturday, look for Don Williams. He’ll be selling his excellent beeswax and mind-blowing … Continue reading

Posted in Finishing, Personal Favorites, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Apply Soft Wax to a Carcase

Soft Wax from Christopher Schwarz on Vimeo. Today I applied soft wax to the drawers and carcase of the chest of drawers I recently completed. Because we get so many questions about using the stuff, I shot this short video … Continue reading

Posted in Finishing, Uncategorized | 9 Comments

Soap Finish: What’s it Like?

The more I use soap finish, the happier I am with it. But many woodworkers are skeptical. And I applaud that. For too long companies have tried to sell us this, that or the other as the “miracle” finish that … Continue reading

Posted in Finishing, The Anarchist's Design Book | 29 Comments

Soft Wax from the Anarchist’s Daughter

My daughter Katy has an entrepreneurial spirit that is similar to when I started selling “bark jewelry” to neighborhood kids at age 10. Unlike me, Katy is committed to making something useful. During the last few months, Katy and I … Continue reading

Posted in Finishing, Personal Favorites, Uncategorized | 16 Comments

Milk Paint – Advice and a Mad Chef

In addition to the Milk Paint appendix in the “The Anarchist’s Design Book” there are a few more resources that the new milk painter might find useful: Chapter 25 on Finishing in “Chairmaker’s Notebook” by Peter Galbert, available from Lost … Continue reading

Posted in Chairmaker's Notebook, Finishing, The Anarchist's Design Book | 6 Comments

Milk Paint: A Short History

In “The Anarchist’s Design Book,” one appendix is devoted to milk paint. As Chris notes there are plenty of milk paint recipes from the 1800s and provides a reference from 1836, “The Painter’s, Guilder’s and Varnisher’s Manuel…” by Henry Carey Baird. … Continue reading

Posted in Finishing, The Anarchist's Design Book | 31 Comments

Every Chest Deserves Paint

Every time I build a tool chest for a customer or during a class, someone asks me this question: Why are you going to paint over all those beautiful dovetails? My answer: Because it’s the best finish for a tool … Continue reading

Posted in Finishing, The Anarchist's Tool Chest, Uncategorized | 28 Comments