A good finish is essential
to protect a project and add life to it.
First, check your project for graphite
lines that need to be erased or details that need to be fixed.
Can the design be enhanced with antiquing
or fly specking? Do this with Burnt Umber. To antique, float or
wash over Burnt Umber then lightly wipe. To fly speck, load a fan
brush with thinned paint and then tap the handle to spatter the
Occasionally, to have the wonderful
architectural qualities of wood detail such as a routed edge emphasized,
you can sand it so that the lines are contrasted and show up a little
more on the finished piece.
Now that the project is perfect, how
do you varnish? Varnish comes in several finishes.
A matte varnish has no shine.
A satin varnish has a little shine and is the most popular.
A gloss varnish is very shiny. You would use this on a special piece
to give it an old-fashioned lacquer finished look.
Choose a varnish that is non-yellowing
and dries clear. Use brush on or spray, and this depends on the
project. A little nutcracker will take one coat of brush on. A bigger
project will take more coats, sanding between for a smoother finish.
For a large plate, a perfect finish requires a couple coats of brush
on, then a finish coat of spray varnish.
Polyurethane is a good type finish for
“working” projects like a tray. It is a hard, plastic-like
finish that endures wipe ups.
Apply varnish with a large
soft brush in long, even strokes.