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post-woodfinishes.jpgMick Allen’s Complete Guide to Wood Finishes (2nd Edition) contains a metric ton of information on the subject of finishing.  It approaches the subject from a couple of different directions, much in the same way you will over time: first creating new finishes, then repairing and restoring damaged wood items.

After covering the basics of shop/chemical handling safety, the Complete Guide jumps right into the many techniques you can use to prepare a wood for treatment, including sanding, the use of solvents, how to fill holes and cavities, and even how to deal with wood infested with woodworm.  Each page contains lots of pictures to help illustrate both the technique required and the appearance of the item after proper application. 

The ‘Guide then moves on the to application of basic finishes, including oil, wax, and varnish types as well as french polishing processes and the use of epoxy resins.  As throughout the book, descriptions are ordered and detailed starting first with an overview of the different types of finishes followed by descriptions of each one along with photos.

The ‘Guide also describes and visually explains how to apply numerous complex decorative finishes such as graining, ebonizing, gilding and many more.

Finally, the ‘Guide lends coverage to spray-type finishes, including a section on setting up your shop properly for spraying. 

The ‘Guide was published this year (2006), and therefore contains extremely up to date information including the latest stains and spray gear, and we were able to contact all of the recommended supply sources in the back of the book. 

If you’re thinking about taking on a stain product — or would just like to learn more about a subject that you’re likely to have need of numerous times throughout your DIY career — check out the ‘Guide.  It’s a book we’re happy to have on our shelf for just over $20, and we imagine we’ll come back to it over and over again.

Allen, Mick. The Complete Guide to Wood Finishes. 2nd Edition. New York, NY: Fireside, 2006. ISBN: 0-7432-8487-9.

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One Response to Book Review: The Complete Guide to Wood Finishes

  1. Eli says:

    I like Watco for pretty much everything. Good variety of shades. Lasts indefinitely indoors, and a few years outside, depending on number of coats and amount of elbow grease.

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