Disassembling & Handling for Finishing

Old 08-16-00, 04:59 PM
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Hi. I've got a standalone cabinet to finish, and having zero experience, I'm wondering about how to handle the task of staining and finishing all of the surfaces (I'm pretty sure I have the seal/stain/finish plan down).

First, the cabinet has a sliding shelf and two doors (with outer hinges). Should I disassemble this stuff?

Given the amount of surface area, the doors, shelves, et. al., should I attempt to do it all at once or in stages? Are there any drawbacks to staining/finishing just one area at a time?

Finally, is there a technique for doing the bottom of the thing? At present, I'm just planning to do the bottom first, and then
standing the cabinet back up when it's been done.

Old 08-16-00, 06:05 PM
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All hardware should be removed. Take the shelf out, and the doors off - and take the hardware (including the handles, if any) off the doors.

As far as doing it all at once, it depends on your technique, but I'd advise against it. On something that size, I'd do the bottom, then while that's drying out, any piece I had to remove (like the shelf and doors). Next do the inside, then the outside.

You won't get it all in a couple of minutes (you already knew that) so be sure to stir the stain periodically - about every 10 minutes or so.

Take a good look at each section after staining to deal with runs (if any), or uneveness of color. Wiping some off one spot, or adding a little more here or there isn't difficult when the stain is fresh. It's harder the next day.

In a shop atmosphere, the piece would be stained all at once. Room to work, spray equipment, all make a difference. Even if you want to do the whole thing at once, if you're applying stain by hand, part of it will be almost dry before you get through.

You may want to consider doing the finish in pieces as well; for instance, the entire inside, and then quit for the day. Or one side up to a reasonable break point (a corner). The finish is less critical than the staining will be (believe it or not). color difference in the stain should be your primary concern.

Let me know if I can help further.

George T.

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