Wood Finishing Techniques

Wood finishing is practically the final stage involved in making furniture. It involves several phases and techniques with the main intention being to ultimately protect the surface of the wood and also to create a nicer finish.

These are some wood finishing techniques commonly used.


Sanding is usually the first stage involved in wood finishing. The technique basically involves using a sanding block to scrape and rub over the wood surface to make it more even and smooth. Instead of doing this by hand a power sander may also be utilized. While sanding, make sure to do so along the grain of the wood so as to prevent any scratches. If holes and other flaws are still present, it is advisable to make use of wood putty to level off the imperfections. 


Degreasing refers to the cleaning process required after sanding. This is thorough cleaning process where the wood is rubbed down with a tack cloth to remove all dust particles that would otherwise remain attached to the wood.


The staining technique refers to the application of color to the wood to give it a finished look. Make sure to apply staining on small areas of the wood, to check out if you like the color or not, and spread it evenly in the direction of the wood’s grain. You can use a paint pad if the staining has to be done on a large area to ensure better final results.


Wax is a great lubricant for a better looking wood finish. It makes the wood look polished and shiny as well as offering a protective coating. To wax the wood you should dust the wood well first to remove particles and then apply paste wax by using a piece of cloth and rubbing it in the wood.


Varnishing helps to give a nicer look to the wood by emphasizing the grain of the wood, while also serving the purpose of protecting the wood. Several layers of varnish can be applied to the wood’s surface. Varnish can be clear or colored. If you are going to use colored varnish it is best to check the effect the color will have on the wood by applying it to a small inconspicuous area.


Painting wood may involve painting with a brush or by using spray paint. The most important thing is to try to apply the paint evenly to ensure a better result. As with other finishes where color comes into play it is important to check the paint on a small unnoticeable area first. It is also crucial to choose the right brush with which the paint will be applied and to apply the paint in even strokes. Usually an undercoat is required before applying the top coat so as to produce a superior, even look.


Polishing is the final stage of wood finishing. Polishing helps to make the finished wood look glossy and clean, while also helping to repel dust.

All these techniques help to make the wood look better while also ensuring its sustainability and preservation. It is important to consider relevant tips when choosing and applying any of such finishes, while also taking into account the type of wood and how to best clean it in the long run.