View Full Version : Finishing shelving
12-07-2000, 02:34 PM
I am new to woodworking and have been running into difficulty with finishes. I am interested in finshing a shelving unit with a white painted finish but I am not happy with the final results in the past. I sand, seal ,sand ,finish with an enamel paint. but the results are not what I would expect. I am working with poplar and have been told this should come out great. Any advice or references would be much appreciated.
karl in pa
12-07-2000, 03:02 PM
What aren't you happy with? A little more info will help.
12-07-2000, 03:17 PM
If you're using enamel it sounds like you're after a mirror finish. Poplar is a soft wood and therefore hard to get a "mirror" finish on.
Ok, couple of things. Work thru your sandpaper in progression, #150, #180, #220. Do at least 10 passes at each grit. After you do your #220 sanding, *wet* the surface with a rag to raise the grain and then resand with #220. This will give you a 'baby's bottom' surface.
Now, instead of going directly to enamel, use some grain filler on it to give you a smoother surface. Some folx use spackel put on thin and then wiped with a sponge. Sand again after it's dry.
Make sure your paint area is clean and dust free. Then use a primer to seal everything. Use 0000 steel wool after the primer is dry. Now put on two coats of enamel scuffing the surface with 0000 steel wool between coats.
If you have little imperfections in the surface after all of this (the occassional dust mote or small bubble give it a wipe down with #2000 sand paper (you'll find it at the automotive supply stores).
First seal your project with sanding sealer or a good primer. This dries fast, raises the grain for a final sanding. If you
still have fuzz on the surface repeat the sealing process, be sure to use a finer grade sanding sponge. If you don't have the sponges you can use and ordinary sponge and wrap it with sandpaper. The sponge helps to keep the applied pressure in check.
If at all possable use a spray unit, not spray cans either. If you don't own one you should be able to rent one. You cant beat a sprayed finish. I know unless we're talking french polishing or some laborous hand applied finish.