No matter how good the work, the finish can make or break it. There have been great furniture designs that were ruined by the quality of the finish. When I say finish, I don’t mean the last minute details but the actual final coating, whatever that product may be. If you’re thinking of creating pieces for others, or just for your own home, there are a few things you should think about in the planning stages.
A matte finish is a little more forgiving than a glossy one but there are still several decisions that need to be made. How often will the piece be exposed to sunlight? Will people sit on it? Will hot dishes and platters come to rest on it? Will it be exposed to drinking glasses or coffee cups? Even more important, will children be near this piece because the finish needs to be more than childproof, it needs to be child-safe.
Glossy coatings are certainly silky and beautiful but they really show imperfections in the final sanding. The worst time to discover that you needed to sand just one more time is after you’ve applied your final coat! Besides the above concerns, there are other considerations for glossy as well. How shiny should it be? What product gives the best, most durable shine? Is it going to release a lot of vapor? How easy will it be for the customer to touch-up and maintain it?
Where the flags are concerned, Andrew is a fan of the hand-rubbed finish. It takes a minimum of of 3 to 4 coats to bring the flags to the rich glow that we’ve come to expect when we see them.
Oh yes, please wear chemical gloves. It doesn’t matter if the product is kid-safe, eco-friendly or however it is marked. If it isn’t something you’d pour into a glass to drink, please protect your skin.
Here are some pics of the first coating of finish.