When is the right time to pre-finish a project? I don’t know! But with his current project it made complete sense to try it for the first time. And the result? I’m liking it!
If you’re not familiar with the concept of pre-finishing a project it’s really pretty simple. Unlike when you assemble a project and THEN apply the finish…you apply the finish and THEN assemble.
In this particular situation it means I’m dying all the components of the body and then applying a topcoat of polyurethane first and next I’ll glue it all together before I move on.
Why did I decide to go this route? A couple of reasons really:
First: for this cabinet I have to include a shelf that will have a stainless steel skin applied to it. For the sake of not messing it up somehow (because I’m familiar with my own finishing skills and I know it will happen) by prefinishing I can keep it clean and looking good the entire time.
Second: I don’t know about you, but whenever I have components that are upright (like the sides of this cabinet) when I apply a stain or a topcoat they have a tendency to pool in the corners where interior sides meet shelves or there are drips and sags down the length of the side.
When I apply a finish on a horizontal surface there are far fewer of these issues, especially those sags and drips that seem to go unnoticed until the finish is almost setup and cured. So why not take the time to do a little work ahead of time to get a better result?
One thing I will admit is that it feels like this process is taking a lot longer than it normally does. Therefore, it’s making the entire build process feel like it’s taking two or three times as long. But now that this first part is complete and I’m about to assemble it, I can’t believe how much better the finish looks and especially how much better it feels.
This technique may not work for all of my projects in the future, for a whole list of reasons, but for those where I can take advantage of it I’m absolutely going to do it.
How about you? Have you ever pre-finished a project for a better finish? Or is it something you do all the time? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.
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Sites That Link to this Post
- 524 Bathroom cabinet part 3 | Matt's Basement Workshop | May 3, 2014