After all the work to create a piece, putting on the finish is the most exciting part, when it comes to life. These articles provide some tips and suggestions from other woodturners. Also, be sure to look at the excellent selection of books in our Wood Finishing category of our book section.


Make your own Sandpaper Cutting Device
By: James D Thompson
Jim shows us how to make a device that will help you cut sandpaper into predictable sizes. This way you don't waste sand paper when you're finishing your turning.


Signing your work - the cheap and easy way
By: James D Thompson
In this article, Jim shows us a very easy and effective way to sign your work. His technique provides high contrast and a very durable method for you to use.


Salad Bowl Finish - 3 Safe Options
By: Kent Weakley
If you’re like me, you think the term “salad bowl finish” seems pretty straightforward and understandable. However, the truth about salad bowl finish is much murkier.

As a turner of wood bowls, I want to find the best truly food-safe salad bowl finish for my bowls and for my customers, period. I do not want to apply a questionable finish on a beautiful bowl that I or someone else will eat from, ever!

The reason I’m writing this article is to express my concerns that some apparent food safe wood finishes may or may not be as safe as they lead us to believe.


How to make Shellac
By: Kent Weakley
In this article, Kent explains why you should make your own shellac and then shows us how to make it. This food-safe natural finish is easy to use and repair. If you would like to make your own, this article will give you everything that you need.


Make your own Polish
By: Ken Wiancko
In this very helpful article, Ken tells us how to make our own polishes. He then gives us the recipe ratios for 5 different types of polish and explains what each is good for. This is a great article if you'd like to make your own.


Cyanoacrylate 'CA' Finishing 101
By: Toni Ransfield
In this article, Toni explains what CA glue is, and how it works. She also educates us on accelerators including a list of good ones and bad ones. Then she tells us how she applies the CA to her turnings.


Nice Turners Finish Last
By: Don McIvor
In this AAW reprint, Don provides a comprehensive description on all the different types of oil that you can use to finish your woodturnings. He explains how to use them and even gives some recipes for you to make your own finishes. This should be a mandatory article for all woodturners.


Finishing with Cyanoacrylate
By: Don McIvor
In this AAW reprint, Don shares his process of using CA glue as a finish on smaller turnings. He gives us a great technique for this relatively new use of CA glue.


Selecting and Using Finishes for Woodturning
By: Richard Pikul
In this article, Richard helps you to learn all the types of finishes available and how to select one.


Make your own Friction Polish
By: Marvin Fretwell
Friction polish is , at its simplest , just an oil and shellac mix in an alcohol solvent. Friction polish ing involves applying the polish using friction to cure it. The polish presented here is very specific as to the materials used, which makes it more versatile than many other formulations.


What color was that wood? Fee-based Woodturning Articles by Al Miotke
By: Al Miotke
A trip to the hardwood store is always an enjoyable experience for woodworkers. Walking down the aisles and looking at the racks full of freshly cut, bright colored woods from around the world is like a kid in a candy store. You’ll likely see the reddish-orange of padauk, the bright yellow of osage orange, or the striking purple of purpleheart, to name just a few of the hundreds of species commercially available. Possibly you will even see a pallet of new lumber you have not seen before. The colors and grain patterns of many of these woods are compelling. They make you want to open your wallet to make a purchase for your next project. It’s too bad that many of those colors are just an illusion. Oh, the color is real, but like a freshly picked berry, you better enjoy it now. The reddish-orange of padauk will quickly turn a very dark brown, the yellow of osage orange will become a light brown, the purpleheart will slowly be transformed into a very deep purple that from a distance might look almost black.  So what causes this change and what can you do about it?  The answers to these questions should have a significant impact on the woods you choose for your next project.


Sign your Work in Brass
By: WOOD Magazine Staff
It's important to sign your work so that people know that you were the maker. There are many ways to do this and each person needs to find a good way for themselves. This article explains how to make brass pendants that can be inserted into a small recess in your work. It's a nice professional solution and one for you to consider.


Dying Wood Versus Staining Wood
By: woodworkweb
This short article explains the characteristics of both stains and dyes. It helps woodworkers to know when to use one or the other. If you don't know they difference, this guide will help you.


Six Finishes for Woodturners
By: Nick Cook
In this Woodcraft article, Nick Cook shares some of his finihes with us. Although I didn't find six finishes, the ones shown are helpful.


Building a Low Cost Finishing Room
By: Stephen Hatcher
In this article, Stephen explains how to build a room that we can use safely for finishing. He shows us a sample room layout and then shows the items that we need to vent it properly. This is a really good article if you don't have experience with finishing rooms. And with Stephen's knowledge helping us, being able to build it for a low cost is really welcome!


Finishing Your Turnings
By: Fred Holder
In this article, Fred Holder reviews his process for finishing his turnings. He also explains how some other turners approach their finishing which provides a nicely balanced view on the task of finishing your turnings.


Ebonizing Rust Stain
By: Joe


Finishes for Items Used for Food
By: Lee Valley
This article is an excerpt from the book titled, Wood Handbook – Wood as an Engineering Material (Algrove Publishing). It does a wonderful job of describing the different types of finishes and discusses their safety. It also has a separate section for cutting boards which could also apply to wood turnings in general. If you want to learn about food safe finishes, this is a good article for you.


Food Safe Finishes
By: West Bay Woodturners
In this article, food safe finishes are discussed. The article gives a good high level review of the different types of finishes and addresses their safety. This article will help you to make choices in the type of finish you use on your turnings which may come into contact with food.


Wood Finishes: What Works When
By: Eric Meier
Although there is no wrong finish for a given wood species, there are definitely some finishes that seem to work better in certain situations than others. As you might expect, it all depends on context and how you're using the wood. With this in mind, this article provides an overview of a number of consumer-level wood finishes, as well as Eric's honest assessment as to which ones work best, and when.


Finishing Pens
By: Don Ward
In this article, Don Ward, a writer for the More Woodturning Magazine and owner of Red River Pens discusses the different options to finishing a pen. He also gives a step-by-step explanation on how to do a C.A. finish on a pen. This technique seems to becoming the standard in finishing pens.


Preventing Color Changes in Exotic Woods
By: Eric Meier
Do you want that Bloodwood to stay red?
Padauk to stay orange?
Osage Orange to stay yellow?
Purpleheart to stay purple?
Cocobolo or Tulipwood to stay rainbow colored?

Read this article to understand color changes in wood!


Finishing Exotic and Tropical Hardwoods
By: Eric Meier
Have you ever had a project that was coming along nicely up until the finishing step? You apply the polyurethane to the wood, and wait for it to dry. And wait. And wait. And finally, days, weeks, (or even months!) later, the finish has still not dried. What went wrong, and how do you solve this problem?


Bleaching Wood
By: American Woodworker Editors
This short article explains the different chemicals used to bleach wood.


Wax and the Woodturner
By: Alan Lacer
In this AAW reprint, Alan Lacer talks about the values of using wax on our wood turnings. He covers the plus and minus sides of the argument, gives recipes on how to make our own wax mixtures and really explains when it's good to use wax and when it is not.

This is a must-read article for every wood turner!


Applying a BLO - CA finish to a pen
By: John Taylor
In this article, John Taylor shows us how he applies a CA finish to a pen using BLO as his lubricant. This is a good article for those who have heard about a CA finish but have never attempted it. And if you've done it before you might pick up a few tips!


CA Finishing on Marbled Pieces
By: Gordon Langer
In this article, Gordon Langer shows us how he adds a CA finish to his smaller marbled pieces.

He chooses this process because gives a superior finish that provides the completed piece with depth and luster that will stand up to punishing treatment for a long time.

Gordon shows us all the steps to add a CA finish to our own pieces and the photos really make the process easy to follow. We hope that you'll give it a try!


Oil Finishes: Their History and Use
By: Bob Flexner
Bob explains the history of wood finishes and then goes on to explain the difference between oil and varnish. He explains how to tell what you actually are using and he finishes by telling you an industry secret that the finishing manufacturers don't tell you.


Finishing with CA Glue
By: Chris Wong
In this article, Chris shows us how to use CA as a finish to our turning instead of just using it as a glue. It shows how to apply it and how to finish it. If you're new to CA finishes, this article will explain it all.


Finishing for Woodturners
By: Don Comer
Don shares his knowledge on the different types of finishes that can be used on woodturnings and then explains how to use them.


Achieving a Gallery Quality Finish
By: Don Comer
Don defines a "Gallery Quality" finish as a finish that protects the wood, enhances the color and figure and also does not display any tool marks or sanding scratches. In this article, he shows us the general process he uses to achieve this finish.


Finishing Secrets
By: Russ Fairfield
Russ presents us an extremely thorough 13 page article on everything that he's learned about finishing. This is one of the most comprehensive collections of knowledge on finishing that we've found. It's a must read!


Finishing Pens
By: Bill Grumbine
In this article, Bill shares his technique for finishing pens. After careful preparation, he uses a padding lacquer and shares the best way to do this.


Beall Buffing Shaft Project
By: Raymond Lanham
In this article, Ray shows us how he uses a piece of threaded row and some pvc spacers to build a shaft to hold his three buffing wheels on the lathe. This makes for a great buffing station.


A guide to finishing with Minwax 209
By: Luna Ford
In this article, Luna explains how she used Minwax 209 natural stain as a finish for her woodturnings.


Finishing with Waterlox
By: Andy Chen
In this article, Andy explains how to properly use Waterlox as a finish on your woodturnings.


Ebonizing Wood
By: James Thompson
In this article, James explains how he makes his own ebonizing solution and shows you how to do it.


Using Wood Bleach
By: Jeff Jewitt
In this article, finishing expert, Jeff Jewitt explains all about the different kinds of bleaches that can be used on wood.


Wood finishing techniques for beginners
By: Phil Bumbalough
A guide to the different types of finishes and how to apply them. Also available as a PDF download.


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