Finicky Finishers

As I’ve said before, I’m curious. And I must admit, it’s a characteristic not always appreciated. I’m the guy sitting next to you on the airplane that “likes to chat.” Sometimes, however, I get the feeling that my sense of wonder is not universally shared. Go figure.

My question to you this time is about finishing. Readers ask more questions about finishing than any other topic. But that’s not an indication of how much they like it. In fact, when I ask woodworkers if they enjoy applying a finish, I often get a response in the emphatic negative. So what is it about finishing that so many of you find distasteful? Is it the mess, poor results, lack of a proper place to do it or simply that you need to sand before you finish … What?

I love finishing. For me, completing a finish is like the feeling you get when you eat that first juicy homegrown tomato of the season: Finally, you get to experience the wood’s true beauty. Give it to me straight, don’t hold back. Tell me what you find the most annoying (or your most trying experience) with finishing … I’d really like to know. If you don’t tell me now, I’ll just end up next to you on a plane, and then you’ll have to spill the beans!

Rob Johnstone, Woodworker’s Journal

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