Outline of Volume 1 of the Fine Furniture Finishing DVD's.


Introduction - initial explanations of:

  • Sandpapers; grit sizes and types of abrasives
  • Sanding blocks and power sanders
  • Dust masks and respirators
  • Paint and varnish brushes for water and oil-based products

Ingredients of paints and varnishes, their composition and terminology

The demonstrations on the tape are all start-to-finish projects. They are presented so that each one introduces products and techniques in an order that builds on earlier knowledge gained. Viewers who might be primarily interested in clear wood finishes, or painted faux finishes, will still find lots of very useful information in the other demo's. (Besides, there are small bits of humor tucked here and there that shouldn't be missed!)

First demonstration: Wipe-on Oil with Wax Finish

We use a child's oak chair that has been stripped of its old finish and then apply several coats of oil to accentuate its golden tones. The final surface is buffed with steel wool and wax for an easy, soft, and natural look.

Description of wiping oils; linseed, tung, synthetic. Products and materials demonstrated include foam brushes, wet-or-dry sandpaper, steel wool, and paste wax.

Second demonstration: Shellac

A jewelry box of bird's-eye maple is given several coats of fast-drying shellac while demonstrating flowing brush style and wet sanding. The result is a fast, and easy-to-obtain film finish that beautifully displays the wood's figuring.

Description of white (clear) and orange (amber) shellacs and their uses. Products and materials demonstrated also include water-based wood putty, artist's palette knife, masking tape tips, tack rags, wet brush storage, sanding sponges and sanding blocks.

Third demonstration: Stain, Wood Filler, and Varnish

A pair of mahogany chests are used to demonstrate the use of wood stains, wood filler, and oil-based varnishes. This very traditional application of products is a great showcase for brush handling, the differences between dry and wet sanding, and in the difference in the appearance of a hand-rubbed satin finish versus satin (in the can) varnish. The look is luscious, both visually, and to touch.

Descriptions of wood stains, paste wood filler, and alkyd varnishes. Additional products used are solvent-based wood putties.

Fourth demonstration: Latex and Acrylic

A previously finished (translate: bought at a garage sale) chest of drawers is painted, antiqued, and given a top of painted faux marble. This is a rapidly moving, fun demonstration of what can be done in a couple of hours to create a lovely, useful piece from an ugly beginning.

Lots of products and techniques are shown here, including: different kinds of surface prep (sanding vs. chemical etching), primers, primer/sealers, masking, paint sheens, glazes and glazing, sponges, feathers, spattering, pastels, color mixing, acrylic varnishes, and "positive" style faux marble.

Fifth demonstration: Oriental lacquer-look, faux "negative" style marble

The funky project of the video, a pair of bedside chests are used to show a rub-through technique that imitates lacquer on its sides, with a faux marble top done in a "negative" style.

Additional techniques shown here include toning glaze, stippling, and softening


A short wrap-up emphasizes how the viewer can use the preceding information to create finishes of their own with the confidence that comes with understanding the "why-to" as much as the "how-to ".


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