Tips on Applying a Clear Finish to Cabinet Doors
Weather & Workspace
When starting the finish work the first rule is, do not apply the finish in direct sunlight. Your garage, typically, is the best location. Make sure your workspace is well ventilated. Next, check humidity, 85% and below is good, above 85% can sometimes cause white blemishes to appear. How do you check the humidity? You can use www.weather.com.
The best temperature range for finishing work is between 60° and 85°F. If it is too cold the drying time will be too long. Never use these finishes below 40°F. If it is too hot the finish will dry too fast and not have time to smooth out. If the temperature in your garage is not within the ideal working range, place the materials in a suitable room inside your house for a few hours. (Please note all unfinished wood should have been stored inside already) This will give the materials time to stabilize to the inside temperature, then you can bring out 1 to 2 pieces at a time and apply the finish. Also don’t spend a lot of time applying the finish; going over and over again. Just put on a nice thin even coat. Most small bubbles will come out on their own, or you will fix them when you sand.
What you can expect see while applying the coats.
1st Coat: After applying the first coat the finish will completely soak into the wood and the wood surface will become rough. This is because the finish is going deep into the wood and sealing it. Follow the step by step instructions below for sanding.
2nd Coat: Applying this second coat you will notice that most areas are fairly smooth. Again, don’t worry about the small bubbles most will come out on their own, or you will fix them when you sand. This coat will sand very quickly.
3rd Coat: By using the Poly Wipe-On with a staining pad this coat will go on very smooth. Then just follow the final instruction this will give it an amazingly smooth finish!
Care needs to be given in applying the finish.
Doors and drawer fronts need to be finished evenly on all sides at approximately the same time. If you are using a finish that dries slowly you can’t just apply a finish to one side of the material and let it dry over night then finish the other side, there is a good chance they will warp. One of the best ways to apply the finish evenly and help to speed up the finishing process is to use small support points to prop up the backs of the doors or drawer fronts. See the instruction on finishing for making these support blocks.
Warnings: Before using any of the finishing products read all Label Warnings first! Most of these products give off harmful or volatile vapor. Use only with adequate ventilation.