I have tried sanding and assembling
all my pieces first, and then using a spray bomb to finish the entire
project but……. Invariable when you glue your pieces together you
always end up with some squeeze out on the good face of your pieces.
If the wood is not finished, the glue seeps into the wood and leaves
a mark that shows through the final coat of lacquer.
By applying a finish to each
individual piece first, the glue cannot penetrate the wood and distort
the colour of the finished product.
The other advantage of finishing
first, is that the first coat of varnish always raises the grain,
and requires sanding. As individual pieces, it is relatively easy
to fine sand all pieces and all edges to the quality you desire,
without scratching adjoining sections.
After the second coat, at which time the
sanding is done, you can assemble the entire project, gluing each
piece in place, and then spray on a final finishing coat of varnish
When you glue up the project, use standard
wood glue and do it on a piece of wax paper, so it doesn't glue
itself to your work bench. Have a damp cloth handy, to gently wipe
off any squeeze out.
If your fit is not good and the glue runs
out of the seam before it has a change to bind the pieces of wood
together, try using a very small amount of clear silicon. Apply
it carefully to the bottom of the joint. Use only a small amount.
It is a great gap filler, and great where your cutting accuracy
is not as good as you would like it to be, but does require time
to dry, so you'll have to leave these pieces overnight. Do not remove
the squeeze out until the next day. It will peal off easily when
Be cautious in handling your work as it is
very fragile until the backing board has been applied.
Patterns for Sale by site owners
I use a gel finishes for the first two coats, and a compatible spray
finish for the last coat. This tends to keep the cost down and seems
to be more environmentally friendly, since you generate less empty
aerosol cans. As well, spray finishes are not great for small individual
pieces, since the aerosol has too much power and tends to blow the
pieces around. Its great once all the pieces are glued together.
The gel finishes are great on small pieces because they are easy
to apply with a rag or foam brush and rarely leave run lines.
When all the pieces are large and easy to
handle, I'll use the gel coat for all three layers and glue the
project together as the last step.