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A Novice Woodworking Guide For Properly Protecting Your Finished Projects

Author : Bob Gregory

Once woodworking projects are finished being built, they are not quite ready to use until some type of paint, stain or wax has been applied to the wood to protect it. Which you use often depends on what the project is going to be used for, if it is a piece of furniture wax or stain might be all you want or need to protect it. However, you may like how paint looks better and that is fine. With small items such as jewelry boxes or ornaments it is the same way.

Larger items, like the buildings that are built using shed plans, call for stain or paint made for use outdoors. Do NOT use an indoor paint or stain, because it will just peel off in the heat, cold or rainy weather conditions.

However, with any woodworking projects you do not apply anything on it without first sanding the wood smooth. Using a graduated method of sanding, you need to start with coarse sandpaper, and move up each sanding to a finer grade of sandpaper. You can even end with an extra-fine grade when need be. Make sure to take care of all the rough spots and burrs. Only after sanding is completed, apply the protective coat of stain, paint or wax.


With paint, a primer is advised to seal the wood. Then the paint will go on smoother, if you paint directly on the wood, it will soak in and it will be more difficult to get the look you want. Get a primer that is meant for the outdoors just like with the paint. Apply the primer and paint with the grain of the wood not against it.


There is no better way to bring out the grain of the wood than stain. For buildings made with shed plans you will need a stain made to stand up outdoors. There are water-based and oil-based stains both have specific ways of being applied. Follow manufacturer's instructions for applying. More than one coat will be needed in most cases.


A wax finish is mostly reserved for woodworking projects used inside the house like furniture and jewelry boxes. Several coats of wax are usually called for to bring out the features in the wood and to protect it. You buff the wax in between each application. What you wind up with is a beautiful sheen on the wood where you can see the natural grain of whatever wood was used.

Touch Ups

Touch ups are needed from time to time with these finishes. Paint gets weathered looking and needs a new coat or two applied. Stain can become dull and lose its luster. When this happens, time to reapply. Wax also can use an uplift after time. With the little maintenance, all these finishes can be rejuvenated.

It does not matter which one of the woodworking finishes you use as long as you use the right one to protect your project. It will last longer than if you do not apply some type of protective finish. And after all the time it took to make your project, you want it to stay nice for a long time to come, don't you? Of course you do!

Author's Resource Box

Bob likes to write about woodworking. For some fantastic free tips and info about garden shed plans, check out You can also visit Bobs weblog where youll find free shed plans over at

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Tags:   woodworking, shed plans

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Submitted : 2012-05-08    Word Count : 554    Times Viewed: 491