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How to Polish Wood

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Watch this video to learn how to polish wood.

To learn more about woodworking, make sure you haven't missed the remaining videos in this series.
This video will teach you to do it yourself.

The step-by-step instructions will show you how to prepare, seal and polish your wood to ensure a great finish.

Music - Gilles B

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In this video you will learn how to polish wood.

Polishing is the process of treating wood by applying a layer of finish in order to make it smooth, shiny and resistant to moisture and abrasion.

The tools and material required are: a workpiece, a sanding block, rough and fine grit sandpaper, woodsealer, thinner, linseed oil, a brush, clean rags and mineral oil.

Don't forget to wear a safety mask and safety glasses when working with chemicals.

Remember to always follow the instructions given with each product that you use.

The three key steps are: preparation, sealing and polishing.

STEP 1: Preparation.

Separate your workpiece into the part that will be polished and the part that will be left unpolished.

Before you apply a finish, prepare the wood by removing faults and blemishes as they are likely to be enhanced.

If you encounter an open-grain surface, you may first need to apply a wood filler.

Start by smoothing the surface with a sanding block.

To learn more, refer to the video how to sand wood with sandpaper.

Work your way from a coarse grit of sandpaper to a finer grit.

Clean the saw dust with a brush or cloth.

STEP 2: Sealing.

Use a stick or paint paddle to stir the sealer.

Here we shall apply two coats of lacquer.

If the sealer is too thick, add some thinner and stir well.

Dip a clean brush in the sealer and apply along and then across the grain, as shown.

Once you have an even coat, leave the workpiece to dry.

Clean the brush thoroughly in thinner and wipe it using a rag whenever it is not in use.

When the sealer has dried completely, lightly sand the coat using fine grit sandpaper.

Wipe the surface clean and repeat the steps for another coat of sealer.

STEP 3: Polishing.

When the final coat of sealer has dried, sand the surface and wipe it clean.

You can now start polishing by using the padding technique.

Bundle and soak some cloth in linseed oil.

Squeeze it and place it on a square piece of cotton cloth.

Fold the corners and create a tight ball or frenching pad, as shown.

Flatten the pad so the surface is firm and free of wrinkles.

Once you land the pad on the surface, maintain contact with continuous motion, overlapping your strokes until you have covered the entire work If the rag gets too sticky, dip it slightly in mineral oil and continue polishing.

When the entire surface has been covered, sand the coat lightly with fine grain sandpaper and start polishing again.

When the pad is not in use, store it in an airtight container.

Repeat the steps until you have a satisfactory finish and leave the workpiece to dry.

You now know how to polish wood.


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