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Thread: Schedule of Finishing

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Vancouver Island, Courtenay/Comox Valley, British Columbia

    Schedule of Finishing

    Hi all,

    I'd like to ask a finishing question, and I hope it won't be too stupid.

    From what I'm reading, it sounds like most woodworkers finish built-ins *before* they're installed. Are there ever cases where it's better or okay to finish them *after* they're installed?

    I guess I'm thinking that once everything is built, it will take up a lot more space before it's installed, than after......


    AKA Young Grasshopper Woodworker
    AKA The Rookie

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Delton, Michigan
    these built ins are library shelfs right? and are high next tot he walls and ceiling..ok if these are the right idea then now look at the chance of gettin stain and finish on stuff that you dont want it on!!!! where as in a shop area if you spill something you dont mind so much its a shop.. and you can SAFLY apply the finish and get all sides if need be.. easier on you and the nerves later just position and screw together and your done. touch up where you need to and your smiling all the way to the fridge for a cold drink to admire your work..
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Decatur, Alabama
    If you have to live in the house with it, a lot of finishes you really don't want to be around for a couple days after putting them on. Not sure about water based topcoats, but anything oil based you're not going to want to live in the house for a couple days after it's put on. Plus the whole drip/spilling issue and some spots are just hard to get to when they're standing upright.

    I do know someone that had cabinets installed and finished in place for their kitchen. They came out great. However the house was gutted - there was nothing to worry about messing up and nobody living there at the time.

  4. #4
    I am so lazy and clumbsy that I figure the easiest way is to finish in the shop or some flat sprawling area at my convenience. After a successful Dry Fit... Mask off the joint areas where any glue is to be applied and finish each piece (spray, wipe, brush) laying on a flat surface where it is easy on your back neck and less likely to run or sag. Sanding between coats is so much easier reaching into those tight corners, etc. One piece at a time allows for less tiring finishing process. Then after allowing plenty of curing time the whole thing can be assembled and any mars can be touched up, leaving a low odor install and a happy ending.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Outside the beltway
    I done them both ways. Depends on the customer. Mostly they get done in the shop though.
    I dream a lot. I do more painting when I'm not painting. It's in the subconscious.
    ::: Andrew Wyeth :::

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Vancouver Island, Courtenay/Comox Valley, British Columbia
    thanks guys. I hadn't considered the awful smell and the awful mess. You're totally right.
    AKA Young Grasshopper Woodworker
    AKA The Rookie

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Just to toss my 2 cents in. 99% of all the built in I have done have been finished after they where installed. That's the painters job
    It could be worse You could be on fire.
    Stupid hurts.

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