Stripping and refinishing doors is a terrible job, but you've agreed to do several for a good friend. When the first door is stripped and sanded, you breathe a sigh of relief. The finish you're about to apply will highlight the beautiful grain of the wood and renew your enthusiasm for the project. You lay the door flat on a pair of sawhorses and apply your first varnish to the top and edges. When you return the next morning to coat the opposite side, you find a disturbing collection of drips along the bottom edges of the door. Oops!
The fix: Drips that harden at the bottom edges of parts can be sliced off cleanly with a sharp knife or chisel. If the drip or sag is in the middle of a panel, try scraping it off, using a sharp scraper with little or no burr. Sanding is a last resort because it usually results in minute scratches that dull the repaired area enough to require recoating with fresh varnish. If you do sand, use 280- or 320-grit silicone carbide wet-or-dry sandpaper lubricated with mineral oil.
If you discover drips and sags while the finish is still wet, wipe them off with your brush after squeezing most of the finish from its bristles. Then level the finished surface by dragging the tips of the bristles across it— a technique known as "tipping off."
Four of a kind. Patterns created by groups of doors can add striking visual impact to any cabinet.
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