, 09-18-2011 at 04:02 PM (2683 Views)
Methods and techniques for finishing are one of the common issues discussed in the Techtalk forum. What seems like a simple issue is really quite complicated in that there are a myriad of different approaches to achieving a "good" finish. Adding to the complexity of the issue, various successful builders have their favorite methods and will vigorously defend them should someone suggest their own personal method is "better." Notice that I've used quotation marks around good and better -- that's because therein lies the problem. Frequently, it seems, when several people are discussing finishing methods, we don't all have the same result in mind. When a particular method is labeled good, perfect, better, the best, etc. there’s a very real possibility that the person is thinking of a result quite different from what you have in mind. The result is that comparisons of one method to another are not objectively possible, because we don't know precisely what level of perfection one party or the other is referring to. With that in mind, I humbly submit the following effort to clarify what we're trying to describe when we talk about the finish we're trying to achieve, and what will likely result from a method we're recommending.
Before selecting a method, a builder should take the time to do a little thinking about what they can realistically expect to achieve. Here are several essential questions to ask yourself:
>What is my experience and skill level with finishing? If my experience is limited, do I have the necessary aptitude to learn craftsman techniques -- If you have the necessary skills, lots of options are available. Even if you don't have the skills you may still have lots of options, if have a good aptitude for learning craftsman methods, .
>Do I have the necessary tools and equipment? If you have access to spray equipment you'll have more options -- but if you don't, your options be limited to brushing, wiping, or rolling, or using spray cans.
>Are there any environmental concerns? If you’re limited to working inside your house or apartment, or there are people nearby who are sensitive to the odors that may be produced, you might be limited to water-based products. Likewise, if you’re a person with a strong commitment to environmental issues who's determined to avoid using solvent based products, you’ll likely want to use a water based finish.
>How much money can you afford to spend, or are willing to spend, in pursuit of a fine finish?
>Do you have the necessary determination and patience, as well as the willingness to devote added effort for a nicer result?
>Do you have the necessary spare time to devote to a laborious method, or do you have only a limited amount of time available to you for the project?
The continuum below is an attempt to help describe the result sought, or under discussion.
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