The Finish on the Breadbox

I used the Amana tambour bits to make the tambour slats and I have completed the breadbox. Could you tell me the steps to the finish that you used?
Thank you. 

- Charles G.

Mercersburg, PA

Our Expert


I'm glad to hear that you like the maple finish on the breadbox. It is finished with a water-based dye stain to bring out the figure in the grain.

The process is not complicated but it requires several days so that each layer of finish can dry overnight. Here are the steps: 

1. Sand the wood surface smooth with 220 grit.

2. Dampen the surface with water to raise the grain. Allow to dry.

3. Sand lightly with worn 220 grit to remove the fuzzy surface. This will prevent the dye from raising the grain and creating a rough surface under the finish.

4. Apply a red maple water-based dye stain. Mix the dye and test it on a sample to ensure that you like the shade.

5. Apply a coat of wiping varnish. The oil-based wiping varnish will penetrate the wood surface and add depth to the finish.

6. Apply several coats of amber shellac. The shellac warms the color of the finish and is easily rubbed out to a satin sheen. A one-pound cut(one pound of shellac flakes to one gallon of alcohol) is easiest to apply. The shellac can be sprayed, brushed, or wiped on with a finishing cloth. For a smooth finish, it is best to rub each coat with 0000 steel wool.


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