Sliding Modular Display Shelf #6: Applying Finish

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I used General Finishes High Performance Water Based Poly (flat) for the finish. I love this finish for maple. It levels well, dries quickly, doesn’t color the wood much, and looks very natural. I applied three coats on the panel with a foam brush, lightly sanding with 320-grit paper between coats. I also used a 1/2" artist brush inside the slat gaps.
 


To make it easier to finish the shelves, I hot glued a scrap wood handle to the back of each shelf. For the boxes, I glued the handle to the underside. The handles let me apply finish to all other surfaces. After the second coat dried, I popped off the handles and finished to those surfaces. 





One thing that’s a bit disconcerting with using water-based poly on thin, unsupported panels is that it can cause warping until the finish dries. 
 
I took all the finished pieces inside to dry, and I noticed significant warping on some of the shelf backs. The back surfaces were the most recently finished ones, so they had swelled a bit, causing the backs to curl forward.
 


The next morning, most of the backs had flattened out. 



A few backs dried slightly curved, but not so much to make the shelves unusable. 
 
At this point, the project was almost finished. All that remained was the mounting bracket and drawer slides. 
Good idea with the finger blocks, always a pain to finish small pieces unless you can really hold them steady and move them around.

I don't use WB finishes very often, interesting about the warping, hadn't realized it could get so obvious, good recovery!
Thanks, SplinterGroup. I didn't realize how much the pieces would warp either. I wonder if things would have worked out better if I had put by little handle under the shelf and finished both faces of the back at the same time. Maybe the bottom would have warped then. I don't know if the small trim around the perimeter would have held it flat.

I learnt the hard way... laziness will only permit you to not paint the back side the first handling of the brush... laziness will require that second dip.

If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

For finishes on parts that require full coverage, I tend to do the back side first as I can let it dry to the touch, then sit it down on that side to do the exposed side. Nobody will care if there is a fingerprint on a hidden side.

 SplinterGroup
..... Nobody will care if there is a fingerprint on a hidden side.
Said by a non-WOKE person that has no consideration for the feelings of fashion conscious spiders,
 

If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD