Properly choosing a top coat can often be a tricky step in any woodworking or restoration project. The reason for this is that, simply put, not all top coats are created equally. With a properly chosen top coat, your wood project, whether it be furniture or something else, can last for virtually forever or at least seem that way. Choosing a top coat doesn't need to be as difficult as it sounds though, as long as you follow a few guidelines. Simply keep these guidelines in mind the next time you need to choose a top coat for your woodworking project, and you will have a beautifully finished project in no time.
- Purpose. When choosing a top coat for your wood project, you first need to decide on what the purpose of the project itself is. Are you making something that is going to be purely decorative, or is it something that is going to be used for some other task? The overall purpose of the item that you are working on will help determine the kind of top coat or finish that you will use. The reason for this is that while all top coats can look fantastic, not all top coats are designed to be used in the same way.
- Location. Location plays a huge role in the type of top coat that you should use on your woodworking projects. Are you going to be using the top coat on something that will be inside or outside? For anything that will be used outside, then you will want to make sure that you pick something that will be able to withstand the elements pretty well. This means that you should have a top coat that acts as a sealant, as well as something that will look beautiful. However, if you are going to be keeping the final project in the house, then this will not be as important of a consideration.
- Ease of use and application. There are several different kinds of top coats and finishes that you could utilize, and each will have varying degrees of ease of use and application. Some require a rag or brush to apply, and others can be applied using mechanical means (such as with a paint sprayer). While each type can be equally beautiful, there will be differing results depending on the method that you use to apply the top coat. Be sure that you know what method of application that you will be using, and that you have chosen the correct type of top coat or finish to go along with that method. Many times the manufacturer will have information about this listed on the product itself; if not, simply ask at your local home improvement store to ensure that you have chosen the correct kind.
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