Charlie Kocourek
September 30 – October 4

Participants learn virtually all aspects of finishing, from hand-applied coatings to professional spray lacquers. By the end of the week, each participant knows how to fill grain to retain wood chatoyance; color with dyes and pigments; put on hand-applied varnish, shellac, and oil finishes; apply spray finishes; and work with milk paint.

Through lecture and demonstration, Charlie takes students from wood preparation to rubbing out, while demystifying the many color and finishing products. This includes selecting the proper abrasives, sanders, and fillers; layering of colorants; bleaching and glazing; brushing; and rubbing the final finish to perfection. Work is done on practice panels provided by the school. Students are encouraged to bring special pieces of their own wood on which to experiment with colors and finishes.

Although the emphasis is on hand-applied finishes, Charlie also covers selection and use of various aerosols and conventional spray equipment, including safety issues, proper cleanup procedures, and correct spraying techniques. Participants use solvent-based products, as well as colored finishes and toners.

Charlie Kocourek is a woodworker, an artist, and a teacher with a broad range of skills and a passion for wood finishing.  He’s a contributing editor for the Woodworker’s Guild of America where he writes articles and produces woodworking how-to videos.  In addition to teaching woodworking classes in the Twin Cities area, he’s also been featured on the PBS show American Woodshop, and written articles for Popular Woodworking Magazine and for the Marquetry Society’s Marquetarian Magazine.  He’s also known for designing an adjustable height workbench called the Jack Bench.  Charlie’s websites are and

Open to all.

Tuition: $995

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Students rub out panels with wax-charged steel wool to create a desirable sheen and surface.
Students rub out panels with wax-charged steel wool to create a desirable sheen and surface.