All About Finishing

Roland Johnson
October 5-9

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, Roland 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, Roland 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. Students who have spray equipment at home are welcome to bring it in for evaluation and practice.

Roland Johnson, a longtime professional woodworker in Sauk Rapids, MN, opened his first workshop in 1976. He has been a contributing editor to Fine Woodworking for more than two decades, writing hundreds of articles (and creating video classes) on finishing, hand tools, woodworking machines, and other topics. Additionally, Roland is a featured presenter with The Woodworking Shows.


Open to all.


Tuition: $820

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