WoodCentral's Book Reviews
Understanding Wood Finishing, 2nd Ed.

Understanding Wood Finishing, 2nd Ed.
by Bob Flexner

Fox Chapel Publishing: 2005
Paperback, 308 pp., $19.95
ISBN 0-7621-0680-8

     Bob Flexner's widely popular book has been updated to include spray gun application of a variety of finishes, including common problems in applying them, the pros and cons of using two-part finishes, and many safety tips about chemicals, combinations, and proper procedures in wood finishing. The major changes in this second edition are the full discussion of spraying equipment and spray finish methods, and a new section on finishing exterior projects.
     Published now in full color, Flexner's samples clearly illustrate what a successful finish looks like, as well as what can go wrong, how to use special treatments for specific wood species, and how to correct problems when they occur. He explains how each type of finish cures, what solvents and thinners are needed, and which underlays are compatible with which topcoats. He also goes into detail about color matching, bleaching, dying and staining.
     A tireless crusader for truth in labeling by finish manufacturers, Flexner does a lot of myth busting in this book, setting the record straight on long-held beliefs and widely accepted misinformation.
    This second edition was capably edited, photographed and packaged by Rick Mastelli and Deborah Fillion of Image & Word. All the illustrations are new, crisp and effective, and the hundreds of excellent color photos are large and crystal-clear. Overall, the book is a vast and welcome improvement over Flexner's original 1995 Rodale Press edition.

. . . Barb Siddiqui