WoodCentral's Book Reviews
Foolproof Wood Finishing

Foolproof Wood Finishing
by Teri Masaschi

Fox Chapel Publishing: 2006
Paperback, 192 pp., $19.95
ISBN 1-56523-303-4

     The whole point of this book, the author says, is to help the reader develop a feeling of control over the outcome of one's projects. She calls the wide array of finishing products now on the market, "a curse of riches," and encourages us to start with the finishes that interest us, reading through her material on them and doing the exercises on scrap from a project wood so we don't mess up the real thing. She reminds us to follow product directions, to be brave in trying new things, and to have fun at it.
     Masaschi concentrates on hand applied finishes, leaving the expensive, complicated world of spray finishing to another teacher. These are clearly photographed, step by step instructions on wood preparation, coloring, and top coating, with a chapter on frequently used finishing recipes, and one on repair and restoration of finishes. She covers grain filling, controlling stain absorption, mixing wood colorants, glazing and color layering, brush work, wipe on top coats, sealers and wash coats, and paint.
     There are sidebar tips in every section, and 'Adventures in Finishing' stories of the author's personal experience with customers as well as finishes. She also includes a gallery of common woods with different finishes listed in steps, as they were applied. There is an appendix of product sources, a glossary of tems and a full index.
     Masaschi teaches finishing at her own business in New Mexico, and at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Maine, and Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Colorado. She is often seen in Fine Woodworking magazine, as well. This is a fun, encouraging book on finishing, well explained and beautifully photographed.

. . . Barb Siddiqui