WoodCentral's Book Reviews
Painting and Finishing

Painting and Finishing
by Michael Dresdner

Taunton Press: 2002
Paperback, 168 pp., $19.95
ISBN 1-56158-480-0

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     Michael Dresdner's new book is one title in Taunton's 'Build Like A Pro' series. Many people consider themselves 'painters' as if there is little skill involved with this endeavor, and then wonder why the results of their efforts look so second rate. Dresdner steps in here with help and guidance for every do-it-yourselfer.
     Assessing the job and choosing a finish are major first steps, whether considering a bathroom paint job or finishing an outdoor deck. The volume covers floors, stairs, wall paneling, kitchens, bathrooms, doors and trim, siding, decks, fences, and even furniture.
     Advice from an expert is always welcome when taking on a major project, and Dresdner intersperses the text with trade secrets on every subject. He tells what you'll need before you begin, what to expect, and what can go wrong. Safety precautions are outlined for everything from sanding dust and adequate ventilation to extinguishing pilot lights and drying oily rags.
     The format of the book makes for an entertaining read. Besides being nicely indexed and the chapters set up by what job is being done, the author has included sidebar stories relating to the projects described. A few examples are how color is acheived in stains, and the definition of 'white cooper.' He tells how to use pore filler, and why there is confusion over the name 'Danish oil,' what to expect in the fading colors of exotic woods, and how to 'pot' the feet to seal exposed end grain on the legs of outdoor furniture.
     One chapter is devoted to furniture finishing: touch ups, stripping, sanding, staining, and applying clear finishes. Certainly not as complete is 'The New Wood Finishing Book,' this chapter of basic guidance will go a long way to preventing major goofs and clearing up finishing misunderstandings.
     Whether brushing, rolling, spraying or sponging, any DIYer preparing to take on painting chores will benefit from Dresdner's expertise. Full color photos and excellent drawings assist in clarifying all project chores related to painting and finishing.

. . . Barb Siddiqui