George Vondriska

Finishing Essentials

George Vondriska
Finishing Essentials
  • In-depth Instruction; over 95 mins
  • On-demand video access anytime
  • Bonus downloadable PDF resources
  • Access to class Q&A

Getting ready for finish is as important (or perhaps more important) than the finishing process. From sanding to grain filling to pre-treating, let’s make sure your material is ready for finish before you make the first brush stroke. We’ll provide you with methods that eliminate blotchy finishes, prevent end grain from being darker than other surfaces, and lead to a silky smooth finish.

Pigments are different from dyes, and we’ll show you the difference, plus talk about advantages and disadvantages of each. In addition to standard home center stains, we’ll explore aniline dye and look at the advantages it provides for your finishing work.

Applying finish correctly is not as simple as wiping it on with any old rag. Wiping on can work, and we’ll show you how to create a shop-made finishing pad that helps reduce streaks in your finish. We’ll also discuss different types of brushes; which are best for water-based and solvent-based finishes, and what style of brush tip to look for to achieve optimal results.

Before applying a top coat you need to understand what benefits it offers, and what disadvantages it may have. Furniture oil, shellac, lacquer, varnish, water-based finish… we’ll help you determine which finish is the best one for each project you build by explaining working characteristics, how much protection it provides, and what it takes to get a smooth top coat.

George wraps up this class with a reminder to practice the fundamental finishing techniques you learned, and you’ll be on your way to making every one of your future projects look their very best.

5 Lessons
1  hrs 35  mins

The finishing process can be intimidating. With so many hours invested in a project, it feels as though one false move while finishing can undo all your hard work.

That’s why we created this class. Your instructor, George Vondriska, will demystify finishes that are common in the marketplace, help you understand which finish is best for your projects, and provide great preparation and application tips that will help you achieve a better finish.


In this class, we intentionally use finishing products that are readily available at home centers. No exotic finishes or obscure techniques – you’ll find that the approach taken in this class is very mainstream. That makes our instruction accessible, and makes it easier for you to realize success with your finishing processes.

With the wide array of products and application tips shown in this class, you’re sure to find a few that work with your projects, your shop, and your approach to woodworking.


This class concentrates on techniques that will be easy for you to use. Cotton rags, cheese cloth, home center off-the-shelf brushes, aerosol finish… It’s how you use these items that is most important, and we’re here to teach you. With our application techniques in hand you’ll be more confident about choosing stains and top coats, and finding the best application method for each.


In addition to the hands-on video instruction you’ll receive, this class provides you with some downloadable and helpful resources to print and keep, including a detailed Class Guide as a recap of the key points of the class instruction – you’ll find this very helpful as you decide which finishes to use, and create your finish shopping list. Also, you’ll get a Class Resources document that will give you information on the products you’ll see in the Class.

George Vondriska

Formally trained in technology education, George Vondriska has been teaching woodworking since 1986. He has been the managing editor of Woodworkers Guild of America since 2007. In addition to classes at his own Vondriska Woodworks School, George teaches at woodworking shows across the country and has taught woodworking for the Peace Corps, Andersen Window, Northwest Airlines and the Pentagon.

George Vondriska

Bonus materials available after purchase