I know most people who have built their own do-it-yourself furniture or projects from wood tend to approach the the last step of the process with at least some fear and trepidation. Finishing your project is probably the most nerve wracking part of the whole thing. Afterall, you’ve spent hours of work and probably at least a little money to get to this point and the last thing you want to do is ruin it all by screwing up the color or application. Although I can’t help you choose the right color (although testing it on scrap wood is very recommended) I can give you this little tip to help get a glass smooth finish on all of your projects.
If you’ve ever stained and finished any of your do-it-yourself projects before than you know that sanding between layers of polyurethane is a crucial part of the process. And if you’re like me at least a few of those projects ended up with grainy, bumpy, less-than-perfect results. Well a few years back I discovered a little trick that has made all my finishing jobs a million times better and believe it or not it’s super, super simple. In between layers of polyurethane or at least just before the last coat take a regular piece of white printer paper, fold it and sand down your project just like you would with sand paper. Wipe clean with a tack cloth and apply the next coat (You may also want to sand with the printer paper after the final coat as well).
I’m telling you, like glass. The paper is just rough enough to take the grainy bumnps out of your polyurethane and your do-it-yourself project is left with a super smooth finish.