Class: Finishing Common Woods to Look Amazing!


That’s me in the front of the class demonstrating a glazing technique.

At our recent class at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking, we transformed poplar, rotary cut birch plywood and #2 common pine into cherry, mahogany and walnut using a variety of finishing techniques.

Part of the problem of finishing common woods is that woodworkers try to put stain or color in the wood.  During this two day class we sealed the wood with finish and then applied colored glazes and toners on the sealed wood to create the effects we wanted.


We even tried out hand at faux finishing where we painted MDF a tannish background color and then applied glazes to suggest a grain pattern.  We also used quite a bit of shellac in the class, applied with a golden taklon brush.

The golden taklon wash brush is made for watercolor use, but the taklon fibers are great for brushing thin shellac as well.  The brush I am using in this picture is a great 1 1/2″ taklon was purchased in the craft department at Walmart.

I still have spaces available in my week long finishing class at Marc Adams and in the two day “Tools for Finishers” class where we talk about choosing and using the right brushes to apply shellac, varnish, waterbased finishes, etc.  The best part of the class is that you will leave with a set of good brushes for shellac varnish and waterbase.  Also, my mentor and friend Mitch Kohanek has space available in his Marc Adams Finishing classes included a decorative finishing class in October, and a class on color matching for finishers entitled “Taking Control of Color”.  For more information about these finishing classes, go to  and click on the classes tab.