Okay folks, we’ve been around long enough to know that you’re going to be building your holiday gifts right up to the night when all through the house not a creature is stirring, not even a mouse.
And that probably means you’re gonna throw on a couple coats of finish a matter of hours before dawn. So, look, I know all about procrastination, I was an English major, I’m here to help!
Here’s a little guidance on how to pick a wood finish when you’re running short on time:
1. Spray & Wipe-on Finishes Are Fast & Good Looking
Rattle cans of lacquer or waterborne acrylic apply and dry so quickly that, if you’re in a pinch, this is my first recommendation when a yuletide deadline draws near.
You only need about 30 minutes between coats, and they can be scuffed baby-bottom smooth within moments.
On the downside, they’re not very tough finishes. Down the road repairs and refreshing may be needed but are easy to do.
Second in line is a wipe-on varnish like Danish oil or another oil-varnish blend. That’s because the wipe-on, wipe-off application is nearly fool proof to get right and they look good with very, very little effort.
These types of finishes need about 6 hours to dry between coats, but for some decorative projects one coat will do the job just fine. BONUS: these finishes will make dark woods punchy with contrast and depth.