Preparation Is 99-Percent

I’m the world’s worst at jumping into a project, and then realizing I need a dozen other things right at hand. 

This gets to be the most sticky when it’s time to apply a finish. It’s the part of a project I like the least anyway, so I find it difficult to be motivated and remember all the necessary little steps. 

I recommend purchasing a roll of contractor’s paper. It’s what I’ve taped down to the work table in this photo.

You can use a drop cloth or an old bed sheet, or even old newspaper, but I like this paper – it’s relatively cheap, thick (which is good in case you spill), and comes in the convenient roll. I simply tape it down, then toss it when I’m done. I’ve also found that finishes don’t tend to stick to it too easily.

You’ll also notice in the photo that I have several other items at hand – stain of course, and opener for the can, a couple of rags (wipe on, wipe off), a mallet (that’s one I made from scrap materials), rubber gloves, tape and scissors (for the paper), and a mask. 

The table I’m working on is 4’x4′ – I can easily walk around it and access the project I’m staining. Another point – make sure you have enough area in which to work that also has a clear path around it. And, be sure to have plenty of ventilation. You can’t see it in the photo, but to the left is an open window. I also have a floor fan that is blowing toward the window to help draw out fumes. 

All this prep takes a little bit of extra time, but you’ll save that time by not having to run around your shop or garage grabbing things as you need them. Make yourself a checklist before you start, and you’ll have a much more pleasant experience. 

Published in: on May 15, 2010 at 10:41 am  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. what I have done is take a viynal window shade and mounts .Place mounts on table top and keep the shade there until it is needed and roll it out and your done .A little clean up and roll it back in

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