Varnish application on TWS

Varnish application on TWS

13 min read
February 23, 2022

Water based varnish is a great way to darken the color of the birchwood without losing its natural grainy texture. It's easy to clean from unwanted surfaces yet stains birchwood pretty well.

Varnish application process on birch wood

Varnish can be applied on every surface of the Wooden Sound System, since it’s completely made out of birch wood.

BE CAREFUL to not apply varnish over an area you have painted - as both materials are water based they can become blurry upon contact.

Pro woodworking tip: The direction of the lines on wood is called the “grain”. Apply varnish in the same direction as the lines/grain for the most artistic results.

Gloves are recommended if you’re planning to varnish with a sponge, which has great coverage.

Using masking tape for straight edge varnish application

Masking tape for straight lines

If you want to create stripes, masking tape is your best friend for straight lines. Simply tape the masking tape on the birchwood and varnish over it.

When you lift off the masking tape, an almost perfectly straight edge appears. You can tape over dried varnish - if you’d like to further add new layers of varnish for even darker tones.

Taking off the masking tape reveals the straight edge split

the Final touch

Water based varnish gets absorbed by the birch wood, thereby creating a bit of a rough texture after drying. To make our surface silk smooth to touch again we can apply some plain paper sanding.

Varnish dries in 24 hours. The day after the workshop, you can use A4 sized printer paper to sand it even smoother. Really - a plain piece of paper is a great finishing tool for silky smoothness!

How to sand to maximum smoothness

  • Cut a stripe of unused white A4 paper.
  • Fold it once to thicken the paper for an easier grip.
  • Apply little force and do circular movements on the surface.
  • If you see dark spots of varnish piling up on the paper, simply turn the clean side of the paper and continue sanding until smooth to the touch.

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