How To Finish Bar Rail Molding
PRE-FINISHING YOUR BAR RAIL MOLDING PRIOR TO INSTALLATION IS NEVER A GOOD IDEA AND IS NOT RECOMMENDED.
- Mask off and protect the area where the bar rail meets the main bar top and begin the sanding process with 100 grit sand paper moving on up to 180 grit. Higher grits of sandpaper may be used but keep in mind the higher the grit and polish on the wood the less the stain will penetrate. Natural/clear finishes are not affected as much.
* TIP: Remember to keep a cut off piece of bar rail to sand and finish as a test.
- Once you have sanded the bar rail and inspected it for left over glue, cross scratches and finger oils be sure to wipe it off using a clean t shirt type cloth to remove all dust and debris. Using compressed air is not recommended as it can add condensation/oil residue to the wood.
*TIP: If you are staining your bar rail a good quality lightly pigmented stain is suggested to be brushed on and the excess wiped off once the desired effect is achieved. Remember to allow the stain to completely dry 24 to 48 hours prior to top coating.
- If you are brushing on your finish we recommend a good quality spar varnish or polyurethane as a bar rail finish. Once you are sure the stain is dry, try a small amount of your finish on the test piece and if the stain is not being picked up by the finish coat then you are ready to top coat the bar rail molding. Three to four good coats should be sufficient. If you want to go the extra mile then you can brush on 2 coats of high gloss finish first to get a good build coat and then add 2 or 3 coats of semi-gloss or satin on top to reduce the gloss.
*TIP: You can use the same process when clear coating without stain.
- If you are spraying your finish then we suggest using a conversion varnish or a catalyzed lacquer. In either case be sure the stain is dry prior to top coating.
*TIP: Several build coats using a high gloss sheen can help build a film that can then be top coated with 3 to 4 coats of satin or semi-gloss.
- For all finishing including epoxy resin types be sure to read and follow all material safety data sheets for appropriate handling and disposal of these materials and their bi-products.