October 01, 2018

Can You Use Oil Based Polyurethane Over Latex Paint?

A high-quality latex paint is important for various wood projects such as cabinets, tabletops, and bar tops.

Latex paint adds some shine and a well-polished effect to your wooden projects, but what is polyurethane? And how can you use oil-based polyurethane over latex paint?

Polyurethane is a varnish that has the ability to give your projects a solid and hard finish; this clear varnish has been sought after by a lot of people in recent years as it makes the surface of wood (which, if necessary, can be unwarped using these methods) easy to clean, and prevents both peeling and scratching. Super awesome, right?

What You Need To Know About Polyurethane

Polyurethane comes in two options: water-based polyurethane and oil-based polyurethane.

The best part is that both varieties can be easily used over latex paint, but the application specifics differ in some ways. Here's how:

1. Water-Based Polyurethane

The water-based option of polyurethane is a clear (transparent) varnish that is best used if you want to see the latex paint underneath.

There is one major disadvantage of this option though, and that is its lack of ability to provide a very hard & solid finish.

2. Oil Based Polyurethane

Oil-based polyurethane can be considered the master of polyurethane as it provides a hard and solid finish.

Its disadvantage is noticeable: yellowing can be observed after some time, and this makes it hard to see the color of the latex paint underneath.

You may find this video helpful:

How To Use Polyurethane Over Latex Paint - Preparation

Using oil/water-based polyurethane over latex paint is pretty easy, but the first step is to prepare the surface of your wooden project.

Preparing the surface is pretty simple: all you have to do is wait for the latex paint to dry completely before you sand the surface lightly then simply remove sanding dust with a lint-free cloth (or you can just vacuum it).

Application Of Polyurethane On A Prepared Surface

A coat sealer should be applied after the sanding and vacuuming process. The coat sealer serves as a binding agent that helps the polyurethane stick to the surface.

Note that applying polyurethane is a process that requires a lot of patience. Here's how to apply polyurethane correctly:
  • Get the product you need — some are brush-on while others are wipe-on
  • 3 thick coats needed for a brush-on polyurethane option
  • 5 coats are required for a wipe-on polyurethane option
  • Each coat must dry properly before you can apply the next coat of polyurethane
  • Keep your project away from dust and dirt

So, can you use oil-based polyurethane over latex paint?

The answer is yes. You can, but the only thing to think about is the potential yellowing of the oil-based polyurethane as it ages. This isn't a real problem but it is something you should know about.

Wipe-on polyurethane types provide a softer finish, while brush-on polyurethane types provide a sturdier finish.

Always remember to stir the paint with a stick before you apply it to keep it free of air bubbles. If you decide to use water-based polyurethane, all vents and ducts should be covered.

Now you know how to use oil-based polyurethane over latex paint, so go ahead and give your wooden project that perfect finish!

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June 17, 2018

How to Stain Large Areas Like A Pro

When staining large areas, such as a deck, you’re going to need to be prepared. You’ll want gloves, the stain, paper towels or rags, drop cloths, and the stain applicator. If you’re staining indoors, make sure you have proper ventilation to vent the toxic fumes.

Oak, ash, beech, and pine are the most popular woods (which may be cut precisely with CNC machines) to stain since they can stain so easily. We would recommend using one of these, as well as an oil-based stain, since oil-based stains take longer to dry and you’ll have the time to finish a larger area.

Oil-based stains usually don’t require sanding afterwards. Water-based stains are also available in more colors, but they dry more quickly and you may be unable to finish the entire area before it dries.

If you’re sanding a damaged area, you’ll want to repair it first. This can typically be done by applying wood filler, letting it dry, and then sanding the area smooth. If the wood has been previously stained, you will want to sand all of the wood to remove the stain to bring out the wood’s natural colors.

A stain conditioner is optional here. Wood can be stained without it, but the conditioner can help prevent blotchiness or uneven paint strokes on the wood for a more professional looking stain.

As with painting, be sure to test the stain on a smaller wood scrap to make sure it has the effect that you’re looking for. Then, apply the stain with either a brush or a spray. Apply thin, even layers. If you want a second coat, wait for the first to dry.

When applying with a brush, going with the grain may give you the best results. However, vertical application may work better if you’re using a PaintStick.

It’s important to remove any excess stain with paper towels or rags. If you’re looking for a darker stain, you can let the stain remain on the wood longer. For a lighter stain, wipe off excess immediately.

For the best results you’ll want to finish by applying a stain conditioner with a fine brush. This will seal in the stain.

This should help answer how to stain large areas. Go get it!

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April 01, 2018

Four Alternatives To A Band Saw

Bandsaws are heavy-duty blades that can easily cut through wood and many different metals. The tool is accurate enough to keep the teeth chewing a straight line through timber, and it handles curves and other irregular shapes with no problem.

Some band saws come with as many as four rotating wheels to keep the weight of heavier materials evenly distributed.

They’re pretty impressive, but there is a downside to all its options and conveniences.

These machines are expensive and can run anywhere from $250 to over $20,000.

Take heart, though. There are other tools you can use as an alternative to band saws that, on average, cost less.

1. Jigsaws

A jigsaw can do much of the same work as a band saw with the exception of square edges. Simply mount a jigsaw upside down, and have the blade stick through a piece of plywood.

Jigsaw blades will give a little, so they are best for simpler projects. Use plywood and let the blade stick through it. The price for a jigsaw can run anywhere from $30 - $150 or more, depending on the brand.

Check out some of the best jigsaws to buy here.

2. Coping Saw

Some seasoned woodworkers swear by the coping saw as a great alternative to a band saw.

Coping saws are capable of cutting interior and exterior shapes and cutouts. This tool is capable of reliably producing coped joints with tight fits, even for more complex moldings.

The best part is they only cost around $10.

3. Fretsaws

Fretsaws are simple blades stretched across a frame.

Like the coping saw, fretsaws are good when you have to cut intricate shapes and designs. The only drawback is that it is only effective with thinner materials.

A good fretsaw will cost around $150 or so.

4. Rockwell BladeRunner

This popular machine will cut everything from wood and plastic to metals and ceramic tile, all without a hitch.

The tool is fairly streamlined. All you need is a wall mount to start working with it.

The machine is portable and weighs 18 lbs. It is an efficient tool with many advantages. Rockwell BladeRunners cost about $100.

Check out this video for more about the machine:

It is true. Band saws are nifty, multipurpose machines that come with a variety of blades and tooth pitches.

They provide a lot of flexibility in your projects, but fortunately, there are alternatives to band saws that can do almost as good a job without breaking the bank.

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February 23, 2018

How To Make A Rustic TV Stand

This clip shows you how to make a rustic TV stand out of pallet and reclaimed wood. Looks pretty great, eh?

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February 15, 2018

What To Do With Sawdust - Tons Of Ideas

Are you kidding? Seriously, besides sweeping it into a pile to be scooped up and disposed of later, is there anything you can do with sawdust?

Actually, there are quite a few pretty clever things that sawdust can be used for.

What To Do With Sawdust

There's a ton I could list, but here a just a couple examples before I get into it.

Also, if you're into woodworking, visit Carve Your Creation!


Moistening a small pile with water and using a broom to push it across a concrete floor will help pick up the smallest of particles.

Fake Snow

If you’re into crafts, sawdust mixed with white paint and glue can make a winter wonderland.


Truck drivers spread sawdust in front of their tires to increase traction and strengthen compact snow.

Now, as interesting as those ideas are, they don’t seem too likely to be needed in a day-to-day situation.

So allow me to list what I feel are the five most common uses for sawdust:

1. Soak Up Spills

This is a good one. In case of accidents, or in a high traffic area, keep some sawdust handy to soak spills of water, oil, or paint.

This works because sawdust is naturally very absorbent and will pick up that mess quickly.

2. Make A Firestarter

Perfect for camping enthusiasts, melt candle wax and then add sawdust, stirring until it thickens (1). Pour the resulting mixture into an empty egg carton and let it harden.

Now you have handy little briquettes to throw into a fire to keep it going.

3. Plant Food

This is one that I originally had no idea about. Sawdust mixed with either manure or a nitrogen supplement will help keep your plants healthy and moist.

4. Beat Out Weeds

We're keeping with the gardening theme for now, this time using a specific type of sawdust. Sprinkle the sawdust from walnut wood in the
cracks of your sidewalk to keep the weeds out (2).

5. Fill In Holes

I saved this one for last because I think it’s the most well-known use for sawdust outside of being a pile.

Mix very fine sawdust with glue into a paste-like consistency and spread onto a hole or crack using a putty knife. Who knew?

There you have it. Using a little bit of ingenuity, we’re able to turn what was essentially left over into some very useful applications.

Now check out this article on wood routers: https://carveyourcreation.com/what-does-a-wood-router-do


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January 02, 2018

Best Stainable Wood Fillers - 2017 Guide

A wood filler is any product or substance that helps in the perfection of a wooden object.

Wood filler is specially made to correct or cover flaws in wood by covering nail holes, cracks, small gouges and other wood imperfections.

There are water-based and solvent-based wood fillers; water-based wood fillers can be thinned by adding water while solvent-based are thicker and can be used for bigger jobs like filling cracks.

Stainable Wood Filler? Why?

A stainable wood filler is a must-have for every woodworker, but getting the right stainable wood filler these days can be a real pain in the neck.

It's time to play hero and save the day with my 3 top picks for the best stainable wood fillers:

My Top 3 Picks

1. Elmer's E887Q Stainable Wood Filler

Best Stainable Wood Fillers Elmer's E887Q

Elmer is one of the biggest companies that produce good and long-lasting stainable wood fillers, and this model really speaks to that well. Take a look...

  • solvent-free (solvent is absent in this filler)
  • this solvent is immune to shrinking and cracking
  • can be used with high-speed sanders
  • resealable after use
  • real wood fibers for excellent staining, sanding and painting
2. Minwax 42853000 Stainable Wood Filler

Best Stainable Wood Fillers Minwax 42853000

Minwax is the one of the best things that has happened to the stainable wood finishing market. This great company, which is America's leading brand of wood finishing, has come out with one fantastic model; take a look...

  • drying time of 2-6 hours depending on the size of the area
  • ideal for filling cracks, nail holes, small gouges, knot holes and others
  • highly stainable and paintable
  • designed to work with oil and water-based wood stains
  • sands easily
  • suitable for interior and exterior use
3. Elmer's E892 Stainable Wood Filler

Best Stainable Wood Fillers Elmer's E892

The first item on this list is from Elmer's, and so is the last. The E892 has to be one of the best stainable wood fillers currently on the market. Here are the features:

  • very easy to clean with water.
  • a master in holding screws and nails
  • contains real wood sanders
  • can be used very well with high-speed sanders
  • resistant to cracking and shrinking

So there it is: my top 3 picks. These models, in my opinion, provide the best value. 

Which one are you getting?

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December 28, 2017

When To Choose Polyurethane Over Spar Varnish

Let's get into polyurethane, spar varnish, and what you should take into account when considering whether to use one or the other.

Polyurethane: polyurethane is essentially a plastic in liquid form; it is available as both water-based and oil-based.

Water-based polyurethane is much more popular because it has low toxicity, less odor, and dries much faster.

Oil-based polyurethane is more durable and more heat-resistant, so using it for a kitchen table for example would be ideal. If you are working with oil-based polyurethane, you need to do so in a ventilated area with a respirator.

Polyurethane is also available as a (easier to apply) spray, which gives a good enough result.

Spar Varnish: spar varnish is very durable because it contains high amount of solids in the ratio. It is actually good for outdoor projects and wood used for doors.

Varnish protects wood from termites and also has natural protection against ultraviolet (UV) light. Spar varnish is normally applied to the wood that sits in a humid or wet environment such as on a boat.

Advantages of using polyurethane over spar varnish:
  1. Polyurethane is more durable.
  2. It's scratch-resistant.
  3. Water-based polyurethane dries very quickly, making it ideal for those who don't want to use safety equipment.
  4. Polyurethane can be applied with any method such as hand rubbing, spraying or brushing.
  5. Its water-based formula is less toxic.
  6. Oil-based polyurethane is very resistant to heat exposure; this makes it great for a kitchen counter top.

Best use of polyurethane over spar varnish:

Polyurethane is commonly used on wooden household items like bookshelves, desks and wood floors. Because of modern improvements to UV protection, it can also be used on outdoor tables and desks.

A water-based formulation is ideal to use for amateur painters who want to work on their own and don't want to use any safety equipment.

Once dry, polyurethane is transparent. Water-based polyurethane is considered to be ideal for indoor use.

Overall, if the advantages listed above appeal to you, and you're planning to finish items similar to those listed above, it's probably a better idea to choose polyurethane.

I hope this information has helped make your decision easier on whether to use polyurethane or spar varnish. Good luck!

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December 11, 2017

The Benefits of The DIY Smart Saw

Woodworking is a hard and time-consuming task. Cutting the desired design and finishing it off takes a lot of hard work.

But if you find a machine that can cut the wood for you the way you want a lot faster than you normally can, then it would be amazing, right?

Well, that machine is here. This DIY Smart Saw review will convince you to buy the product.

Actually, this is a program that shows how you can make your own cutting machine that works like a CNC machine. It is made from normal materials available in any hardware store. So it does not cost a lot of money.

The benefits of DIY Smart Saw are:

There's no room for error.

This machine is perfect for any kind of wood carving. The Smart Saw is able to cut any design you give it to it. It also corrects the errors.

Even if you are a novice in woodworking you can make amazing designs with the help of this machine. As this machine corrects the errors, you'll get a final design that is complete in all aspects. So, you will not waste valuable wood.

It's cheaper.

Even a secondhand CNC machine costs a lot of money. So if you are into woodworking and do not have the money then the DIY Smart Saw can be your friend.

This machine costs a lot less and does the same thing. The thing is: for DIY works you do not need to have a heavy CNC machine. A traditional CNC machine is for the professional who needs to finish a lot of work in a relatively short period. But you can complete your work with the DIY Smart Saw for a lot less money and in a lot less time.

It's smart.

The DIY Smart Saw is a smart solution for woodworking. This machine is automated. You just need to set the parameters.

The machine will correct the errors and, with a switch, it will cut the wood into desired pieces. Also, this machine can help to design the things you want with effective illustration.

It's fast.

This machine is at least 20 times faster compared to human capability.

Even if you are a professional carpenter you will need some time to cut a design from wood. But this machine can do that perfectly within the shortest possible time. You can spend that extra time making more things and selling them into the market to earn cash.

It's easy to make.

The machine is very simple and easy to make. All the necessary elements are easy to find in a hardware store.

After that, you can follow the video tutorial and instruction to make the machine. If you get stuck there is a 24/7 customer service option that will help you out.

There's a guarantee.

This program comes with a 60 days money back guarantee. If you are not satisfied with the product you can get your money back from the vendor. This means you can make your own cutting machine without any risk.

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December 10, 2017

8 Handy Apps for Woodworking

See This Infographic For Details:

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