A lot of woodworkers want to know how to get a matte finish on their wood project. It’s harder than it sounds! Follow these 4 steps and try not to skip any, and you’ll be surprised at the results.
Step 1: Stain the wood
You will need to apply a stain that has an even color with no blotches or streaks in order for the final matte finish to come out looking its best – trust us on this one, uneven staining leads to uneven finishes.
Let the stain sit for around 15 minutes after application before wiping off excess stain with a rag or paper towel. Once dry, give the piece another light sanding just enough to knock off any raised grain.
Step 2: Seal your wood
This step is very important and will help make the finishing of your piece look professional. We are trying to achieve a clear, glossy finish that doesn’t catch or absorb light in any way so you have a smooth even surface to apply the matte varnish onto later.
You can use any water based varnish for this step, as long as it’s a good quality one. Remember you want to seal the wood not stain it at this point so select wisely!
Step 3: Shellac and wax
Rub the surface with 0000 steel wool and paste wax. The wood should be as smooth and glossy as a new car’s finish – shiny but not greasy looking or feeling.
For an even faster matte finish, use several shellac coats instead. Rub down the surface immediately after putting the last coat of shellac on, before it dries.
Step 4: Spraying Lacquer
Spray three to four thin but not translucent coats of Lacquer. Then rub down the surface with 400-grit wet/dry sandpaper after the first coat.
Doing this will make sure that no orange peel texture appears on your surface and you’ll get a nice, smooth finish without pinholes or other imperfections. Now finish with at least two more coats using one catalyzed lacquer.