Find Wood Imperfections with Mineral Spirits

mineral spirits test
You can spot wood imperfections with mineral spirits. Joe shows you how!

The last step before finishing a woodworking project, or when you’re refinishing a piece of furniture, is to sand it really well.

In this case, I have this prop that I sanded with an orbital sander, then I finished it with some hand-sanding.
But before you stain it, you want to make sure you can detect any defects, whether sanding swirl marks or scratches.

I took a cup and I added a few ounces of mineral spirits. Then I put in just a few drops of the stain we’re gonna be using. Then I’m gonna test this piece of wood to see how clean it is, how scratch-free it is, by dipping cloth in the stain.
Wear rubber gloves and wipe it on — let’s see what we can discover.

By pre-staining it like this, it gives you a really good idea where the defects are, where the flaws are.
So you just let that dry for a few minutes, come back and sand it again, paying particular attention to any flaws or defects, and you have a nice smooth piece of wood ready for the final coat of stain.

Watch the video above to see Joe’s Simple Solution.

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