The forum is in read only mode.

Finishing a Plank (for hanging guitars)

  • Posts: 2

OoblyBoobly created the topic: Finishing a Plank (for hanging guitars)

Hello there,

I have got a plank which I'm planning on sanding down and then finishing in shellac or similar.

As I've not really got any experience, I'd like to ask for confirmation on what I plan to do as there appear to be multiple ways of doing the same thing (just to make it more complicated) :)

I was planning on sanding it down with 60,80,120 grit till it's smooth and free of any of sideways marks (I presume from the original cutting/shaping of the plank). Then I planned to gradually increase the grit to 800 or so to try and get a super-smooth finish.

I've got these guys:

I had a play with the shellac on a smaller piece. It felt relatively user-friendly, but because of the teeny size of the piece, I struggled to get an 'even' finish as it had some streaks and such.

My questions:
- To what grit would you want to sand it down prior to finishing it?
- The plank is relatively flat, although since I had it, it has 'lifted off' at a couple corners. How do I fix this? I have seen people apply a damp towel over and apply heat through an iron. Do you reckon for the purposes of being screwed onto a wall (battens behind a drywall), there is a need to try and flatten it, or will the action of screwing it on do it well enough?
- The bottle of premade shellac suggests just rubbing it onto the wood. Is that the best way of doing it? How do I ensure a smooth/streekless finish? Or does a smooth finish come after polishing it?

... I think that's all I can think of for now. As you can tell I'm pretty clueless, so any input is welcome.

  • Posts: 214

Glen replied the topic: Finishing a Plank (for hanging guitars)

Welcome to WWW!! Good to have you here. That is a nice slab & will look great when finished.

Sanding-- I wouldn't go beyond the 220. The finish needs something to grip onto.

Application-- Spraying is the best way IMO but we don't all have access to that. However there may be a cabinet shop in your area or woodworker that does spray & can help you out.

Twist-- If the board is being screwed to the wall flat then I would pre-drill & just screw it on into the wall studs. However I think it would look even nicer if you were to cut some,, say 4" square blocks from 1/2" ply,, & use them as spacers to lift the piece off the wall a 1/2".
  • Posts: 2

OoblyBoobly replied the topic: Finishing a Plank (for hanging guitars)


yes I can't wait for it to be done and hang the guitars on it (the beauty will be amplified by a factor of 3 at least!)

I did think that spraying is probably the most consistent way. Sadly I live in a flat and I do not really have any fancy tools.

I wouldn't have means to transport the piece, even if there was a cabinet maker in my area (which I somewhat doubt).

So to clarify, I think any 'finishing' will have to be done by me, using hands (sadly) :)
  • Posts: 214

Glen replied the topic: Finishing a Plank (for hanging guitars)

Ok then. Either a water based poly or shellac would be my go to finishes in your situation. Reason being odor. Water poly has a somewhat pleasant smell versus oil based finishes & dries fairly quickly. Shellac has the same quick dry time & a little more odor to it.

That being said I would opt for the water based poly.
You can clean your brushes in the sink with warm soapy water.
If you use foam brushes you can dispose of them more safely without the threat of spontaneous combustion & fire.
Re-coat time should only be a couple hours allowing 3-4 coats per day which will be plenty.

I'm sure others will chime in later with their ideas. We can figure out just about anything working collectively.
  • GarryDE

GarryDE replied the topic: Finishing a Plank (for hanging guitars)

Hey Oobly, that is going to look great when you are done. I agree with Glen, water based poly is the way to go if you're new to the craft. It's the way to go if you're old to the craft. I've been finishing wood and painting for longer than I want to think about (or is probably good for me :silly: ) and I don't use oil based stuff for much of anything anymore. (Sorry Dad & Grampa) Oil based finishes are too slow, too smelly, too much cleanup and too many disposal issues. You could do spray shellac it's available in cans, if you have a deck, shoot it out there and then bring it in. What ever you do with it, do both sides or it will warp even more. I have made that mistake before and paid for it.
Good luck.
  • Posts: 214

Glen replied the topic: Finishing a Plank (for hanging guitars)

On the water poly I would suggest getting one of those flat edge trimming brushes that have the little wheels that ride along the door or window casing. Dip that in a tray of poly & just use very little pressure & slide it along the surface. I'll try to find the video.

Join Us On: