Finishing a project after it’s assembled can be difficult and time-consuming. It’s not too hard to brush or spray on the finish, but it can be a bear to keep the coat even and free of runs or drips. That’s why I prefinish my project parts whenever possible.
Prefinishing allows you to apply a finish to the individual pieces before assembly. This means there are no nooks and crannies to reach into as you apply and wipe off stain or finish. You can easily see every surface of each piece and make sure you’re getting the results you want.
The key is to keep finish off of or out of parts the will be glued together. The photo above shows how painter’s tape and foam insulation can be used to mask areas where you don’t want finish.
You can also see an easy system for hanging the parts to dry. All you need to do is attach a hook in an inconspicuous place on each piece and then string a line to hang them on. I tie a knot about every 6" to provide a loop to hang the pieces. This prevents them from sliding around on the line. This system works great for many kinds of woodworking projects.