Demystifying Wood Finishing

August 30 - September 1, 2024

Demystifying Wood Finishing


Details Fee Breakdown:
Tuition: $540
Material Fee: $80

Finishing is an incredibly important part of woodworking–one that can make or break your project after hours and hours of work! Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation about the finishing process, and very few woodworkers are ever taught the actual science of how finishes work. In this 3-day intensive, we will dive right in and learn the proper application of a variety of different wood finishes. You will learn best practices for sanding and surface prep before going in depth into oil finishes, varnishes, shellac, lacquers, and waxes. We will go through the science of how these products work, discussing pros and cons so that students leave the class with a good grasp of what the best finish is for any given project. The workshop will also cover other surface ornamentation such as paints, stains, and dyes. Experimentation will be very much encouraged, and no prior woodworking or finishing knowledge is required.

Workshops run from 9:00am to 5:00pm each day
Lunch is included for all participants

Level: Beginner and Beyond
Workshop Levels

Definitions of Skill Levels for Workshops

  • Beginner and Beyond: Introductory level course that presents basic knowledge of tools, materials and techniques and is geared towards first timers or those who want to improve and expand their technique. It takes time to build skills.
  • Advanced Beginner and Beyond: Instruction that assumes some familiarity with tools, materials and equipment. Includes reviews and builds on basic skill sets, allows for those with more experience to work at their own pace. Further development of fundamentals, participants have had at least one class or equivalent with professional instruction.
  • Intermediate: Course content that assumes a working knowledge of basic studio tools, materials and equipment necessary to accomplish the projects and techniques to be explored. Participants feel comfortable in the studio setting.
  • Intermediate to Advanced: Course content that requires a proficient working knowledge of studio tools, materials and equipment necessary to accomplish the projects and techniques to be explored in class.
  • Advanced: Assumes proficiency and advanced working knowledge of materials and studio tools and equipment so that the focus is on artistic narrative and/or technical development.
Ages: Adult



Jamie Herman

Jamie Herman is a furniture maker, sculptor, and teacher based in upstate New York. Brought up in Kentucky and Ohio, Jamie tried his hand at classical music, archaeology, and organic farming (among other things) before finding his passion in craft. He trained in fine woodworking and furniture design at the Vermont Woodworking School and has participated in fellowships at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship and the Peters Valley School of Craft. In 2021, Jamie was awarded the John D. Mineck Furniture Fellowship, and in 2024 he will participate in the Windgate Arts Residency at the Museum for Art in Wood. Jamie is interested in exploring how material culture can influence our identities, how our individualities spill over into what we make, and how participating in craft can change how we think. He wants everything he makes to be well-used, well-loved, and to last a lifetime.


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