Quality Wood Finishes, Made in the USA


Listen to APC's Paint Radio podcast informing customers how to use Aqua Coat Grain Filler
January 29 2020

Listen to APC's Paint Radio podcast informing contractors how to use Aqua Coat White Cabinet Grain Filler to obtain a smooth finish. Achieving a glass smooth finish with grain fillers is not as hard as you’d think. Especially with today’s modern products. Learn everything you would ever want to know about grain fillers in this week’s Paint Radio podcast. Listen anywhere you find podcasts. APC offers a free subscription to painting contractors.  Click here...

Why Should I Choose Enamel Water-Based Paint When Painting Doors and Woodwork?
January 24 2020

Fifty years ago, there was no option when painting surfaces that required enamel-like doors, furniture, baseboards, and trim in your home. The only choice was oil-based paint. While it lasted a long time and created an attractive result, there were many cons to using oil-based paint. In fact, there was no choice for painting walls, interior or exterior, or when staining furniture, decks, and woodwork. Today, most people choose water-based...

Aqua Coat Grain Fillers
January 24 2020

These are not your grandfather's grain fillers. Grain fillers are used frequently by manufacturers and do-it-yourselfers. Over time, grain fillers have gotten a bad reputation and fell out of favor. They were solvent-based with a nasty odor. They took a long time to dry. They were tough, which made sanding a long process, and they also created a lot of messy dust. They were also solvent-based and not very well...

How to use Pallets for Outdoor Furniture, Fencing or Other Projects
December 20 2019

The high cost of outdoor furniture can deter you from making your yard and garden the paradise you dream of and deserve. But if you have a little do it yourself in you, you can build lots of great outdoor furniture, fencing, and other objects at very little cost. How you may ask? Consider the wonderful and often free pallet! Wooden pallets are a great idea for many projects as...

When Should You Use Water-Based Stain?
December 20 2019

When we think of wood stains, we often assume that all stains will be oil-based, and not water-based stain.  The art of staining wood is centuries old. The original stain used natural pigments and dyes from plants and minerals. These were often essentially thinned paints that rendered opaque colors and tones Even though stains have been in popular use for about a hundred years, it was first mass-produced and marketed...

November 19 2019


Mr. Build It- Refinishing Oak Cabinets | Aqua Coat Hide Grain
November 19 2019


OBrienGuitars - Luthier Tips du Jour Mailbag 35 - Aqua Coat pore filler
November 19 2019


Paint Life TV/ The Idaho Painter-GRAIN Filler for Cabinets.... Aqua Coat Wood Grain Filler
November 19 2019


Paint Life Tv/ The Idaho Painter reviews Aqua Coat Clear grain filler.
November 19 2019


Expert Advice on Grain Fillers
October 26 2017

From Canadian Woodworking and Home Improvement an article about pore fillers, aka grain fillers, including Aqua Coat's Clear Wood Grain Filler. He compares the pros and cons of using oil- vs water-based products and lists a series of steps to take for a professional finish.


Pillsbury Snyder Mansion Renovation Uses Aqua Tone Stains
October 13 2017

In this historic Minneapolis mansion, built in 1913 for John and Nelle Pillsbury Snyder after they survived the sinking of the Titanic in 1912, renovation included bringing back to life the woodwork in the original ballroom. Non-profit NuWay House Inc purchased the house in 2014 and has restored rooms full of carved woodwork. This required many gallons of our Aqua Tone stains! Here's a few of the renovation photos:  ...

Help the Green Living Center's RePurposeful Program
October 04 2017

We are happy to pass along this information from the Green Living Center: "A few years ago, we started a collection effort to reduce the amount of waste in our industry. New and unused fabric samples, wood flooring pieces, tiles...you name it, we collected it. Over 120,000 pounds have been collected just in SE Wisconsin over the last few years and we’ve given 98% of it a new home for...

Customer Spotlight: HJT Woods
September 26 2017

One of our best customers, Jim Tobias at HJT Woods, uses a variety of Aqua Coat products when making his decorative boxes. Made from the finest woods and veneers, it's easy to see why Jim's one-of-a-kind work is ideal for that special gift that will become the family heirloom passed on for generations. By request, Jim will also take on custom projects. Pictured below are some of Jim's decorative boxes. For...

Restoration Professionals Use Aqua Coat Wood Finishing Products
September 15 2017

Here at Aqua Coat we often say that if you want a professional wood finish, then use our products. We are proud to say that our customers include professional woodworkers and restorers. They trust Aqua Coat finishes and so you, too, can be assured of the quality results you can get on your projects. We are always happy to showcase the work that our customers produce. For example, Andrew is...

Top Coat Additives That Give You a Quality Finish to Your Project
August 25 2017

When you read the product descriptions of some finishes, you might wonder if you need a degree in chemistry to make the right choice. The best products have some additives that will give you quality results. You want your finished project to look professional and not amateurish, so let's look at some additives we use to make our high-quality wood finishes: Coalescing agent. Here's an additive that helps all of the...

Refinish or Recycle? Questions to Ask Before You Throw Out Your Old Furniture
July 28 2017

It doesn't take more than a few minutes of scrolling through Pinterest and Instagram before you realize that being handy has its advantages, meaning that instead of throwing out old furniture you may be able to rescue it by either refinishing it or recycling it. Your main consideration is, how much time, patience, and expertise do you have to do a good job?  If it's a good piece of furniture...

The Benefits of Being Social Offline
July 07 2017

Being on social media is a great way to find information and solutions to problems, but as a woodworker, either hobbyist or professional, sometimes you just need to talk to someone in person or watch a process done live before you understand it. For example, YouTube is a good place to start when looking for information, but you still have to search and sift through the results to find a...

How to Stain Wood, Lessons Learned
June 21 2017

When you own a home that is over 100 years old which has been added to, partially destroyed, and has endured a century of decorating mistakes, you try your best to renovate in a way that's liveable and yet is sympathetic to the original house. But what to do when you've stripped about ten coats of paint from an original door and you need it to match as closely as...

Aqua Coat Products Sold Through Woodcraft
June 08 2017

We are at the Woodcraft show! Click here for the video.

Build Your Next Project Using a Kit to Save Time and Expand Your Technical Skills
May 26 2017

Why use a kit? While there is something to be said for marking, cutting, assembling, and finishing a project from scratch there are a few times that it makes sense to use a kit instead. Here are several advantages to using a kit for a wood project: Much of the measuring and cutting is done, if your goal is the final project, not necessarily the experience A kit will save you time...

Wood Turned Bowls
April 14 2017

This wood-turned cherry bowl from our customer Keith Gruber illustrates how well Aqua Coat Wood Grain Filler fills the unevenness of the wood and helps to create a smooth and highly polished finish. The finish used here is Renaissance Wax. If you are interested in woodturning, click here for an introductory article from the Woodworker's Journal.

Rustic Live Edge Table from Vondriska Woodworks
March 10 2017

A popular feature of rustic decor is live edge wood, which shows the natural edge of the wood and keeps the original lines of the trunk along its edges. From Vondriska Woodworks we have a beautiful example of a live edge in this table. To get this finish, George uses two coats of a seal coat followed by two coats of Aqua Coat Tabletop Commercial Finish (Self Cross Linking).     ...

Thinking About Spray Applications?
March 01 2017

For a serious woodworker, there comes a point when it makes sense to move to a spray finish, maybe due to the size of a project or a wish to make things go faster. The next question is, what type of spray gun? Below is a description of the major spray gun categories to get you started on your shopping. Some of Aqua Coat products can be used in spray...

Looking for a Smooth as Glass Finish on Wood?
February 10 2017

When we say that using our grain filler produces "a smooth, glass-like finish" we aren't kidding. Case in point, see the photos below from our friend George Vondriska at Vondriska Woodworks. Our Clear Wood Grain Filler helps to fill the pores in woods, such as oaks, ash, and other hard-to-fill woods. It can be used on raw wood or after staining, sealers, or topcoats.             ...

Getting That Smooth Wood Finish: Expert Advice
January 20 2017

Back in July 2016 I listed several tips for a beautiful brushed finish (click here for the blog post). In this recent article from the Woodworking Network, Scott Wunder gives you more helpful tips: 1. Apply thin coats 2. Pay attention to your brush strokes 3. Keep a wet edge 4. Do finishing work horizontally 5. Choose the right brush Click here for his complete article.

Sanding Sealer Key to a Fine Wood Finish
January 04 2017

The difference between a project with a professional-looking finish or one that just looks okay, is attention to detail and patience. Attention to detail means taking the time to prepare the wood properly and patience means you need to take extra time to finish the project. One of those extra steps is to use a sanding sealer. Why? Wood is not a smooth surface and any stain or topcoat you use...

Custom Cabinetry for Aquariums
December 14 2016

Here at Aqua Coat we highlight the way our customers use our wood finishing products, either on our blog, or elsewhere on our site and on our social media pages. Recently, we received photos from Custom Aquariums where they build, yes, custom aquariums, using quality wood construction and cabinetry. We considered that to be an interesting use of cabinetry and thought you might want to take a look. This cabinet is...

Aqua Coat Clear Grain Filler Gets Rave Reviews
November 30 2016

Aqua Coat Clear Grain Filler gets rave reviews as the best pore filler to enhance the beauty of wood. Paul Levine of Levine Handcrafted Guitars says that he had used clear epoxy before, however, our Grain Filler dries much faster than epoxy. He hasn't had any problems with shrink back and it is much easier to sand. Paul says saving time and less work has made Aqua Coat his go-to...

Kitchen Cabinet Refinishing: New Video Shows How
November 16 2016

If you are curious about using our Grain Filler and how it improves the look of a painted kitchen cabinet, watch this video from Sam the Finishing Man. He shows you how to get that professional finish on a DIY cabinet renovation project. Click the link here: Cabinet Refinishing

Cabinetry Benefits From Aqua Coat Finishes
November 11 2016

Larry Belongia at FOAK Cabinets (see more of his work here) designed and built this custom island cabinet with raised panels and cross detail. He used Aqua Coat's Sanding Sealer and also Tabletop Commercial Finish [Self-Crosslinking], in a Satin finish, to get that professional quality wood look. The finish process for this cabinet consisted of two coats of stain and two coats of sanding sealer, followed by a light sanding. Then, two coats...

Understanding VOCs
November 03 2016

What are VOCs, anyway? And should we be concerned? News stories about chemical dangers in food, in health products, and in our homes appear almost daily, so we worry.Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) are carbon-containing compounds that, as the product dries, get released into the air where they react with other elements to produce ozone, which in turn causes air pollution and health issues. It makes sense, then, to limit those VOCs...

Toys for Christmas Giving
October 25 2016

Christmas toys and decorations are already in stores, like it or not. For the woodworking enthusiast, there is still time to finish a wooden toy for the child on your Christmas list. But you might want to start now; get your plans, your tools, and your wood finishing products ready. Click here  to view eco-friendly Aqua Coat stains, sanding sealers, grain filler, and topcoats. For plans, here are some places to...

Joinery Techniques-Videos on YouTube
October 13 2016

One of the most basic processes in woodworking is to join one piece of wood to another. Whether you do it by hand or by machine, joinery is a skill you need to practice. You could take classes, but if you don't have your own personal master woodworker at your side, watching a video or two on YouTube is a pretty good option. Check out these three popular videos on...

Pagoda Style Jewelry Box
September 27 2016

Here's another jewelry box designed and built by our customer Bob Dickey, which is currently for sale along with others on his Etsy site. This box goes great with many contemporary and oriental themed furnishings and is based on his own "pagoda" design. This box has 4 drawers of Birdseye Maple, plus a hinged lid under which is a 6th storage area. The dark wood is American Cherry which has been dyed...

Basic Woodworking Tools-What's in Your Woodshop?
September 15 2016

Anyone new to woodworking can get overwhelmed about what tools are necessary for the well-equipped woodshop, especially when your local DIY store has aisle after aisle of cool products. Let's face it, you want all the bells and whistles, right? But before you head out to those big box home improvement stores to buy every tool in sight, give some thought to these three major considerations: 1. What are you going to be...

10% Off Coupon for Content!
September 09 2016

Want to earn 10 % off your next Aqua Coat order? Just send us photographs of a project you completed using any Aqua Coat product and a paragraph or so describing the project, size, procedure, use, etc. You get full attribution. If we use your submission, we will give you a coupon for 10% off your next order. For those of you with video skills, we are looking for short...

Sites With Free Woodworking Project Plans
August 31 2016

We've featured some spectacular customer projects on this blog, from building furniture and jewelry boxes to refinishing vintage and antique pieces that would make most people want to throw up their hands and walk away. Everyone has to start somewhere, though, and if you're looking to learn new techniques or to improve your current ones, you can learn them by getting out there in your workshop and building something! But what to...

Fine Cabinetry Work on this Mahogany Chest of Drawers
August 24 2016

From our customer Bill Carriker comes photos of his latest project, a solid mahogany chest of drawers. The design is similar to an eighteenth-century bachelor's chest with four drawers, three of the same size and a smaller top drawer. The drawer fronts are veneered with matched mahogany. The top of the chest has a satinwood border and a centered lamp-design inlay. A pull-out shelf which may be used for writing is located...

Marquetry and Inlays, With Help From Aqua Coat
August 17 2016

Made from solid maple and ebony wood and measuring just 8 inches on all sides, this jewelry box made by our customer Bob Dickey shows an intricate inlay pattern on the top and delicate spline joints at the corners. The circular maple insets on the four ebony draw pulls draw attention to masterful cabinetry skills. Bob uses Aqua Coat Grain Filler to help with inlay work. He says, "Regardless of the tightness...

"Brushable" Finishes and How to Improve Your Results
July 27 2016

When the label says the product can be applied with a brush, this doesn't mean you can just slop it on and expect a professional finish. Since individual products can vary in terms of application and drying times, first read the label carefully. Listed here are a few general and basic pointers to help you get that quality finish you're looking for: 1. Type of brush used. If you use a...

Musical Instrument Makers Love Aqua Coat!
July 20 2016

From the Guild of American Luthiers, (click here for their website) this article by Bob Gleason: Forty years ago I started my grain-filler life with solvent-based fillers mail-ordered from the Martin Guitar Co. We tinted the fillers darker than the wood we were filling, and hoped for a color match that looked good. From there I’ve gone through other types of solvent-based products, epoxy, epoxy with micro-balloon fillers, superglue, any...

Finessing Custom Built Furniture & Built-ins
July 13 2016

One of the joys of woodworking is the ability to build yourself custom furniture to fit specific situations, as our customer David Buonanno did here in this guest bedroom.The side tables and the built-in shelves and cupboards pictured here are curly maple (no stain), with three coats of Aqua Coat Clear Lacquer (semi-gloss) buffed to a sheen. The tables are 16” x 23” by 30” high. The bedroom has alcoves resulting from...

Music Box Shows Attention to Detail
June 28 2016

This music box is a real gem! The photos are from our customer David Buonanno showing his recent project. The dimensions of the music box are roughly 12” long, 6” deep and 6” high. Using a combination of different types of wood gives the piece high interest. The sides are made of Curly Maple dyed crimson red, the top is Waterfall Bubinga also dyed crimson red, and the lid trim, base trim and...

Do I Need Wood Grain Filler or Wood Putty?
June 22 2016

The short answer to that question is, it depends. It depends on the type of wood you are using, its condition, and what type of finish you want to achieve. Wood Grain Filler is used to get that smooth surface you find on quality furniture and cabinetry, like an underlayment to a fine finish. Some woods have an “open grain,” like oak and ash, that may not look smooth if...

Grain Filler Application Is Easy!
June 03 2016

How easy is it to get a smooth finish on wood? Use Aqua Coat Grain Filler after cleaning, sanding, and/or staining, but before your top coat.You can apply it with a soft cloth, using a circular motion, much like applying a paste wax. Or work it generously into open wood grain pores with a small squeegee or flexible putty knife. Make sure the grain is completely filled, then scrape or squeegee to remove...

Harp Gallery Uses Aqua Coat Products to Refinish Their Antiques
May 16 2016

When you are in the business of restoring antique furniture you need to use quality products. Harp Gallery uses Aqua Coat wood finishes and you can see the results on their website. Here's a taste of what you can find in their gallery:    

What An Expert Refinisher Can Do!
April 28 2016

Stunning refinish of this highly-damaged table by Pete of Pete’s Furniture Repair in Delafield, Wisconsin. Expertise plus Aqua Coat products equals great furniture! How many of us would have given up on this piece? Take a look at these before and after photos:      
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