Building The Wine Rack: Part V

Fabrication: Finish and Completion
Once the sanding was finished, it was time to move on to coloring. As much as I loved the blue I used on my son’s step stool, discretion got the better of me and I used some General Finishes Merlot Dye I had left over from my wand building project. I applied two (2) coats of the dye. This resulted in a consistent rich color which would actually look in place on my Mom’s dining room table.

Two coats of merlot dye added a rich color.

Between the coats, I hand sanded with 320 to knock down the grain raised by the water based dye. After the 2nd coat, I used #00 synthetic steel wool.

With color done, it was time for finish. For this project I used my favorite and go-to finish; shellac. I know some of you are saying “It’s a wine rack!” “Alcohol is bad for shellac.” To that I say “It’s for holding wine bottles, not pouring wine over.” I wanted to use a finish I’m comfortable with which I knew I could finish in time. I hope it holds up.

As I usually do, I began with two (2) coats of ½ LB cut shellac ragged on. I used #00 synthetic steel wool between each coat. Then I applied seven (7) coats of a 1 LB cut. I used #00 synthetic steel wool between them also and #0000 synthetic steel wool after the last one.

The gloss builds with additional coats of shellac.

I did the finishing in my shop which was about 60 degrees. Each coat of shellac was rag applied and I waited 45 to 60 minutes between each coat. I had intended to apply 12 coats. Unfortunately, time only allowed for 9.

The next morning (Christmas morning) I applied a coat of Butcher’s Paste Wax with a damped rag and buffed it off with a terry cloth rag.

With that, the wine rack was done.

Finished, stocked and ready.


It didn’t come out perfect. However, given the time constraints of the project and the lack of design direction it began with, I’m pleased with the results. It was appreciated by my Mom when she received it.

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