Design and Technology (D&T) KS3: Finishing wood

This video explains the most common ways to give wooden items a polished, professional finish.

Teacher's Notes

Points for discussion

  • Why do we start with course glass paper and use finer grades sequentially to achieve the finish?
  • When is an item finished? Discuss quality control and management in projects.
  • Why you would choose one finish over another, for example wax vs wood stain, polyurethane varnish vs paint?
  • In what order do we carry out processes? Do we varnish before or after assembly? Why?
  • Discuss time in project management. How long does it take to achieve a truly professional finish as opposed to a finish you are happy with?
  • Discuss when you would use hand finishing techniques over a hand sander, belt sander or bobbing sander.
  • Discuss what constitutes shaping and what constitutes finishing an item.
  • Have a wider discussion about the type of wood most suitable for various applications, for example door knobs, children’s toys, furniture & etc.

Suggested activities:

This process complements any wood-based product, for example:

  • The outside finish on a trinket or jewellery box.
  • Sanding techniques in the finishing a vacuum forming mould.
  • Applying the appropriate finishes for a KS3/4/ design and make project.
  • Design the type and shape of sanding block used to create different shapes, for example convex or concave curve.
  • How can these processes be adapted to finish very small components?

Curriculum Notes

Suitable for teaching Design and Technology (D&T) at KS3/KS4 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and 3rd and 4th levels in Scotland.

More from this series

Block foam modelling
Finishing plastic
Screwing components together