Wood finishing refers to the process of embellishing and/or protecting the surface of a wooden material. The process starts with surface preparation, either by sanding by hand (typically using a sanding block or power sander), scraping, or planing. Imperfections or nail holes on the surface may be filled using wood putty or pores may be filled using wood filler. Often, the wood's colour is changed by staining, bleaching, ammonia fuming and a number of other techniques. Some woods such as pine or cherry do not take stain evenly, resulting in "blotching". To avoid blotching, a barrier coat such as shellac or "wood conditioner" is applied before the stain. Gel stains are also used to avoid blotching.
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