Dealing with sap...

Q: I’m building some outdoor furniture (i.e. picnic table and bench). The lumber I got was supposed to be Douglas Fir, Kiln Dried. It does have “DF / KD” stamped on it. However, the wide range of weights for similar sized boards leads me to doubt it.

However, I’ve conditioned and stained the wood. But I had to leave it sit for a couple of weeks. Now I’m getting ready to put the finish on it and guess what? Little beads of sap have appeared.

Can I put a coat of lacquer on it before the polyurethane. What’s the best way of removing it?


A: Getting rid of sap is a real problem. You can try a sharp chisel or scraper to scrape off the beads if they have dried, but be careful not to smear them. You can also try sanding off the stains, be prepared to go through a lot of sandpaper.

Once you have gotten rid of as much of the existing sap as you can, cover the wood with shellac to keep it from reappearing. The shellac seals the wood and keeps the stain from bleeding through. You can put your poly on right over the shellac.

Good luck!

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