Where can I find information on painting and finishing wood products?

The USDA Forest Products Lab has a publication called the Wood Handbook that contains information regarding finishes for wood products. View this information online at:

Chapters 14 and 15 may provide information specific to your needs. The TOC for both chapters is as follows:

Chapter 14 Wood Preservation (PDF 1.2 MB)

Wood Preservatives
Preservative Effectiveness
Effect of Species on Penetration
Preparation of Timber for Treatment
Application of Preservatives
Handling and Seasoning of Timber After Treatment
Quality Assurance for Treated Wood

Chapter 15 Finishing of Wood (PDF 2.2 MB)

Factors Affecting Finish Performance
Control of Water or Moisture in Wood
Types of Exterior Wood Finishes
Application of Wood Finishes
Finish Failure or Discoloration
Finishing of Interior Wood
Finishes for Items Used for Food
Wood Cleaners and Brighteners
Paint Strippers
Lead-Based Paint

The Forest Products Society also publishes a document called:
Building An Industrial Wood Finish

The information contained in this manual has been gleaned from the experiences of the author collected during more than 30 years as a supplier of wood finishes to manufacturers of finished wood products and as a consultant to the industry. The purpose of the manual is to help manufacturers gain a full understanding of all of the factors that impact the quality, durability, cost, and environmental impact of finished wood products. Four chapters cover: Finishing Products – multiple-step wood furniture finishes, kitchen cabinet and office furniture finishes, specialty wood finishes, and waterborne/water-based finishes; Executing the Wood Finish – wood finish application hardware options, examples of wood finishing manufacturing lines, and transfer efficiency and calculation of wood finish costs; Wood Finishes and the Environment – legal and regulatory issues and pollution prevention opportunities through hardware and finish product improvements; and Quality Control – white room wood preparation, wood finish variables and recommendations, finish inconsistencies/troubleshooting, the importance of lighting, and analyzing rejected pieces.

Publication #7247 (1 lb)
Available through their website: