Fine wines and finer finishes
Even in tightly sealed cans, leftover paint and varnish will skin over from the oxygen in the can. I found a solution in my kitchen—a wine-bottle vacuum pump used for drawing air from opened wine bottles (Vacu Vin, 866-274-9009, iicbrands.com).
Whenever I purchase a can of finish, I also pick up a matching extra paint-can lid from my home center. Before opening the finish can, I prep the extra lid like this: Start by drilling a 1" hole in the extra lid (I used a spade bit). Place the pump's stopper in the hole, sealing it on the top and bottom of the lid with silicone, and let it cure. After you've used the can of finish, replace its lid with your new vacu-lid and use the pump to remove the air. But don't overdo it. I've accidentally crushed a can with the suction of the vacuum.
—Bart Crowe, Marietta, Ga.