Wood finish....

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Blog entry by BigD1 posted 01-03-2011 04:55 AM 1143 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Okay folks. Does anyone know of a wood finish that will work in 40 degree temp. in the cold shop?? At this point I don’t care of the medium. Oil, water, wipe-on, brush-on, spray-on. When I go out and it is -8 degrees, I can warm it up to 40 degrees and that is just about it. Thanks.

-- Donald Baty

8 comments so far

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3675 days

#1 posted 01-03-2011 05:03 AM

I completely gave up on glueing and finishing in the garage. I do those in the basement which is a bit more temperature stable.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View mpmitche's profile


428 posts in 3002 days

#2 posted 01-03-2011 05:38 AM

My shop is about that temp and I don’t have many problems with shellac (only problem is my olive oil solidifies and I use that for french polish).

-- Mike, Western New York

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18290 posts in 3702 days

#3 posted 01-03-2011 09:28 AM

Linseed oil might work very slowly??

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View kansas's profile


165 posts in 3727 days

#4 posted 01-05-2011 03:14 AM

In my experience the temperature is more important for the glue than for the finish. I often wipe on a coat of finish in a shop that’s 50ish degrees but then turn off the heat and go in. I’m not sure what happens to finish in the cold. I know the glue seems to dry white and powderlike when much lower than 50 but I’ve not noticed any finishing issues. I say give it a try on a piece of scrap and see what it look like the next day.

View Jonathan's profile


2608 posts in 3077 days

#5 posted 01-05-2011 07:39 AM

I’d think shellac would be a good choice for something like this since the alcohol will still evaporate. You’ll just have to wait longer for it to really cure. Water based might be Ok as well, depending on the humidity? I’d try the shellac first.

I do feel for you and would have to agree that if there’s any way for you to move it inside, that’s a much better, not to mention, more comfortable option.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View Cody Lee 's profile

Cody Lee

49 posts in 2622 days

#6 posted 04-18-2011 01:21 PM

I’d go with Tung oil

-- Cody Lee -BlueGooseCustomFurniture

View Earlextech's profile


1162 posts in 2717 days

#7 posted 04-18-2011 03:33 PM


-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "Finished"!

View William's profile


9949 posts in 2868 days

#8 posted 04-19-2011 12:25 AM

I’ve used Zinsser clear Shellac in temeratures in the teens with no problem. The only difference I notice was it took a little bit longer than normal to dry, which in my opinion is actually a plus.


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