Finishing Walnut

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Blog entry by bobbo1963 posted 1771 days ago 1324 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I am working on the cradle project and have started to think of finishes. What are the best methods that will bring out the beautiful color of the walnut and have the finish last for years to come? I appreciate any and all suggestions, if you could include pictures of walnut pieces you have finished that would be great.


7 comments so far

View Julian's profile


880 posts in 2128 days

#1 posted 1771 days ago

BLO followed by shellac and finally beeswax is my favorite.

-- Julian, Park Forest, IL

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8720 posts in 2702 days

#2 posted 1771 days ago

Stay away from waterbased finishes.

I used pre-cat lacquers and they really get a nice color going on black walnut. Oil based poly’s work good no matter if you wipe, spray, or brush it on.

Here are a couple of projects with black walnut and a lacquer finish.


Black Walnut Bookcase

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View Mario's profile


902 posts in 2654 days

#3 posted 1771 days ago

I use Shellac with poly.

-- Hope Never fails

View Walnut_Weasel's profile


360 posts in 1824 days

#4 posted 1770 days ago

I do not have a lot of experience but…

I use Watco Natural Danish Oil for walnut. If you want additional protection I have used Minwax wipe-on poly once you have given the danish oil LOTS of time to cure. You will know when it is safe to put on the ploy when the danish oil stops smelling (72 hrs min.) Both are extremely easy to apply. In my project list I have two walnut projects finished with danish oil only – no poly. I also have leopardwood with natural danish oil and poly. Both darkened the wood but did not really change the color at all.

-- James -

View gagewestern's profile


300 posts in 1952 days

#5 posted 1770 days ago

i spay about 10 coats of shellac

-- gagewestern

View jimp's profile


207 posts in 2363 days

#6 posted 1770 days ago

I like shellac, followed by a wipe-on poly, then wax. I used this finish on my bench.

-- - Jim, Carroll, OH

View AeroClassics's profile


15 posts in 1969 days

#7 posted 1757 days ago

BLO followed by a good oil/varnish. Waterlox is my personal preference. Also if you can, apply the BLO then suntan the piece.


-- Doug, Carrollton, TX.

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