"Essential Oils" cabinet

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Project by pashley posted 09-28-2012 08:49 PM 3176 views 11 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A client was looking for an “Essential Oils” cabinet. What essential oils are, I don’t know. What I do know is, she simply wanted a medicine cabinet. So, I drew something up in Sketchup (so happy I took the pains to learn it), and she went for it. It came out pretty nice. Cherry with paduak corbels. Shellac and wax finish. Learned a lot about the right way to finish cherry to avoid blotchiness!

-- Have a blessed day!

10 comments so far

View HorizontalMike's profile


7770 posts in 3062 days

#1 posted 09-28-2012 08:54 PM

Nice design. I have not seen too many of these without a mirror, however I actually like that idea. Especially if it is to be hung elsewhere in the house (other than the RR).

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 2633 days

#2 posted 09-28-2012 09:46 PM

“Essential oils” is a meaningless term you see tossed around by “alternative medicine” fans (woo woo people). Nice job on the cabinet though.

-- Brian Timmons -

View nwbusa's profile


1021 posts in 2434 days

#3 posted 09-28-2012 10:58 PM

Nice job on the finish. Cherry has been problematic for me due to the blotchiness. I haven’t tried shellac yet… did you find it to be a big help? Any special techniques you used?

-- John, BC, Canada

View pashley's profile


1044 posts in 3865 days

#4 posted 09-28-2012 11:20 PM

YES nwbusa, I will gladly pass along the technique that saved my butt!

• Sand to 180 or 220
• Remove dust with cloth soaked with denatured alcohol.
• Make up a washcoat of half Bullsye SealCoat, and denatured alcohol, 1:1 solution.

DON’T use regular shellac, because it has wax in it, which will prevent adhesion of a stain! Also, you can’t get this product at Home Depot or Lowes; I had to go to an Ace Hardware store. You can also mail order.

This will be a very thin shellac coat, sealing the wood so that stain doesn’t seep more into the “thirsty” areas. Apply one thin coat. Let it dry about 15 minutes, or until dry. Lightly sand.

• Now apply your stain or dye. I used MinWax’s Cherry stain, oil type, not water, and got good results. For the product I used, it stated to let each coat dry for (as I recall) 6 hours. I would let it dry overnight. If you are applying a top coat, such as regular shellac or poly, lightly sand. brush off the dust, and top coat.

Keep in mind that cherry darkens with exposure to air and sunlight, so you might want to just put on the one coat of stain to give it a hint of cherry color, instead of the very pale salmon color freshly planed cherry usually is.

If i was making something for myself, I don’t even stain it, just top coat it, and let nature take it’s course, which will give perfect results. Having said that you have to keep in mind that surfaces not exposed to air and sun won’t turn color at all, or very little. I did a chair lamp for sale in a shop. The lady put a price sticker on the leg. Guess what happened when she sold it months later, and the tag was taken off? A big white spot. However, I believe that would remedy itself after time, and “catch-up” to the color of the rest of the wood.

One other thing: you might want to consider finishing pieces before assembly; this way, if a piece gets messed up (for instance a panel in a door) you can fix it easily.

Cherry is a tricky wood, but I think if you follow my prescription, you might do well.

-- Have a blessed day!

View Woodwrecker's profile


4191 posts in 3723 days

#5 posted 09-29-2012 02:22 AM

Really great job on the cabinet, and thank you for the finishing tips for cherry.
I’ve yet to master Sketch-up, but keep plugging away.

View Woodbridge's profile


3574 posts in 2566 days

#6 posted 09-29-2012 03:32 AM

A very nice piece. Thanks for your comments on applying a shellac coat. I have a bunch of cherry to use for upcoming projects.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View nwbusa's profile


1021 posts in 2434 days

#7 posted 09-29-2012 05:45 AM

Thanks a lot for the detailed notes, pashley! I’ll be sure to follow these guidelines when I next attempt a project using cherry.

-- John, BC, Canada

View rance's profile


4263 posts in 3308 days

#8 posted 09-29-2012 06:29 AM

A very nice design and execution. Thanks for sharing the finishing tips.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 4475 days

#9 posted 09-29-2012 05:50 PM

Boiled linseed oil, Walnut oil. – Essential oils, there you have it.

really nice cabinet. love it.

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

View bannerpond1's profile


397 posts in 2046 days

#10 posted 03-15-2013 03:01 PM

Thanks for sharing that, Pashley. Your results are outstanding.

-- --Dale Page

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