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View Mark's profile

Finishing Walnut?

by Mark
posted 910 days ago


32 replies so far

View Karson's profile

Karson

34845 posts in 2986 days


#1 posted 910 days ago

I like to use Danish Oil to penetrate the wood and then top coat it with a wipe-on poly.

I wet sand the the project with danish oil and a ROS. That makes a slurry that fills the pores. I then use a sharpened putty knife to cut off the slurry after it has dried. I also used a scraper.

Here’s a blog that has some of the activities

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View RBWoodworker's profile

RBWoodworker

416 posts in 1937 days


#2 posted 910 days ago

well.. it depends on just what your project is and what look you are trying to achieve..if you want natural but have the grain pop..I would spray some Shellac sealcoat, scuff sand it lightly then spray lacquer if you want to protect it after the sealcoat.. spray General Finishes Endurovar or High Performance.. it really depends on just what your trying to accomplish

you can see some of the pieces I have finished on my website www.racfurniture.com

-- Randall Child http://www.racfurniture.com/

View NiteWalker's profile

NiteWalker

2642 posts in 1162 days


#3 posted 910 days ago

My go to finish is zinsser sealcoat followed by crystalac super premium.
Fast drying, durable, water based for low voc (I spray mine in the kitchen with a box fan facing out the window) and it looks great.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

3747 posts in 966 days


#4 posted 910 days ago

Oil and wax for a natural finish. Anything else would start with a coat of garnet or amber shellac (I prefer walnut with a warmer hue) then an appropriate topcoat (lacquer, varnish, or shellac).

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

View Mark's profile

Mark

1787 posts in 1859 days


#5 posted 910 days ago

Well my idea is to leave it as natural as possible with something to protect it like an oil. I prefer not to have the “plastic” feel of poly or shellac on top

-- My purpose in life: Making sawdust

View paratrooper34's profile

paratrooper34

760 posts in 1537 days


#6 posted 910 days ago

I agree it depends on what the project is. I made two walnut bedside tables and I used tongue oil and applied regular old Johnson’s wax and buffed it. I also like wood to look as natural as possible. The tables are two years old now and could use some more wax, but they are ok as is.

-- Mike

View bcwoodworking's profile

bcwoodworking

31 posts in 930 days


#7 posted 910 days ago

I work with walnut alot and love this wood. I use tung oil and hand applied poly depending on the look I am after. Tung oil really beings out the Character in the wood.

-- Patrick Craven (BCWoodworking of NC)

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1368 posts in 947 days


#8 posted 910 days ago

I think walnut looks best under a film finish that gives it some sheen and depth. On the project below I used a thinned coat of brush-on oil poly over a light wash coat of red mahogany stain.

-- Clint Searl.............We deserve what we tolerate

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2163 posts in 1436 days


#9 posted 910 days ago

Long time passing I got to using Watco Black Walnut or Dark Walnut on walnut. The enhancement is subtle but pleasing to my eye.

After that, one could add any of the topcoats mentioned here.

I am told that the walnut we get from the yards is kiln dried and that air dried walnut yields the more reddish tones. Can anyone confirm that? I’ve worked with both, and I’d prefer the latter but don’t have a good local source.

I really like the results Clint got. What stain product and shade, Clint?

Kindly,

Lee

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View Brandon's profile

Brandon

4136 posts in 1537 days


#10 posted 910 days ago

I love to finish walnut with BLO. I have done poly once or twice for items that would suffer a lot of use, and that wasn’t so bad either, but if BLO will work, I’d go with it.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1368 posts in 947 days


#11 posted 910 days ago

@Lee – That was Minwax Red Mahogany that I really thinned out so as not to overwhelm the walnut, which was a pretty dark chocolate to begin with. Air dried, BTW.

-- Clint Searl.............We deserve what we tolerate

View rowdy's profile

rowdy

373 posts in 2028 days


#12 posted 910 days ago

What Brandon said.

-- Rowdy in Kechi, Kansas

View RBWoodworker's profile

RBWoodworker

416 posts in 1937 days


#13 posted 910 days ago

the problem with BLO finishes is that they offer no protection properties..I mean none really.. they do however, enhance the wood and make any figure pop and make the piece look nice..In the beginning I used to use a mixture of 1/3 polyurethane varnish, 1/3 raw tung oil, and 1/3 boiled linseed oil, and apply 6 coats and that gave it a nice sheen however..it can and will wear off and dull over time if used a lot..and re-coating is necessary after awhile..if you want something that gives the look of BLO but offers more protection..I would go with Arm-R-Seal.. that will give you better protection and you don’t have to re-coat it as much if any. If durability and maximum protection is warranted.. I would spray a post cat. conversion varnish or the General Finishes High Performance with an added crosslinker..

My Rockers and Maloof chairs are made using the 1/3rd mixtures mentioned above they give it the non plastic look but Arm-R-Seal does that also but with better protection

-- Randall Child http://www.racfurniture.com/

View SnowyRiver's profile

SnowyRiver

51451 posts in 2066 days


#14 posted 910 days ago

I like the Watco oil look on walnut too. I usually use the walnut colored oil and top coat it with poly.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View Moron's profile

Moron

4666 posts in 2479 days


#15 posted 910 days ago

Fail safe, best finish I have used to date that doesn’t require expensive equipment comes from Don Kondra. Its water resistant, easy to apply, contains oil that keeps the wood from going brittle,…….lots of depth. Love it

If memory serves me right

a 1 qt jar.

1/4 high end (marine stores NOT big box stores) marine varnish
1/4 tongue oil
1/2 paint thinner

1 capful/teaspoon of Japan Dryer

mix well, apply a liberal amount to surface and use a lint free rag to spread evenly. When the finish starts to dry (starts to loose the shiney wet look) remove excess with a dampened lint free rag. Repeat every 8 to 12 hours with a light scuff between coats

takes about 6 to 12 applications but all of a sudden the finish pops and leaves a rich deep professional look. I love it and its so easy to maintain

Cheers

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

3747 posts in 966 days


#16 posted 910 days ago

If it’s a table or some other surface that will get regular use then I would definitely use a lacquer or varnish/poly topcoat. This all depends on your family habits, we have kids and careless relatives so I have to consider that. I finished a dining table with a 50/50 varnish/oil and it was too soft and now has marks in it.

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

View ChunkyC's profile

ChunkyC

856 posts in 1840 days


#17 posted 910 days ago

I always use 2 coats of General Finish Seal Coat sanding sealer and then sand it. Next it’s just wipe on or spray poly. The sanding sealer helps to fill the large pores in the walnut to help give it a smooth finish. Don’t forget the sealer!

c

-- Chunk's Workshop pictures: http://spadfest.rcspads.com/thumbnails.php?album=135

View Moron's profile

Moron

4666 posts in 2479 days


#18 posted 910 days ago

last year I did a restaurant makeover and acquired two slabs of old growth BC Fir, Kiln dried, live edge. Approx., 36” wide x 16’ long x 3 1/2” thick. I used the above recipe/finish on the banquet tables. It’s a busy restaurant, boozy banging environment and the finish is standing up quite nicely.

Easy to scuff out the marks and re-apply another coat.

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View RBWoodworker's profile

RBWoodworker

416 posts in 1937 days


#19 posted 910 days ago

I probably would not use lacquer for a tabletop.. regardless of how it looks..lacquer is porous and any wet glasses will leave a water ring..tops that see a lot of use..I use the post cat. conversion varnishes.. just a more durable finish

-- Randall Child http://www.racfurniture.com/

View Mark's profile

Mark

1787 posts in 1859 days


#20 posted 910 days ago

thanks alot fellas….now another question while on the topic…. now that stain was mentioned, should I stain it any colour that would make it pop out more or leave it how it is?

-- My purpose in life: Making sawdust

View RBWoodworker's profile

RBWoodworker

416 posts in 1937 days


#21 posted 910 days ago

what exactly is it exactly that your are making?? and staining is a personal preference..take my lowback chair I did that you can see off my website..I actually stained that with old masters dark walnut BUT.. washed it off with lacquer thinner..the reason I washed it off was because I wanted to just darken just a tad and blend the over-all piece as well as make it a slight darker hue.. you can use mineral spirits to wash the stain off also.. so it really depends on just what look you are trying to achieve..

-- Randall Child http://www.racfurniture.com/

View Mark's profile

Mark

1787 posts in 1859 days


#22 posted 910 days ago

im going to make a little tv stand….roughly 20”x40”x20”high with 4 doors to access the cabinet to hold dvds

-- My purpose in life: Making sawdust

View RBWoodworker's profile

RBWoodworker

416 posts in 1937 days


#23 posted 910 days ago

there we go..ok..cool,.. if it was something I was doing.. and since a tv stand usually doesn’t get any glasses or anything with moisture on it.. while although going natural is nice..let me at least tell you what I have experienced in the past with Walnut..I love it.. I do.. however..finishing walnut with a waterbase will give you almost no color changing properties..not really.. a way to tell.. take some mineral spirits on a rag and wipe the freshly sanded walnut..that’s pretty much what you will get.. it will go a tad darker.. if you first use like Zinsers Shellac sealcost.. the amberish tone of the shellac will impart a darker, warmer color for you..if you first use like minwax dark walnut, but wash it off like I described above..it will darken and make the walnut look more aged and that looks really nice. So..if you want to stain it.. thats the first step after sanding it real good..then the shellac, then do a scuff sanding just to get the roughness off and smooth out the shellac..then your chosen topcoat, ..that’s the way I would do this..however..there’s many good, and different ways to go about this.. you have to experiment on a scrap piece to get the desired look you want..

let me know if I can help you in any way..

-- Randall Child http://www.racfurniture.com/

View DamnYankee's profile

DamnYankee

3230 posts in 1148 days


#24 posted 910 days ago

I really like BLO and wax

-- Shameless - Winner of two Stumpy Nubs Awards

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11638 posts in 2274 days


#25 posted 910 days ago

http://lumberjocks.com/projects/26952
Walnut using Waterlox original / natural.
You can build as much of a sheen as you like : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View panofish's profile

panofish

30 posts in 2445 days


#26 posted 909 days ago

my walnut finish

BLO for the first layer is fine, but I like many thin layers of shellac for a beautiful natural look.

-- Alan Lilly, http://www.panofish.net

View Mark's profile

Mark

1787 posts in 1859 days


#27 posted 909 days ago

thanks randall i’ll keep you in mind :)

-- My purpose in life: Making sawdust

View sparky52tx's profile

sparky52tx

29 posts in 1104 days


#28 posted 747 days ago

I see a lot of good ideas here. I am building a small Grandfather clock of black walnut and am looking here for finish ideas. However, being new to some of these finishes, I need to know some of the acronyms used.
What is BLO & ROS??

View DonnyD's profile

DonnyD

49 posts in 759 days


#29 posted 747 days ago

yes ive herd this kiln dried walnut is tan (more even color) air dried walnut is black,purple, cream. We had a walnut tree fall during ice storm cut it up and purple and black. as for a finish ive used pollycrilic but thats because im new

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

10429 posts in 1276 days


#30 posted 747 days ago

BJ- BLO=boiled linseed oil ROS=random orbital sander

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15624 posts in 2804 days


#31 posted 747 days ago

BLO = Boiled Linseed Oil

ROS = Random Orbit Sander

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View sparky52tx's profile

sparky52tx

29 posts in 1104 days


#32 posted 746 days ago

Great! Thanks.
I found an old Grandfather clock kit in an estate sale that had never been opened. It had been in storage in a guys shop since 1971. I got it for 50$ including the movement. The wood is beautiful. I have never worked with walnut but I can see this will not be the last time. The movement is like brand new.
I will post pictures when complete.

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