Finish on Walnut

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Forum topic by Dchip posted 10-05-2009 06:09 PM 1214 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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271 posts in 3278 days

10-05-2009 06:09 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tip question walnut finishing

The project is a child’s chair. The back is a bear face, so I would like to accenuate the brown in the walnut with some sort of penetrating oil. However, since it it a child’s chair, I would like to have shellac as the final finish to seal it with a completely non-toxic finish (I don’t really want to go into how all finishes are non-toxic once cured). Will the shellac itself give a darker look to the wood? Can shellac go over oil or oil mixes. I was thinking of using Danish oil, allowing for a week long cure, then shellac on top, but have little experience with these finishes and would like some input. Thanks.

-- Dan Chiappetta, NYC,

7 replies so far

View Mario's profile


902 posts in 4077 days

#1 posted 10-05-2009 06:47 PM

I use Boiled Linseed oil (2 day dry) followed by 6-8 coats of shellac and then a bit of furniture polish to complete.

-- Hope Never fails

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360 posts in 3187 days

#2 posted 10-05-2009 07:14 PM

View Dchip's profile


271 posts in 3278 days

#3 posted 10-05-2009 07:21 PM

Thanks for the input.

Mario – How do you apply the BLO? I’ve ready things such as using sandpaper to create a sort of paste, though this seemed a bit more than I was looking for. Is it a straight wipe on wipe off?

-- Dan Chiappetta, NYC,

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Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3848 days

#4 posted 10-05-2009 08:21 PM

Dan, you simply wipe the BLO on, let is sit for 5 to 10 minutes and then wipe the excess off with a clean cloth or paper towel. Putting it on in manner you are describing is the route you would go with a open pore wood such as oak if you wanted to put a mirror sheen on the wood. This is something that I would not do with a piece that is being constructed for a chlild’s use.

In this case danish oil will work just as well. It is a mixture of BLO, varnish and mineral spirits. But an a;;ication of sanish oil or blo will darken the wood a bit. I would recommend developing a “story pole” of your finishing routine on scrap material showing each step and material used in the finishing process before launching your finishing routine on your project.

As far as the shellac giving the walnut a darker look that all depends on the shellac. It runs the gamut from blond or platinum, which are nearly colorless, to ruby or garnet which will give the wood an amber tone. But shellac can be applied over any undercoat once it has cured.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Dchip's profile


271 posts in 3278 days

#5 posted 10-05-2009 10:02 PM

Thank you Scott, your info is a big help.

-- Dan Chiappetta, NYC,

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18290 posts in 3701 days

#6 posted 10-06-2009 05:24 AM

Does the BLO sort of fill the grain of oak and walnut?

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

View a1Jim's profile


117119 posts in 3603 days

#7 posted 10-06-2009 05:30 AM

I have used Watco and shellac in the past . If your concerned about darkening use blond shellac one of the options Scott mentioned.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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