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Forum topic by USCJeff posted 10-15-2007 04:23 PM 1157 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1065 posts in 4302 days

10-15-2007 04:23 PM

Topic tags/keywords: finish finishing staining stain

I’ve come to the realization that finishing skills are what sets good and great woodworkers apart. I’ve had to finally admit that finishing was actually a part of woodworking. Darn. This sudden realization came about after I labored maticuously over a couple projects only to slap on a finish that looks like my 2 year olds coloring. I’ve since managed to rescue those pieces from the Minwax monster that didn’t want to let go. I know this topic is taboo to some, but is anyone willing to share their recipes? I know their under lock and key somewhere, but help a fellow LumberJock out. :)

Here are a few things that have worked for me:

~I have had excellent results with a fairly easy application using Danish Oil. It absorbed easily into Walnut and it was even since the method requires wiping off the excess. Pine didn’t take it quite so well, but I’ve since learned that a wood conditioner might of solved that problem.

~Wipe on Poly is also fairly easy to apply evenly. There are many resources for making homemade stuff too. I used the stuff at Lowe’s though. Minwax I think.

~Wax looks great, but requires frequent maintenance.

-- Jeff, South Carolina

3 replies so far

View Dadoo's profile


1789 posts in 4225 days

#1 posted 10-15-2007 04:37 PM

I’ve used Watkins Danish Oil successfully…pretty much a brainless application. Put it on, rub it off. Repeat. Kinda like washing your hair.

For tougher areas (items that might get abused) I prefer a satin or gloss polyurethane. Although it can be “ragged” on, I prefer a foam brush as it gets into all those nooks and crannys. Let it dry for better than 24 hours, lightly power sand with 220 grit and reapply. In another 24 hours it’s done and ready for use.

Interesting question…I’m looking forward to seeing the other guy’s suggestions for some new ideas.

-- Bob Vila would be so proud of you!

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4035 posts in 4298 days

#2 posted 10-15-2007 05:17 PM

Zinnser Bullseye Sealcoat Sanding Sealer. It’s at the Big Box stores. It’s a 1 1/2 pound cut of ultra blond shellac, mixed up in some proprietary way to have a long shelf life. Make wood sing, easy to apply with a pad (cheesecloth folded inside a white cotton rag square so that no seam is on the face of the rubber. Best to apply to projects before assembly whenever possible. Drys quick, sands out easily, can be rubbed out to any desired gloss, and can be overcoated with any other finish if more waterproof or heat resistant finish is required. Finished with wax over the top, it makes for a finish that has a soft glow and a surface you love to touch.

Another secret: Abralon pads for rubbing out. Stolen from the automotive finishing industry, they make rubbing out a snap. I won’t jaw you to death with this, as I have done so in other places. Links provided:

Frank’s endorsement of Shellac:

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View Dadoo's profile


1789 posts in 4225 days

#3 posted 10-15-2007 07:02 PM

Alright, I had a nice link to help but it won’t load here. Go to They have a free video on finishing techniques that might help.

-- Bob Vila would be so proud of you!

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