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How to get this finish - Walnut

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Forum topic by bcurrey posted 11-23-2015 04:54 PM 1003 views 0 times favorited 30 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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bcurrey

6 posts in 957 days


11-23-2015 04:54 PM

Good morning,

I’ve been working on a new dining room table. I got it sanded down this weekend and was hoping to start finishing it, however, I can’t decide on what finish I want. The table is about 3ft wide and 7ft long and made of walnut. I want to use something that pulls out the natural color of the wood. I also want a matte finish. This is the first time I’ve worked with walnut. Here’s a picture of my table.

I went out and looked around Etsy for some ideas on different finishes. Below are some pics I found that I like. Anyone know how to get this type of finish? The seller states that he uses a “Natural Hard Wax.” I asked the seller if he would share what he used, but I haven’t heard back. :(

Appreciate your help!


30 replies so far

View BurlyBob's profile

BurlyBob

3659 posts in 1727 days


#1 posted 11-23-2015 05:09 PM

Now I’m thinking the lighting on those Etsy photos might be working against you. I don’t think they give you a honest fair way to compare the 2 tops. You got some very beautiful wood grain there. A medium or darker Danish oil might get you what you want or maybe even a mix of the two. I’d sure try it on scrap wood first. Your table is to nice looking for a tragic error.

View Rick M's profile

Rick M

7910 posts in 1841 days


#2 posted 11-23-2015 05:30 PM

Go for a hard film finish on a dining table. If you go with a soft finish like oil/ wax or an oil/ varnish mix you’ll likely regret it down the road. Experiment on scraps until you get the look you want but the top coat should be varnish or poly IMO. Also I recommend you buy Bob Flexners finishing book, you’ll be glad you did.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View conifur's profile

conifur

955 posts in 613 days


#3 posted 11-23-2015 06:53 PM

I agree, his books are my finishing bibles and he makes it real simple to understand, finishes, stains and dyes.

-- Knowledge and experience equals Wisdom, Michael Frankowski

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bcurrey

6 posts in 957 days


#4 posted 11-23-2015 07:02 PM

Any particular book? I see he has several.

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Rick M

7910 posts in 1841 days


#5 posted 11-23-2015 07:06 PM



Any particular book? I see he has several.

- bcurrey

Understanding Wood Finishing

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View ThomasChippendale's profile

ThomasChippendale

244 posts in 394 days


#6 posted 11-23-2015 07:15 PM

I finished my vestibule with Enduro-Var semi Gloss, great finish that goes on easy and is extremely durable and hard, Primed with shelac and brushed at least 4 heavy coats :

-- PJ

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

4853 posts in 2275 days


#7 posted 11-23-2015 07:23 PM

Yes, waxes or butcher block conditioners go on easily but are not durable. I use them as finishes for occasional use items that won’t see water. A dining table with a wax finish will likely look pretty worn out after a year. At minimum it would require regular maintenance.

I usually spray lacquer with a satin finish. Make some sample boards to finish before you commit to the real deal.

Good luck!

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View toddbeaulieu's profile

toddbeaulieu

781 posts in 2465 days


#8 posted 11-23-2015 08:47 PM

I am under the impression that lacquer is not appropriate for surfaces that will take a lot abuse like a table will. General furniture, sure. I could be wrong, as I’m no fiish expert.

I love walnut and tend to finish with arm-r-seal, which is a great urethane/varnish mix. It looks great on walnut.

View ThomasChippendale's profile

ThomasChippendale

244 posts in 394 days


#9 posted 11-23-2015 09:16 PM

Those water based products are hard, I refinished a teak table 15 years ago that we have been dining on (and still are), raising teenagers and partying and it got all the abuse a table can get and it still looks like the day I varnished it. These varnishes are used on floors, some have a milky tint but Enduro Var has a hint of amber stain in it that brings it close to oil varnishes.

-- PJ

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pintodeluxe

4853 posts in 2275 days


#10 posted 11-23-2015 09:23 PM

Todd,
I guess I will have to disagree about the durability of lacquer. We have had it on our daily use tables for years and (other than a few dents in the wood) the finish looks like new. We are talking teenage boys here, so borderline abusive treatment to the tables.

I use Rudd pre-cat lacquer, but have great success with several brands including Magnalac and Vaspar.

PJ, that Endurovar looks great on walnut!

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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bcurrey

6 posts in 957 days


#11 posted 11-23-2015 09:40 PM

What about a satin lacquer finish? Anyone used that on walnut before?

View toddbeaulieu's profile

toddbeaulieu

781 posts in 2465 days


#12 posted 11-23-2015 09:53 PM

I let the salesman at WC teach me about lacquer, so …

Good to hear that your experience is different because I would like to try it sometime. On small projects I’ve just used a spray can, which is super convenient. The smell though!!!!

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

5723 posts in 2829 days


#13 posted 11-23-2015 11:19 PM

I had a maple table finished with lacquer and you could see the sun bleached area after the sun went down and lights were turned on.

That was 20 years ago and the table has been moved several time, kept out of direct sunlight since, and those areas are still visible today.

So, in my opinion lacquer is not a good choice!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View Rick M's profile

Rick M

7910 posts in 1841 days


#14 posted 11-24-2015 12:03 AM


What about a satin lacquer finish? Anyone used that on walnut before?

- bcurrey

Always buy gloss and worry about the shine level, satin, matte, whatever, at the end. Buy the book, it will answer 99% of your questions and dozens more you didn’t know to ask.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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oldnovice

5723 posts in 2829 days


#15 posted 11-24-2015 02:12 AM

+1 Rick M.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

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