Finishing Black Walnut

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Forum topic by MisterBill posted 02-20-2016 11:45 PM 697 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View MisterBill's profile


411 posts in 2221 days

02-20-2016 11:45 PM

Topic tags/keywords: walnut finishing

I tried my hand at making raised panel cabinet doors using black walnut and they are now ready for finishing. I will be finishing the panels before I assemble and finish the frames. Since black walnut lightens over time I normally apply a dark stain before I apply a top coat. Here is my question: will black walnut finished with pure Tung Oil and a top coat remain dark or will it lighten in time?

2 replies so far

View JBrow's profile


1350 posts in 889 days

#1 posted 02-21-2016 03:40 AM


I can only speak to walnut finished with clear polyurethane. A walnut desk built several years ago and getting strong but indirect mid-afternoon sun in the mid-west has not lightened, at least enough for me to have noticed. There is no discernable difference on the top of the desk where the desk blotter sets and the immediately surrounding wood. The walnut desk retains the deep rich tones of brown typical of walnut.

Since the panels and frames will be finished within a relatively short period of time, the parts should lighten evenly with time, prolonged if kept out of direct sun light. It is not clear to me that adding a dark stain will do much to prevent the walnut from lightening over time and may detract from the beauty of the walnut. But since I do not use stains or Tung oil, others may know better.

View Andre's profile


1793 posts in 1775 days

#2 posted 02-21-2016 04:07 AM

See if you can find some OSMO finish, German product that is amazing!

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

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