what kind of finish for oak?

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Forum topic by jems posted 03-27-2010 04:47 AM 1784 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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47 posts in 2995 days

03-27-2010 04:47 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question finishing

i have been trying some different things on oak i just want some opinions sould i use some type of oil then top coat with poly or skip the oil and just use poly.and what sould i use on walnut

-- every good gift and every pefect gift is from above James 1:17

6 replies so far

View Dark_Lightning's profile


3159 posts in 3106 days

#1 posted 03-27-2010 04:54 AM

I’ve had good luck with Minwax water-based satin (or gloss) poly, myself. Though typically, I rely on nitrocellulose lacquer for a fast-drying finish (right behind shellac), both of which I spray on. I spray the Minwax as well, though they say not to do it. It seems to come out OK for me. But I use an airbrush on small boxes, so that may not work on big stuff.

-- Random Orbital Nailer

View sittingbuller's profile


16 posts in 2996 days

#2 posted 03-27-2010 05:50 AM

my choice for finishing oak foe a light colored look that is easy to repair if needed, is to use a danish oil, wiped on and off, followed up by three coats of finishing wax. this gives a lusterous deep looking finish.

-- Requirements for woodworkers: Sharp mind, sharp wit, sharp tools.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3819 days

#3 posted 03-27-2010 01:16 PM

Jems, this is somewhat an issue that revolves around personal preference but my favorite “receipe” for oak is to hit it with a golden oak stain and topcoat it with polyurethane.

With walnut I will usually just put a clear topcoat on the wood since Mother Nature has already taken care of the color and grain.

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

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10479 posts in 3425 days

#4 posted 03-27-2010 05:41 PM

Watco if needing a color change. Followed by Poly.
Of course, any aniline dye or oil based stain would work just as well. My last set of cabinets were dyed.
A few times, I’ve used a grain filler first, and that results in a very smooth finish for rift cut oak. Not necessary for 1/4 sawn stuff.
Then, there’s always fuming, too.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Dave Owen's profile

Dave Owen

254 posts in 3071 days

#5 posted 03-27-2010 06:22 PM

I like two or more coats of Watco Danish Oil. Following that, at different times I’ve used Watco Satin Wax, Trewax, wipe-on Poly, brush-on (solvent) Poly. I’ve also used the Poly alone, and Deft and Minwax spray cans of lacquer. For a non-expert at finishing, all have turned out pretty well. As Scott says, personal preference is the main thing, and along those lines is the major choice of satin or glossy finish.

-- Dave O.

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3477 days

#6 posted 03-27-2010 07:01 PM

I guess it would depend on how you want it to look. I tend to like the antique and also the Stickley mission look. The latest project (tall clock) in my gallery, I used an alcohol dye in mission brown and red, and then top coated with an oil dark walnut stain to achieve the redish browns look. This was done on white oak. I used 3 coats of wipe on Minwax poly. I also prefer Cabot stain…I think it is a bit richer looking than Minwax. With the dye you can get all kinds of different bases so it leaves an unlimited amount of possibilities.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

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