trying a new finish

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Forum topic by swampjack80 posted 04-09-2010 06:36 AM 985 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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53 posts in 3042 days

04-09-2010 06:36 AM

Topic tags/keywords: finishing

I’m getting ready to put the finish on a set of chest of drawers I’ve built for my son. They’re built of red oak and I’m trying to keep a natural finish on it. I read an article in woodsmith magazine showing a technique I think I’m going to try. It showed boiled linseed oil followed by shellac followed by varnish. I have a few questions the article didn’t adress and hoped some of you may could offer some insight. First, how many coats of BLO should go on? How much is too much? Second, how much protection does the shellac provide and would it be necassary to add poly after the shellac? I don’t want a thick coated look but I want good protection since my son is 2 yrs old and I’m sure a few foreign objects will “accidentally” be coming into contact with the dresser. Also, if I use poly I plan on using wipe-on poly. When wiping, does it have to be in the direction of the grain or does it matter? Thanks

-- "I believe that our Heavenly Father invented man because he was disappointed in the monkey." - Mark Twain

2 replies so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3815 days

#1 posted 04-09-2010 01:04 PM

Swampjack, I generally use just one coat of BLO in my finishing routine. It enhances the character and grain of the wood but provides little surface protection. Shellac makes both a good seal coat to prevent the BLO from bleeding back into the poly and it is a hard topcoat that provides good surface protection. Shellac biggest drawbacks are that it will be damaged by water and chemicals such as alcohol. But, if these are not a concern, then it would be fine to topcoat the furniture with shellac.

Poly, on the other hand, is impervious to water and alcohol and an equally hard topcoat. When applied as a wipe on product I do not worry about wood grain orientation.

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

View CharlesNeil's profile


2399 posts in 3864 days

#2 posted 04-09-2010 05:11 PM

give it 3 to 4 coats of General Finishes Arm R Seal, and call it a day , it will do all you are looking for , without the hassel , its a urethane base oil , tough as nails, apply a wet coat , let it soak for 10 min, wipe it off , let it dry , do it again , light scuff sand with some 600 or finer , dust off apply a 3rd coat , wipe it back , it should be smooth and silky when you walk away , let it dry, if you have any roughness light scuff with some 1200 to 1500 , apply a final coat , let dry for about 48 hours before use, dispose of rags like any oil product , let them hang out to dry , or flush with water , and agin let them dry out, never ball them up and leave, they can cause a fire … if it isnt silky smooty, when Dry buff it with a brown paper bag , it is about like 4000 grit , you can wax it for a better feel if you want, but let it dry about a week or two , uncured finishes cause wax to streak….Note: you can usually get the first two coats in a day , then 12 to 18 hour dry time between coats

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