transparent finish

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Forum topic by emosms posted 06-26-2016 11:56 PM 469 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4 posts in 118 days

06-26-2016 11:56 PM


What type of lacquer to use in order to keep the natural wood color?

I applied on a sample an alkyd based “transparent” lacuqer. The colors shifted awfully.
All cocoa and grayish tones are gone. The light tones shine like straws.

Here is the detail I want to finish – 0.5mm machine processed oak veneer glued to mdf.


10 replies so far

View HerbC's profile


1567 posts in 2278 days

#1 posted 06-27-2016 12:18 AM

A water based finish, either lacquer or poly would probably cause the least “shift” in colors.


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View hairy's profile


2377 posts in 2951 days

#2 posted 06-27-2016 12:42 AM

I use this:

I buy it locally. Go here to find a distributor.

It works very well, almost like nothing is there.

-- stay thirsty my friends...

View emosms's profile


4 posts in 118 days

#3 posted 06-27-2016 07:50 AM

Hi again and thx :).

What about the shine of the waterbased?

In general I like the GLOSS and thick/’clear’ top coat of the alcyd I tried.
Pretty generic and cheap one, but does pretty pretty well.

Except the color shift with that processed veneer. It shits colors and enhances contrast in a very bad way, instead of enriching and make the ‘wood’ more beautifull. All details like through glass.
But the color shift… The rich detail and contrast makes it look nasty.

Since I dont know if I will find the product at reasonable price here (through ebay) I am thinking of other options as well.

1. Other clear water based. Applied as a thinned primer or thinned + maximum one normal coat.
THEN, to apply oil based (alkyd, other generic) to get the thick glass like top coat.
Honestly, I don’t know if there will be much of a difference in terms of color shift. The oil based would be isolated from the wood, but if the color shift is purely a matter of optics…

2. To equalize the veneer color with white dye (water based). Then there won’t be much of that nasty contrast (which would be probably enriching and look good for a piece of real wood).
The color shift would steel be there, but would look differently due to the milky effect of the white dye :).
I will still use that oil based stuff and get the thick ‘look through top’ coat and high shine with sharp details. (Softened by the white dye).

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3841 posts in 1912 days

#4 posted 06-27-2016 12:12 PM

A couple of basic thoughts: ANY oil based finish will give you a color shift. The oil is generally linseed oil, and it will also turn even darker over time. Some varnishes are formulated with soya oil, and that will be a lot less color, but it will still be there. There are also some made with tung oil, it will be darker than the linseed oil. The waterborne finishes will be your best bet, and the good ones will also give you the top coat appearance you want (I think). The caution about them is that some have a tint to mimic the oil based finishes, so you want to check for any particular product carefully. For your 2 options, you can try them…but I’m doubtful either will work. I do wish you luck with this, especially given the constraints of buying from e bay.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View emosms's profile


4 posts in 118 days

#5 posted 06-27-2016 12:44 PM

Here it is (lacuqered sample, original pieces of veneer on top)

What happens is that there is a cold grey-blue tone in the venner and the amber of the finish turns it a bit.. green.
Plus, many grains look like straw (the light colored ones)

If I calm down the colors with white dye, I will have less color shift and less blatant contrast i guess…

What do you think?

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile


1170 posts in 1132 days

#6 posted 06-27-2016 01:04 PM

Only finish that keep perfect wood colors are soap finsih. The Schwarz (Chris that is) have a nice writeup on his blog

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View Logan Windram's profile

Logan Windram

289 posts in 1881 days

#7 posted 06-27-2016 01:47 PM

Only finish that keep perfect wood colors are soap finsih. The Schwarz (Chris that is) have a nice writeup on his blog

- kaerlighedsbamsen

I’d do test pieces, I did soap on Ash and it has a very slight green hue, and it did darken the wood a little. That being said, it was easy and looks incredible.

View OSU55's profile


1039 posts in 1409 days

#8 posted 06-28-2016 04:20 PM

Target Coatings EM9000 Superclear Poly – WB & doesn’t yellow with age. While I’m sure there are some, I don’t know of any solvent finishes that cure and stay water clear.

View Aj2's profile


626 posts in 1217 days

#9 posted 06-28-2016 07:31 PM

Generals water based Laquer.Is very close to nitro laq,But not as clean as pure blonde shellac.
I also agree with any oil based finish will add a Amber tone.

View emosms's profile


4 posts in 118 days

#10 posted 06-29-2016 02:13 PM

Still not sure if the waterbased will do fine. And if I actually want to preserve the texture.
Any clear glossy lacquer would magnify contrast and texture I guess.
The texture of this veneer is prety diverse and rough if I look closer.

This is what I got – staining a sample with thinned white wood filler.

Looks like on the previous picture, but this is cause of the lighting conditions today.
It has more white , pastel like colors. The small piece on top is raw untreated veneer.
The raw piece looks like the lacquered from the previous picture :D

Still haven’t tried the lachquer on top. I also found similar alkyd based with almost half the hue.
(at least it looks much clear in the box. The one I tried is intense purple like color)

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