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Question about finishes..

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Forum topic by steelshot posted 08-26-2010 03:07 AM 955 views 1 time favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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steelshot

5 posts in 1746 days


08-26-2010 03:07 AM

I haven’t worked with walnut a whole lot, and was wondering what a good finish would be to really make the grain pop.


9 replies so far

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Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 2476 days


#1 posted 08-26-2010 04:09 AM

Steelshot, this is really a tough question to answer since it really depends on the project. For example, here is a method to “pop” the grain in quartersawn white oak that was posted by Tim Pursell. This is an involved routine that is a challenge but the end result is certainly worth the effort.

One routine that I like to use for cherry is to start with a base coat of boiled linseed oil and then either apply a seal coat of shellac or topcoat it with wipe on polyurethane. I generally apply these as separate steps but a popular finishing mixture of equal parts of boiled linseed oil, oil base polyurethane and mineral spirits will produce the same results.

If you have not seen it Pop Goes the Maple is a pretty good tutorial produced by Marc Spagnolo. In the video Marc describes how he accentuates the grain in curly maple.

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

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Gofor

470 posts in 2441 days


#2 posted 08-26-2010 04:20 AM

I have had good results with the 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 mix of boiled linseed oil, poly, and mineral spirits, wiped on. That said, Behlens Rock Hard Table Finish also works very good straight from the can (brushes on nice and levels well with a good bristle brush) if you want a more amber finish and need a tough surface.

Go

-- Go http://ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?cat=500&ppuser=730

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a1Jim

112087 posts in 2231 days


#3 posted 08-26-2010 04:27 AM

Here’s the guy who knows finishing and he would never use any kind of mixture with Boiled linseed or any other type or linseed oil. In my estimate it has to be the the worst old fashion so called finish out there. Sorry to the other Guys that use it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XH4hWNMp5Ec&feature=related

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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steelshot

5 posts in 1746 days


#4 posted 08-27-2010 01:47 AM

Thanks for the info, I will try a couple things mentioned and see how it turns out.

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Gofor

470 posts in 2441 days


#5 posted 08-27-2010 04:53 AM

Boiled linseed oil will add a bit of amber when using poly, that otherwise would be achieved by using a traditional varnish. It does not add any protective qualities. Once you achieve the color you want, additional coats should be straight poly. Poly will also darken and yellow over time. However, the BLO does not detract anything from the finish if multiple coats are used.

As for the video link, I do the same with oil based stains (i.e. wipe it in and remove it from the harder grain areas) instead of just laying on a masking film. Works the same whether water based (acrylic plastic) or oil based.

Altho acrylics are touted for their clarity, I think they still have to pass the test of time. I worked in the aircraft industry in the coatings field for over 35 years. Water based coating were introduced about 10 years into my tenure in that field (which ended 5 years ago). They are more environmentally friendly (in the application arena, not necessarily in the production arena) but never measured up in the durability to abrasion, ultraviolet degradation, or moisture penetration to organic coatings. Thankfully they have now equaled organics in the adhesion area.

JMTCW

Go

-- Go http://ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?cat=500&ppuser=730

View Moron's profile

Moron

4666 posts in 2547 days


#6 posted 08-27-2010 05:40 AM

the combinations and permutations of ”whats the best finish for walnut” are limiitless

lacquer is somewhat “fail safe” as is “poly”.......”oil”................chances are that if you have little experience with working and finishing walnut that you have little experince with finishing anything.

I used to like oils like “Circa 1887” ? and I remember good results.

simple if you can read the directions yet painful as it needs to be, occasionally, re-applied.

I must admit that my only experience with BLO + thinner ++++........................was a stinky problem but am guessing I got the recipe wrong as well as the application teckniques wrong too?

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

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gagewestern

301 posts in 2004 days


#7 posted 08-27-2010 10:03 PM

shellac is my fav.also

-- gagewestern

View Andy Needles's profile

Andy Needles

106 posts in 2184 days


#8 posted 08-29-2010 08:27 AM

Shellac- it behaves the best

-- rustic andy

View NathanAllen's profile

NathanAllen

376 posts in 1798 days


#9 posted 08-30-2010 05:42 PM

Pure Tung Oil and Dark Finishing Wax. If you need it to be more durable substitute laquer for the wax.

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