Finishes for walnut boxes

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Forum topic by Jon posted 10-25-2010 02:46 AM 1408 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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29 posts in 2574 days

10-25-2010 02:46 AM

Topic tags/keywords: box walnut question finishing

I have built 2 walnut boxes, and am looking for advice on what types of finishes would be suitable for each.

Walnut box w/ light/dark walnut top panel… I was thinking an oil finish?

Walnut box w/ curly maple top panel…High gloss to highlight curly maple?

thank-you for the imput.


6 replies so far

View scrappy's profile


3506 posts in 2853 days

#1 posted 10-25-2010 02:59 AM

I use “Old Masters Tung Oil/Varnish” on walnut. It is what I finished my Buba Keg with and most others I have posted. Gives a good shine and really makes the grain POP.


-- Scrap Wood's the best...the projects are smaller, and so is the mess!

View dbray45's profile


3147 posts in 2199 days

#2 posted 10-25-2010 03:07 PM

Depends upon the look that you want to have. A satin finish with lots of color – tung oil or tung oil finish (a tung oil and poly mix). If you are looking for a mirror finish, I would use clear lacquer or high gloss poly. It is a lot more work to get the mirror finish. Both are good on their own – it is a matter of choice. If the box is going to be around makeup (acetone or alcohol), poly might be a better choice.

-- David in Damascus, MD

View dbray45's profile


3147 posts in 2199 days

#3 posted 10-25-2010 03:07 PM

Oh btw – beautiful work

-- David in Damascus, MD

View CharlieM1958's profile


16229 posts in 3641 days

#4 posted 10-25-2010 03:16 PM

Nice boxes. Your initial ideas sound good to me.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View doorslammer's profile


108 posts in 2991 days

#5 posted 10-25-2010 03:36 PM

Most of my work is in walnut and cherry and recently I’ve really enjoyed using Tried and True oil varnish. Despite some other reviews I’ve found it incredibly easy to use and produces a nice soft sheen and really richens and darkens the walnut. It will darken and yellow the maple as well, so if you want to keep the more blonde color of the maple, oil may not be the best route.

-- Aaron in TN -

View Domer's profile


252 posts in 2789 days

#6 posted 10-25-2010 06:05 PM

I use General Finishes Armour Seal. It is easy to apply and has a tough beautiful finish.


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