bloodwood finishing issue - help please

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Forum topic by yooper posted 11-16-2010 07:45 PM 4692 views 1 time favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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215 posts in 2246 days

11-16-2010 07:45 PM

Topic tags/keywords: bloodwood finishing blo trivet

I made a bloodwood frame for a trivet, and I wanted a durable finish. I looked over what others had done on LJs, and followed a similar path. (No, I didn’t test on scraps – not smart, lessoned learned).
1. treated with BLO (others have used Tung) – waited 24hours
2. One coat of General finish Arm-R-Seal
3. Result: Sticky mess – puddling effect, not drying.

question 1: what went wrong? Not enough curing time for BLO? Wrong choice of products for bloodwood?
question 2: How the heck do I “fix” it?

Thanks for any suggestions. Bloodwood is bloody expensive, and I would like to salvage this piece anyway possible.

Yooper Jeff

-- Jeff, CT - keep calm and make sawdust

8 replies so far

View Roper's profile


1370 posts in 3132 days

#1 posted 11-16-2010 07:50 PM

I don’t use BLO but I have used tung-oil alot and it sounds to me like you didn’t let the BLO completely dry before applying the arm r seal, i usually give it at least 2 weeks before I put a finish coat on.As for saving it you could try sanding it off and start over again, but that could take a long time.

-- Roper - Master of sawdust-

View PurpLev's profile


8523 posts in 3068 days

#2 posted 11-16-2010 07:50 PM

BLO will take more than 24 hours to dry from my experience.

you could try to clean it with rags and mineral spirits to take off whatever is puddling on it, then leave it to dry for a couple of days and reattempt to finish it.

curious – why did you treat it with BLO if you put arm-r-seal on top of it? the arm-r-seal will seal and protect the frame.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View yooper's profile


215 posts in 2246 days

#3 posted 11-16-2010 07:53 PM

Thanks PurpLev. I used BLO/Arm-R-Seal because others had used Tung and Poly, and I didn’t have any Tung. BLO did really bring out the color nicely initially.

-- Jeff, CT - keep calm and make sawdust

View CharlesNeil's profile


1602 posts in 3290 days

#4 posted 11-16-2010 08:19 PM

blood wood has a natural oil , and BLO is a very slow drying oil, it can soften the natural oil and intermix, creating a nasty gooey mess, but you found that out, the Arm R seal, is a urethane bases oil, so it is intermixing as well, it may eventually dry, but it will take along time, so lets fix it, wipe it down well with some naptha, or lacquer thinner, it may remove alot of the existing finish, but thats a good thing, get as much off as possible, then let it dry overnight, light scuff sand it , if it will lightly dust, its dry enough, then go with the arm r seal , no BLO, Arm R seal because it is an oil base will enhance and pop the grain quite well, nothing else is needed, but test a sample or spot, Arm Seal has a excellent drying and curing properties, as well as is a super tough finish, IF it seems it still doesnt wan to dry, then use some shellac, either some seal coat, or a rattle can to seal the piece , then do the arm R seal over that, but at this point you have to get the gooey mess off , naptha also can often help soft finishes dry without distirbing the finish, but if its trying to come off, let it,

View yooper's profile


215 posts in 2246 days

#5 posted 11-16-2010 08:41 PM

thanks Charles. Very thorough answer. I got some nitrile gloves and will get some naptha tonight. thanks again.

-- Jeff, CT - keep calm and make sawdust

View Ben's profile


30 posts in 2312 days

#6 posted 11-16-2010 10:49 PM

I am finishing a flag display case that is made from Bloodwood. I am using Arm-R-Seal. I am taking it slow and just wiping on a generous amount, waiting a few minutes and then thoroughly wiping down to remove any excess. It looks pretty good so far, but it’s slow going. I am waiting 24hrs between coats. It’s probably overkill but I dont want to deal with streaks and drips. I am new to woodworking and have yet to learn some of the more sophisitcated finishing methods that exist.

-- Ben in Houston

View Praki's profile


197 posts in 3416 days

#7 posted 11-17-2010 05:26 PM

I made a small Blood Wood box and finished it with Waterlox original. Just wiped one coat everyday for a total of 4 or 5. It finished beautifully to a glass like smoothness. If you skipped oil, you should get a great finish.

-- Praki, Aspiring Woodworker

View yooper's profile


215 posts in 2246 days

#8 posted 11-21-2010 05:22 AM

FYI, CharlesNeil’s advice is working well. After wiping the frame down with naphtha several times, scuffing and finishing with Arm-R-Seal (only once so far), the piece looks to be saved. Thanks Charles.

-- Jeff, CT - keep calm and make sawdust

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