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Finishing sapele countertops for kitchen

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Forum topic by edapp posted 06-23-2017 12:03 PM 484 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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edapp

61 posts in 1267 days


06-23-2017 12:03 PM

Topic tags/keywords: finishing question

I am looking for options, opinions or feedback on finishing sapele that will be used as a kitchen counter top.

http://www.woodworkerssource.com/blog/woodworking-101/tips-tricks/3-ways-to-finish-sapele-that-makes-ribbon-stripe-figure-pop/

After watching/reading this article, my wife and I like the look of the third option (danish oil under poly), but the sanding sealer has me a little confused. I have never used a product like that and am wondering if i need it, or if danish oil with an oil poly (Arm r seal) would be all that is necessary (I have two counters to do, one 14’ long and one 12’ long so if i can skip this step it would save some time!).

Any other opinions on how to achieve a nice look while protecting the wood? Products you like? Thanks!


8 replies so far

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jonah

1461 posts in 3136 days


#1 posted 06-23-2017 12:09 PM

The sanding sealer is just shellac. I’m pretty sure that’s just to give you something for the lacquer (or oil/varnish, in your case) something to stick to. I’m not sure if Arm-R-Seal will stick to a Danish Oil finished surface.

Either way, shellac goes on super, super fast and easy. That step won’t take more than an hour for both countertops.

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edapp

61 posts in 1267 days


#2 posted 06-23-2017 12:16 PM

Good to know! I have never used it before, but it sounds like something that could have a lot of applications… Thanks

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chrisstef

17025 posts in 2843 days


#3 posted 06-23-2017 12:18 PM

Ive had really nice results with antique maple dye and arm r seal over the top on sapele. In my experience I haven’t had any issues with arm r seal on top of Danish oil either. The sanding sealer (shellac) may be in effort to fill the pores of the wood. Again I’m not really sure on if sapele is an open grained wood but being in the mahogany family it may not be a bad idea. A spit coat of shellac should do.

Id stick with the finish schedule you’ve got. Yes, its going to take time but don’t rush it, everyone’s going to see it. Also, for the first couple of weeks that top coat of arm r seal is going to be a bit soft so be gentle with the countertops. Ohh, and let the Danish oil dry for a few days or it may want to wick out of wood and it will screw up your top coat of arm r seal. Get a couple coats on the bottom of the countertops too, it will allow the lumber to take moisture evenly. If you don’t the bottom is going to take much more moisture than the top and you could have some splitting.

Patience is going to be your friend on this one.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

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edapp

61 posts in 1267 days


#4 posted 06-23-2017 12:28 PM

Chrisstef, Thank you for your input! I will definitely be patient and coat the top and bottoms evenly. We have not moved into this house yet and have a generous timeline. I will definitely test a board with the antique maple dye stain!

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Bob5103

81 posts in 671 days


#5 posted 06-23-2017 12:45 PM

Make some test pieces! As many as it takes to find what you like and is going to work for counter tops. I really like sapele and my favorite finish is lacquer over shellac. It is easily repaired and looks fantastic on ribbon sapele. However that finish is sensitive to heat and alcohol and probably not best choice for a kitchen. (I made our kitchen island out of sapele and used shellac/lacquer and it has held up well, but there are no kids in the house and my wife is meticulous when it comes to caring for it.) I also used sapele for our breakfast bar counter. For that I used Emmet’s Good Stuff. It is easy to use, durable, alcohol resistant, food safe, and easily repairable. (grandkids are involved). It did darken the wood slightly but still lets the grain pop. I like Arm-r-seal but I think it is overpriced. But it really comes down to your preferences, and test pieces will save you a ton of aggravation and time.

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jonah

1461 posts in 3136 days


#6 posted 06-23-2017 01:07 PM

I would give the Danish Oil more than a few days. You want it to more or less fully cure, which for oil takes quite a while. I’d give it 4-5 days to a week if possible, then move on to the shellac. Shellac cures way, way faster so you can hit it with Arm-R-Seal the next day (or the same day, if you do it in the morning).

Arm-R-Seal isn’t cheap, but it’s actually less than the Minwax equivalent wipe on poly. It’s certainly less than the Waterlox finishes. See Marc Spagnuolo’s recent video on wiping varnishes for details.

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jonah

1461 posts in 3136 days


#7 posted 06-23-2017 01:08 PM

I forgot to mention that after you apply Arm-R-Seal, you will want to wait at least a week or two before using the countertops. Don’t rush it and let the finish fully cure.

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edapp

61 posts in 1267 days


#8 posted 06-23-2017 01:26 PM

Any opinions on the General Finishes water based poly vs oil based for this application? I ask because I have a good bit of the water based “Top Coat” on hand. Have used it in the past with good results, but want as much protection as i can get,, and certainly the best look as well!

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