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Light Walnut Finish?

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Forum topic by Mruniqueid posted 08-21-2017 06:19 PM 437 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Mruniqueid

4 posts in 91 days


08-21-2017 06:19 PM

Topic tags/keywords: walnut question modern finishing

Hi Guys,

I’m working on a desk that is primarily made out of walnut, and i’m looking for a way to finish it that will only darken it minimally. I tried applying Watco danish oil to a test piece, and it darkened the wood too much for my taste.

I found this piece online which depicts what i’m after.

Any tips on how to achieve something like that?

My go-to favorite finish in the past (this one) leaves the wood with an ideal matte look, but doesn’t darken the wood at all and is also water based, making it unsuitable for any oil based finishes.

Any tips are appreciated!


11 replies so far

View ChefHDAN's profile

ChefHDAN

989 posts in 2662 days


#1 posted 08-21-2017 06:26 PM

have you tried Arm R Seal?

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View rodneywt1180b's profile

rodneywt1180b

154 posts in 198 days


#2 posted 08-21-2017 06:41 PM

Have you tried just a clear finish? If that’s too light then I would look at a dilute coat of water based aniline dye stain instead. You can add more coats to darken it to the effect you want.
Rodney

-- Rodney, Centralia, WA, USA www.etsy.com/shop/ASturdyStick

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4709 posts in 2305 days


#3 posted 08-21-2017 06:48 PM

I’m thinking that any oil based finish will do pretty much the same thing the Watco did. But the pic of what you want actually looks to me like you want to lighten the natural color of the walnut…and I’m not sure that’s easily possible.

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

View Mruniqueid's profile

Mruniqueid

4 posts in 91 days


#4 posted 08-21-2017 06:55 PM



have you tried Arm R Seal?

- ChefHDAN

I haven’t. I did see people recommending it before when I was looking for a matte finish for another project, but I ended up going with the Dead Flat Varnish linked in my first post. I’ll look around for some examples of Arm R Seal used on walnut.

Thanks!

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Mruniqueid

4 posts in 91 days


#5 posted 08-21-2017 06:58 PM



I m thinking that any oil based finish will do pretty much the same thing the Watco did. But the pic of what you want actually looks to me like you want to lighten the natural color of the walnut…and I m not sure that s easily possible.

- Fred Hargis

My unfinished piece is actually just slightly lighter than the image in my original post. It’s almost like my unfinished walnut just has a slight haze over it that I want to darken, then seal.

I’ll look into the aniline dye that Rodney recommended.

View ClammyBallz's profile

ClammyBallz

424 posts in 948 days


#6 posted 08-21-2017 07:03 PM

I would try a platina or blonde shellac followed by a water based poly.

View rodneywt1180b's profile

rodneywt1180b

154 posts in 198 days


#7 posted 08-21-2017 09:21 PM

I didn’t think of shellac. Good idea. It might be just enough for the effect you’re after.

-- Rodney, Centralia, WA, USA www.etsy.com/shop/ASturdyStick

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

1643 posts in 459 days


#8 posted 08-21-2017 10:18 PM

Perhaps you should consider using butternut instead of walnut for the project.

-- Ron in Lilburn, Georgia.  Knowing how to use a tool is more important than the tool in and of itself.

View Mruniqueid's profile

Mruniqueid

4 posts in 91 days


#9 posted 08-21-2017 10:24 PM


Perhaps you should consider using butternut instead of walnut for the project.

- Ron Aylor

Thanks Ron, i’ll definitely consider that next time. Right now the desk is pretty much done though.

My plan right now, based on advice here and a bit of Googling, is to try the light shellac that Clammy recommended, followed by the water based poly that I already have on hand. Possibly with a bit of sanding after the shellac coat. Going to pick up some shellac on my way home tonight and give it a try on a tester.

I’ll try to remember to share my results here.

View DS's profile

DS

2790 posts in 2232 days


#10 posted 08-21-2017 10:48 PM

To my eye it appears to have a white wash pickling stain on the walnut.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View gargey's profile

gargey

851 posts in 588 days


#11 posted 08-21-2017 11:06 PM

Yeah its like you’re going for a sapwood look, an unusual approach.

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