LumberJocks

Appropriate Finish for a Walnut Fireplace Mantle/Surround

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by SallySue posted 01-20-2011 12:10 AM 7000 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View SallySue's profile

SallySue

23 posts in 2497 days


01-20-2011 12:10 AM

Topic tags/keywords: fireplace mantle finishing

I have built a fireplace surround and mantle from walnut and am wondering if the Maloof finish (sold at Rockler’s) would be an appropriate finish. I am planning to rag on and wipe off the first coat, allow to dry for 24 hours. Then wet sand the second coat with 400 grit wet/dry sanpaper, wait 24 hours, wet sand the third coat at 600 grit, wait 24 hours, then wet sand a final coat at 800 grit. Does this sound appropriate? The area above the gas fireplace gets pretty warm, do I need to worry about the heat damaging this finish? Also, I’m debating about the best method for attaching the 1.75” thick mantle to the surround. Do I need to worry about wood movement? Any and all advice is appreciated.

-- Sally


8 replies so far

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2318 days


#1 posted 01-20-2011 12:40 AM

Skipping to the end, Sally, we need more information about what attaches to what and what the grain orientation is before we can help you with your question about wood movement. And it’s a good question, because of the heat in the region.

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View SallySue's profile

SallySue

23 posts in 2497 days


#2 posted 01-20-2011 01:05 AM

Thanks for responding Lee. Here is a picture of the front of the surround:

http://i1188.photobucket.com/albums/z405/ssferris/MantleFront.jpg

The back of the surround:

http://i1188.photobucket.com/albums/z405/ssferris/MantleBack.jpg

and the mantel:

http://i1188.photobucket.com/albums/z405/ssferris/MantleTop.jpg

Does this give you the info you need?

-- Sally

View Gregn's profile

Gregn

1642 posts in 2451 days


#3 posted 01-20-2011 01:33 AM

Hi Sally, The top shouldn’t be a problem as there really isn’t a cross grain situation there. The area I would be concerned with would be in picture #2 showing the back side. You have a cross grain situation with the upright pieces and the cross piece. The screws appear to be diagonal to one another attaching the upright pieces to the cross piece. This is where I see could become a problem. One suggestion would be to place the screws in the middle one above the other allowing the wood to move freely without splitting. Nice project.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View SallySue's profile

SallySue

23 posts in 2497 days


#4 posted 01-20-2011 01:39 AM

Greg, thanks for the advice. Unfortunately, I glued and screwed these pieces together. Guess this is another one of those great learning experiences. Do you have any advice on the finish, considering the heat being generated by the fireplace.

-- Sally

View Gregn's profile

Gregn

1642 posts in 2451 days


#5 posted 01-20-2011 01:54 AM

I would probably use and oil finish such as a danish oil. It won’t crack and peel and you can always wipe more on if needed over time.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View childress's profile

childress

841 posts in 3009 days


#6 posted 01-20-2011 02:12 AM

In my neck of the woods, code says that any combustible material must be at least 12” above the firebox opening and not extend out any farther if you make a 45* angle from the opening (I hope I explained that okay). In all the remodels I’ve been involved with we have never had a problem with any wood mantel. We have used paint, lacquer and polyurethane for finishes and have never got a call back. Also, we have only done work around gas fireplaces without any heat blower. Most of the heat goes up and out the flue with the smoke….Hope this helps.

-- Childress Woodworks

View bibb's profile

bibb

318 posts in 2999 days


#7 posted 01-20-2011 08:40 PM

Sally,
I, and a lot of others, use a home-brewed Maloof oil. Easy and cheap
the recipe is:
1/3 Boiled Linseed Oil
1/3 Mineral Spirits (to thin the oils)
1/3 Poly (i use Valspar high gloss)
arr are available at Lowe’s or Home Depot.
Apply just like you mentioned above
cheers
Al

-- you may only live once, but if you do it right that's all you need katanadesign.com

View SallySue's profile

SallySue

23 posts in 2497 days


#8 posted 01-20-2011 09:46 PM

Hi, Al. Thanks for responding. I had heard of this recipe, but I happened to have some of the store-bought stuff on hand. Do you think I will have an issue with the heat being generated by the fireplace damaging the finish? The wood will be the required 12” away from the top of the fireplace, but the drywall above this gets pretty warm right now. PS – are you taking any classes at Red Rocks this semester?

-- Sally

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com