finishing pine trime with walnut oil

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Forum topic by Tailor posted 04-10-2011 07:42 AM 1857 views 0 times favorited 1 reply Add to Favorites Watch
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7 posts in 3861 days

04-10-2011 07:42 AM

Hope this isn’t the wrong place to pop this question, but I’m putting in pine trim in my living room, and to go with the natural finish oak flooring, was going to use walnut oil straight as the finish on the trim. I’ve read that it dries hard (although what “hard” means in this context is unknown to me) and shouldn’t go rancid or have too much color movement over time, but I’m wondering if anyone has done this before for household wood.

In addition and more specifically, am I crazy to think that this finish will hold up to the rigors of trim? I know I could use an oil based urethane after it dries, but given the length of the trim, and how many pieces I’ll be finishing, I am hoping to use a finish that wont stink/toxin out my house while it dries (I don’t have enough linear space in my shop to dry them there). In Georgia, if I tried to dry them outdoors, I’d just have to call the finish “contemporary pollen”.

For those who have done oil finishes before, how does it look (especially, what color does it end up?), how does it last?

I had planned to brush it on heavy, leave it for a couple days and wipe anything left off. That said, if spraying is worth doing, I’ve got an hvlp sprayer, and two airless hand helds (one is cheapy wagner stain sprayer, the other a graco handheld unit), is spraying even worth doing? The upside is I could lay them out and coat many if not all of the pieces of floor trim and crown at once, which at least in theory would let me get a uniform coating on them.

I’d even considered making a long narrow trough, and just dunking each piece for 24 hours or so to shoot for maximum saturation/penetration, and then wiping them dry when I pull them out. Seems like the major con for this plan is that the pieces might be sweating oil for an unknown time period, and of course, it will leave me with a large quantity of walnut oil (not such a downside if it turns out I like the way it looks, as many other projects are in queue once I get the stuff my wife cares about done).

Since I am, in the big picture, redoing all the trim in the whole house, I really hope to find a good looking finish that wont suck up a year of my time applying, but will still look good. While I do like the idea, I’m NOT set on walnut oil, or an oil finish at all, but it just happens to be one of the ideas I’m tossing around right now.

1 reply so far

View Barbara Gill's profile

Barbara Gill

153 posts in 2628 days

#1 posted 04-10-2011 05:11 PM

Some walnut oil will not dry. It seems to be a very expensive way of finishing. I think a good penetrating oil finish would look just as good. That is what we did for all the wood in our house that isn’t painted which is quite a lot in a timber frame home.

-- Barbara

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