Finishing a poplar box

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Forum topic by BerBer5985 posted 12-30-2011 09:32 AM 1448 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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445 posts in 1843 days

12-30-2011 09:32 AM

I just finished up a sliding lid pencil box in some poplar sapwood. I’m one who is drawn to unique and interesting grains/colors and I particularly don’t like stained woods. For the most part, I prefer to keep the wood natural. The piece has a lot of purple and green shades which I don’t want to cover up but I want to make pop? What’s a good finish for this box? I have Danish oil, tung oil “finish”, general finishes wipe on armour coat, wipe on poly, and a mix I made myself out of spar varnish, paint thinner, and blo. I don’t particularly want it to take 4 days to finish. Any suggestions on what might be a good answer. I don’tind purchasing another finish if theres a good recommendation.

This is how it currently stands with no finish.

-- Greg, Owner, Quality Carpet One,

6 replies so far

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930 posts in 1778 days

#1 posted 12-30-2011 09:50 AM

Well, whichever route you decide, you need to do so in a fairly short time period. I’ve always noticed that poplars grain tends to fade fairly quickly and it just becomes a mash of color if it’s not finished.

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

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261 posts in 2032 days

#2 posted 12-30-2011 12:57 PM

shelac would be very fast with a final coat of wipe on or sprayed poly. Very nice job on the box

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1763 posts in 1987 days

#3 posted 12-30-2011 01:48 PM

I like the rounded ends on the square box. Its a small touch but it adds that little something different. good luck with the finish

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

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#4 posted 12-30-2011 03:39 PM

clear shellac or lacquer

-- Life is good.

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1405 posts in 1920 days

#5 posted 12-31-2011 05:55 AM

I’m a real fan of poplar for the colour you mention and have finished it best with shellac and real wiping varnish (not poly). Oils tend to muddy it and yes, be prepared for fading no matter what you do. The greens and purples will brown out but still remain quite lovely. If you want the green to remain longer then lightly tint your finish with an appropriately based dye.

-- gene@toronto.ontario.canada : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

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445 posts in 1843 days

#6 posted 12-31-2011 06:03 AM

I ended up using the general arm r coat for it. Put the first coat on tonight and so far it looks really nice! It’s a pencil box for an artist friend as a surprise gift. I think it will turn out good.

-- Greg, Owner, Quality Carpet One,

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