Walnut...first time

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Forum topic by Mark posted 02-26-2012 11:29 PM 1220 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Mark's profile


1807 posts in 3210 days

02-26-2012 11:29 PM

Topic tags/keywords: walnut

Hey gang :) hows everyone? Sorry I haven’t been around lately, been kinda busy working n stuff. I missed all y’all. Right now I’m workin hard on the new jail/disciplinary building here in Windsor so I haven’t had much time in the shop. My family is doing well and kids are growing fast. My daughter is going into JK this September ALREADY!! Smart lil cookie.

Anyways I have questions regarding walnut. The next project I am building will be the first actual full out solid walnut project I am building and well I want to know if theres anything specific I should know about it. I have just planed out my boards and am getting it squared up and prepped for the TV unit I am going to build with it. My main focus is sanding and finishing. Is there any specific steps in sanding I should do? And if I decide to stain it what do I expect? AND finally finishing is there any details to know about how it acts with finish? Like I said its my first and its not cheap so I don’t have plans to be messing around with it. Thx gang :)

-- M.K.

9 replies so far

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4881 posts in 3897 days

#1 posted 02-26-2012 11:40 PM

Walnut is one of my favs. Some suggest grain filling for a SUPER slick finish. I don’t just ‘cause I kinda like the natural look/feel. I also don’t stain heavily enough to hide the sap wood color shifts. Has your walnut been steamed?
I have been using a water based wiping finish that has done well. Modern Masters brand.
Is the wood well dried, moisture content, allow for expansion/contraction? The solid wood construction must allow for the “wiggle”.
I sand to 220 before I begin finishing, and use about 5 wiped coats before final rub and wax. I also use the non-woven pads to scuff between coats to knock down nibs. No steel wool with water based stuff.


View doninvegas's profile


334 posts in 2844 days

#2 posted 02-26-2012 11:52 PM

I’m with Bill. I love the look of Walnut. I like to put a thin coat of danish oil on to pop the grain then topcoat. That is usally a water based topcoat like GF’s High Performance. Like Bill I sand to 220 before the finishing.

Bill, Steamed??

-- "Courage is being scared to death -- but saddling up anyway."

View rickf16's profile


390 posts in 3517 days

#3 posted 02-27-2012 12:14 AM

Great wood to work with. I am in the middle of a flag case, made from walnut, for a friend of mine. Will post it when it’s done. All I plan on doing for finish is 3-4 coats of antique oil then dry for about a week, then a few coats of satin poly. The oil really brings out the beauty of the wood. Good luck. Can’t wait to see it.

-- Rick

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4881 posts in 3897 days

#4 posted 02-27-2012 12:21 AM

Don, a lot of the walnut is steamed to even the color between heart and sap wood. IMO, it kinda takes away the natural look.
Also, walnut will lighten over the years, and some stains will “muddy” the color.


View Danpaddles's profile


573 posts in 2248 days

#5 posted 02-27-2012 12:22 AM

a very well behaved grain, if you are not used to big hardwood projects. You will maybe find just a little bit of curly grain in some.

Don’t use the dust/ shavings around livestock. Horses can’t tolerate it. Don’t use it in your garden. Bugs don’t like it , but neither do your ‘mater plants.

-- Dan V. in Indy

View Mark's profile


1807 posts in 3210 days

#6 posted 02-27-2012 12:39 AM

wow thanks fellas…. dont worry dan, theres no horses around my place for atleast 5 miles lol.

as for steamed? i dont think so. there are several colours in this walnut. I really don’t want to stain it, i love the natural look of wood, I’m just asking incase I ever come across having to stain it. And as for finishing, how does BLO sound for it? I love how BLO turns out.

-- M.K.

View doninvegas's profile


334 posts in 2844 days

#7 posted 02-27-2012 12:46 AM

Thanks, Bill. I never heard of steamed Walnut before. Interesting.
Mark, The best finisher I know (not personally) is Charles Neil. He’s not a fan of BLO. he has stated it several times.

-- "Courage is being scared to death -- but saddling up anyway."

View canadianchips's profile


2600 posts in 2933 days

#8 posted 02-27-2012 01:13 AM

Hi Mark. Try some swedish oil on a test piece. It “pops” the grain. Try other finishes on test pieces as well, that is one quick way to find out what YOU like and how it works.

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View patron's profile


13598 posts in 3277 days

#9 posted 02-27-2012 01:15 AM

hi mark

good to hear you and the family
are doing well and everyone is healthy

when i do large units
i like to sand and finish them
while they are still flat
with only oil this is not so bad
but with top coats of brush/spray coats
getting into those corners can be frustrating
if you have to do more than lightly sand

also as you are still in the cold up there
let things dry longer
and watch indoor fumes

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

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