How many types of finish do you use?

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Forum topic by willie posted 04-01-2012 01:31 AM 1388 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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533 posts in 1871 days

04-01-2012 01:31 AM

After woodworking for many years and trying many different types of finishes from oils, waxes, polys, BLO, shellac, varnish and lacquer, I find that 99% of my projects get finished with lacquer. It seems to be the easiest to work with, fast drying, and easy to fix any problems. If I have a project that requires something more durable, I’ll use something else but find myself coming back to lacquer as my go to finish. What do you all use and why? Thanks, Willie

-- Every day above ground is a good day!!!

11 replies so far

View ELCfinefurniture's profile


112 posts in 1737 days

#1 posted 04-01-2012 01:34 AM

Only french polished shellac and wax. Sometimes BLO

-- {Current North Bennet street school student}

View bruc101's profile


1075 posts in 2959 days

#2 posted 04-01-2012 01:51 AM

That depends on the project at the time I’m working on. I would say that 90% of the time I spray lacquer and on wood countertops I usually use Waterloc.
On a high end piece of furniture, well that brings on more talk.

-- Bruce Free Plans

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5099 posts in 2611 days

#3 posted 04-01-2012 03:43 AM


Actually, you could say that I only use maybe 2 finishes…..If I’m working with hard woods, which 95% of the time I am, I”ll use a couple of coats of Watco Danish Oil to bring out the beauty of the wood, letting each coat dry good, then put several coats of a wipe-on poly, followed by buffing with 0000 steel wool in between coats, and top it off with a final coat of poly….I don’t like to use stains on natural hardwoods….I’ve had to do it for a few customers (at their request), but I try to talk them out of it… But my go-to finishes are poly and tung oil…..............even used tung oil with a poly finish on that…..looks pretty good…..!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-- At my age, an "all--nighter" is not having to get up and pee...!!!

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

7668 posts in 1797 days

#4 posted 04-01-2012 08:34 AM

I prefer lacquer, for the reasons stated and because it is a neutral color.


View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3836 posts in 1910 days

#5 posted 04-01-2012 11:32 AM

Lacquer, shellac, varnish, and paint.

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

View NiteWalker's profile


2735 posts in 1994 days

#6 posted 04-01-2012 10:47 PM

Zinsser sealcoat and crystalac super premium waterborne poly goes on most of my projects.
For painted projects, zinsser BIN primer under createx wicked colors (because it’s easy to spray).

I have a can of rustoleum ultimate poly I plan on trying soon. It’s pretty cheap @ $11 a quart.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View hogfish's profile


1 post in 1672 days

#7 posted 04-03-2012 03:32 AM

I’m with “Coopman”
French Polish , shellac and wax. Non toxic and reworkable.
What os BLO ????

View a1Jim's profile


115166 posts in 2994 days

#8 posted 04-03-2012 04:47 AM

I have used a number of finishes over the years ,The ones I would still consider using in the future are: watco,wax free shellac, wiping stains,Lacquers including: (nitrocellulose, acrylic, precat and waterborne) ,endruo-var,polycrylic,general finishes Arm R seal,general finishes dye-stain
All of them that are bold I prefer.

-- Custom furniture

View AandCstyle's profile


2533 posts in 1674 days

#9 posted 04-05-2012 01:21 AM

I use Target Coatings WB finishes because I am a week end warrior and don’t want to deal with the issues surrounding solvent finishes. I mostly use their EM6000 since it provides a great finish off the gun.

I have been using mineral oil on cutting boards, but am considering trying 50% GF salad bowl finish/50% mineral oil at some point.

-- Art

View BTimmons's profile


2298 posts in 1902 days

#10 posted 04-05-2012 06:30 PM


“BLO” is an abbreviation for boiled linseed oil.

-- Brian Timmons -

View willie's profile


533 posts in 1871 days

#11 posted 04-06-2012 02:19 AM

Thanks for all the responses. There’s are few on the list that I haven’t tried that I’ll have to look into. I’ve only used a water-borne finish one time, about 20+ years ago. It was a brush-on WB poly and I was not impressed. I’m sure they’ve been improved over the years but I haven’t seen or heard anything to make me want to change. I’m sure the project will come up that will be a good one to experiment with and I’ll let you all know how it went. Thanks, Willie

-- Every day above ground is a good day!!!

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