What finish has the least effect on wood color?

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Forum topic by Ted posted 05-10-2012 06:08 AM 1510 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2875 posts in 2451 days

05-10-2012 06:08 AM

I use straight wax when I want to avoid darkening the wood, but are there other choices?

-- You can collect dust or you can make dust. I choose to make it.

11 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3888 days

#1 posted 05-10-2012 07:08 AM

Yeah, wax.

Super-blonde shellac doesn’t shift color much.

The various higher-grade poly’s like Varathane Elite are
less cloudy than lower grade polys. The average person
can’t see the difference but all poly is a bit cloudy. Still,
the color shift is insignificant. Clarity is hard to judge
as well and my perception of Varathane Elite as more
clear than Minwax poly may be my own fantasy.

Then there’s lacquer.

View Ted's profile


2875 posts in 2451 days

#2 posted 05-10-2012 07:24 AM

My lacquering is limited to spray cans :) but my projects are all small items so that is an option. Thanks for the tips on poly.

-- You can collect dust or you can make dust. I choose to make it.

View NathanAllen's profile


376 posts in 3384 days

#3 posted 05-10-2012 04:27 PM

Depends on the wood, BLO on Maple and Pine only bring out a soft yellow tinge.

View HawkDriver's profile


447 posts in 2873 days

#4 posted 05-10-2012 04:36 PM

I have had great success with rattle can lacquer and recently Deft has come out with a new can(blue in color vs. green) I thought to myself, there will be no difference. I was wrong that new can spays almost as well as HVLP IMHO.

-- Patrick, Helicopters don't fly. They beat the air into submission.

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404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 3209 days

#5 posted 05-10-2012 08:25 PM

Osmo Polyx oil clear is as transparent as you can get. Acrylic varnishes won’t impart an amber hue either.
I have sprayed a clear matt acrylic varnish straight out of the tin with my HVLP sprayer and the finish was perfect.

View Ted's profile


2875 posts in 2451 days

#6 posted 05-11-2012 03:26 PM

Thanks for the tips, everybody. I’m going to look into all these options as time allows. Wish I had the space for an HVLP setup.. maybe one day :). Top of my list is trying out the new Deft spray-can lacquer (HawkDiver) that I didn’t know about.

-- You can collect dust or you can make dust. I choose to make it.

View MT_Stringer's profile


3183 posts in 3471 days

#7 posted 05-11-2012 04:37 PM

I have been using Deft Clear Wood Finish since discovering it back in the early 80’s. Clear lacquer (and now available in water base). Dries fast and makes for a good looking finish. I used it previously to seal wood craft projects that my wife had painted patterns on with acrylic paints. No runs, discoloration or anything.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View RussellAP's profile


3104 posts in 2527 days

#8 posted 05-11-2012 04:38 PM

Any varnish or spar.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View patcollins's profile


1687 posts in 3105 days

#9 posted 05-11-2012 04:56 PM

Water based poly doesn’t change the color much, about what the wood looks like when you wet it with water.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16281 posts in 4459 days

#10 posted 05-11-2012 05:15 PM

Water based poly for sure.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View NiteWalker's profile


2738 posts in 2817 days

#11 posted 05-11-2012 10:30 PM

Crystalac water borne poly. No color at all.

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

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