Cypress, What kind of finish?

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Forum topic by Blackie_ posted 07-26-2012 11:05 AM 6940 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4883 posts in 2713 days

07-26-2012 11:05 AM

I am about to install a room wrap wall to wall shelving, wood choice is Cypress, it will have a rear wall support and a front support to keep it from sagging, It will be up high maybe a foot off of the ceiling so only the bottom of the shelving boards will be visiable, should I go ahead and finish both sides? Also need to know what kind of finish would work best, was hoping for some ideas, I want the natural beauty of the of the wood to show without changing the color to much, if anything just making it stand out more, also if possible something that doesn’t take long to dry.

The Pic shown here is an Oak shelving unit, not mine just showing the design I will be using.


aka Blackie

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

10 replies so far

View Roger's profile


20952 posts in 3005 days

#1 posted 07-26-2012 11:43 AM

I think you should finish both sides. I think BLO before a clear would help bring out the grain, but, that would take a day or more, depending how quickly the Cypress absorbs it. I too, am curious as what others will say and/or suggest. Look forward to seein the finished shelves

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

21733 posts in 3306 days

#2 posted 07-26-2012 12:00 PM

I’d finish both sides. If you want something quick to dry, shoot it with clear lacquer. You can get 3 coats on it a day, easily….......Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 2562 days

#3 posted 07-26-2012 12:46 PM

As Jim said, lacquer would be best, but if you can’t spray, waterborne poly would be the way to go. No BLO.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

View Blackie_'s profile


4883 posts in 2713 days

#4 posted 07-26-2012 12:58 PM

Ok so pure Lacquer seems great to me, what about Tung oil I’ve used Lacquer over it before with success but I do think it takes a day for drying. What about the natural oil that is in Cyperss would I need to cure this?

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3509 days

#5 posted 07-26-2012 02:28 PM

I have worked alot with cypress and used numerous finishes over the years. Cypress is a wood with natural oily resins in it…which make it very resistant to decay.
I have found the following results:
Drying time varies considerable depeending if it is new growth cypress, old cypress or sinker cypress.
A polyurethane finish is the most durable but sometimes the first coat will take 3 – 4 days to dry.
Tung Oil …any finish with an oil base will dry very slowly.
Water based finish will also dry quickly and allow numerous coats…. and not leave a lingering smell for days that polyurrethane or lacquer leaves. Does not really bring out the beauty of the woodgrain.
Lacquer… dries extremely fast and you can spray numerous additional coats in a day. I use lacquer on the boxes I build and really like the appearance. Looks especially good if you buff with steel wool.

View HerbC's profile


1790 posts in 3060 days

#6 posted 07-26-2012 02:42 PM


Yes, do finish both (all) sides of the project.

Sounds like you’ve received pretty good advise on finish selection.


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View Blackie_'s profile


4883 posts in 2713 days

#7 posted 07-26-2012 02:46 PM

Ok thanks all Lacquer it is then.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

View bruc101's profile


1260 posts in 3743 days

#8 posted 07-26-2012 04:30 PM

Go to Lowes and get you some Deft Lacquer. Says brushing lacquer on the can because of VOC regulators.
It can be brushed or sprayed. Deft is some of the finest lacquer on the market.
Dries fast. When we use it we can usually get three or four coats a day. Sand with fine paper between coats for a more deep looking finish.

Dust the first coat on to raise the grain and let it dry…sand and then keep going. We thin about 10%.

As a matter of fact, we’re getting ready to use the Deft Semi Gloss on a large set of Cherry kitchen cabinets and will put 5 coats lightly sanding between coats. Will be completed in less than 2 days.

We’ve sprayed loads of Deft on Cypress. Deft is very user friendly.

-- Bruce Free Plans

View boxcarmarty's profile


16741 posts in 2561 days

#9 posted 07-26-2012 10:31 PM

Definitely Both sides. If for no other reason, it will make it easier to dust. I also agree with the lacquer…..

-- My mind is like lighting, one brilliant flash, then its gone.....

View Blackie_'s profile


4883 posts in 2713 days

#10 posted 07-27-2012 12:17 AM

Marty I never dust LOL but as I type this and think about it, the shelfs will be for my bandsaw boxs as I’m running out of room to store them which are also my pride and joy so I might make an exception in this case LOL go get me one of those swifter duster thingys hahaha.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

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