Top Finish for B. Walnut coffee table

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Forum topic by mbarnum posted 08-12-2012 11:22 PM 1363 views 1 time favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 2142 days

08-12-2012 11:22 PM

Topic tags/keywords: walnut danish oil

Just finishing up a table I have been working on for some time. I have chosen to use a Deft-Danish oil finish(clear-natural), as I really like the appearance and feel of it. I have finished the base (lightly spalted pecan), and the bottom of the table with the danish oil, and have now reassembled it, and turned it over to finish the top. One thing I noticed when finishing the bottom of the slab, the blue/purple ring separating the sap wood from the heart wood disappeared with the finish, and it turned a little darker than I had hoped. Any thoughts on what I could use to finish the top? Any risk if I finish the top with something different than the bottom? The top was taken from a blown-over tree, hand cut, air dried for 2.5 years, and hand planed to the current finish. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

-- Michael, N.Carolina

5 replies so far

View Tennessee's profile


2873 posts in 2514 days

#1 posted 08-13-2012 12:39 AM

I think it is the oil that is making it all the same shade. Do you have any scrap left over? I would try putting on straight clear lacquer and see what it does.
If you have to have something more durable, I would guess a water-based poly. Just stay away from the oil.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 3285 days

#2 posted 08-13-2012 01:36 AM

Michael, Awsome table design. Paul has a good idea about trying a couple different finishes on a piece of scrape to see how it will react. Your water-based products will probably keep it from turning too dark, but then again it will not bring out the real richness of the walnut. Lacquer would probably give the look your looking for, but I’ve never worked with a brushable lacquer so can’t give you much advice on that. I use a lot of lacquer but I spray all my finishes and there is a difference in the brushable lacquers. You should be OK using a different product on the top, but just remember, that large slab of Walnut is going to do a lot of moving no matter what type finish you use. Don’t be surprised if it splits a little on the ends when it adjust to the climate of your house. If your skirt that goes across the end of the table is attached solid to the slab of walnut, then you may see it want to cup or twist as the walnut tries to move.
Good luck and hope we get to see some more pictures when finished. Great job!

-- John @

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Clint Searl

1533 posts in 2361 days

#3 posted 08-14-2012 12:41 AM

Waterborne poly floor finish. I like Varathane or Bona Mega.

-- 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 BiggKountry's profile


18 posts in 2665 days

#4 posted 08-14-2012 12:19 PM

What about using a two part epoxy to coat it? Klingspor and others sell a product that is used to seal bar tops. There is also a couple of videos on YouTube that show a cabinet maker installing this stuff on a vanity that they were making. Once the coating is installed, it gives the appearance of having a sheet of glass on the table.

View mbarnum's profile


2 posts in 2142 days

#5 posted 08-17-2012 06:56 PM

Thanks for all your input, I tried coating some test sections, and finally decided to stay with the danish oil finish. Have put 4 coats so far, sanding in the first two with 400g wet/dry paper, then 2 more coats to finish. Will look at this for a while, may still add a poly or top coat(s) for more protection. Again, thanks for all your inputs!

-- Michael, N.Carolina

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