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What is a good finish for Walnut ?

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Forum topic by Schummie posted 08-27-2012 08:17 PM 5642 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Schummie

203 posts in 2517 days


08-27-2012 08:17 PM

Topic tags/keywords: finish walnut arm-r-seal high performance top coat general finishes question finishing

Dear woodworking friends,

I have designed a TV-stereo cabinet and we have let made the cabinet for our house (see photo).
Because off my disability, I can’t make the cabinet myself any longer (and that hurts) but we have a problem with the paint.
I want to try to do the painting myself.
A large portion of the cabinet consists American black Walnut veneer.
I wanted to finish the Walnut so that the top is durable and shows the beautiful American Walnut.
I painted the first layer with boiled linseed oil and then some layers with High Performance Top Coat from General Finishes.
I did this on ​​a test piece and it looks quite nice, it would may shine some more.
But after seeing the video of Marc with his entertainment centre, where he use Arm-R-Seal from General Finishes, I’m gone doubt again.
After searching I read that Arm-R-Seal is not (longer) available in Europe.
After this disappointment, I got in contact with General Finishes, the answer I got from her was “the Arm R seal would
be the one to use, it will make the wood pop, the high performance will not”.
Ok thanks High Performance, Top Coat is not for Walnut !!
I tried it again with General Finishes or there was something else I could use, he told me “Arm-R-Seal is the correct product to use on Walnut.
It is a penetrating oil & urethane mixture that will produce a deep rich finish on walnut. High Performance is a water based poly.
Though it’s a great product but not recommend for dark woods, like walnut or mahogany for colour
He further told me that I also could try Gel Satin Topcoat.
But I can’t find any Gel Satin Topcoat.

I understand that I did not do the ride thing, but I thought I heard it earlier, boiled linseed oil with High Performance Top Coat or not ?
Does anyone can recommend me a good finish for Walnut, which I can find in Europe and which is durable and has a little gloss ?

Thanks Schummie.

Sorry for my English

-- Greetings from the Netherlands.


10 replies so far

View Gerald Thompson's profile

Gerald Thompson

445 posts in 986 days


#1 posted 08-27-2012 09:35 PM

Try amber shellac on a test piece. It is not diffecult to apply. Shellac is a good finish. It “burns” into itself so all coats act as one. It needs to be applied in thin coats and not too many. It can be applied with a lint free cloth and it dries fast.
Shellac is percieved to be highly intolerant of alcohols and water. If the area is splashed with these items and they are wiped up soon usully no damge. If there is damage shellac is easily repaired by virtue of its ability to bond with itself. It will also add pop to the walnut. It is a good finish and I use it a lot. One must remember there is no perfect finish.
If you Google shellac you can learn all about it. Good luck.

-- Jerry

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

2045 posts in 1245 days


#2 posted 08-27-2012 09:52 PM

I keep seeing that statement you made about the linseed oil and Top Coat “I did this on ​​a test piece and it looks quite nice”. Well if you’re happy with it, stay with it. Advice you get from others (like me) will reflect their personal tastes and criteria for what constitutes a good finish, advice from a firm that makes finishes is likely to reflect, well, who knows what? For the record, I built a very large TV cabinet of black walnut and my finish of choice was the boiled linseed oil, top coated with Target Coatings PSL, another water borne finish not all that different from Top Coat. Looked very nice, and the finish was plenty durable for a TV cabinet.

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

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1479 posts in 1113 days


#3 posted 08-27-2012 11:53 PM

Waterborne poly floor finish.

-- 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 lumberjoe's profile

lumberjoe

2847 posts in 1000 days


#4 posted 08-28-2012 01:57 AM

Waterlox

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

View Schummie's profile

Schummie

203 posts in 2517 days


#5 posted 08-28-2012 09:22 PM

Guys thanks for your help.
This are the test pieces, on top left is only a layer with boiled linseed oil,
the right topside is Boiled linseed oil with 4 layers with High Performance Top Coat.
Lower side it’s with only 4 layers High Performance Top Coat.
Between coats I have sanded the pieces.
Does anyone have any ideas?

Thanks Schummie.

-- Greetings from the Netherlands.

View Gerald Thompson's profile

Gerald Thompson

445 posts in 986 days


#6 posted 08-28-2012 10:07 PM

The top right corner looks better than the rest. Thevgrain shows and the color is better.

-- Jerry

View Schummie's profile

Schummie

203 posts in 2517 days


#7 posted 08-29-2012 06:48 PM

I looked today to a Finishes video from Tommy (Rough Cut) and when I heard it ride he used on his
dark Walnut table:
- boiled linseed oil,
- Shellac (blonde),
- dark Wax.
The table looked very nice, so far I could see.
I think that this is the solution for our entertainment centre or do you have a other idea ?

Thank you, for all your help guys.

Schummie.

-- Greetings from the Netherlands.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

2045 posts in 1245 days


#8 posted 08-29-2012 08:33 PM

Shellac is a great finish, but not very resistant to many cleaning products (at least some that are here in the states). Ammonia and other high alkali cleaners will damage it, the good news is it’s easy to repair. It’s not quite as scratch resistant (IMHO) as the Top Coat you have, shellac is a very hard finish (scratches easily) and a very thin finish as well. But it’s also a very nice finish that doesn’t (again, my opinion) get as much attention as it should.

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

View Nighttripper's profile

Nighttripper

41 posts in 919 days


#9 posted 08-29-2012 11:24 PM

I have read that Shellac really enhances Walnut.

Also, you might consider filling the grain, which is very effective on Walnut. Since you are using BLO, the easiest way would be with an oil slurry. It would really give you a clearer, glass-like finish that I bet you would be happy with. Then just use the topcoat that you have, as your top right test piece does look pretty good.

View Millo's profile

Millo

543 posts in 1801 days


#10 posted 08-29-2012 11:39 PM

schummie, it’s great to see you did those test pieces… I’m thinking about finishing a walnut project with a light coat of some sort of oil-based finish, then shellac, then high-performance (satin or semi-closs), then renaissance wax… I might do some pore-filling. My only gripe w/ Arm R Seal is the durable stench. Ugh.

That top-right corner looks very good.

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