help with book case decisions please!

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Forum topic by Jon1094 posted 12-15-2012 11:49 AM 888 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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41 posts in 2169 days

12-15-2012 11:49 AM

I am almost finished with my daughter’s book case and I know almost nothing about finishing. The case is cherry plywood with hardwood edging. From what I have read I am contemplating a couple coats of BLO followed by shellac. I am not sure if I should add anything over the shellac like a varnish, poly or laquer.

I also will be adding a plywood backing onto this and trying to clean away my bad glue job. Please any advice would help but remember I am a novice finisher.

Following are two pictures of the case and what I currently have on hand. I can buy more if it is needed.



5 replies so far

View Don W's profile

Don W

18685 posts in 2531 days

#1 posted 12-15-2012 02:00 PM

I would do the shellac or poly. I personally like poly on cherry, but shellac will work to.

I see a can of stain sitting there. Don’t open that can while finishing it.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5804 posts in 3158 days

#2 posted 12-15-2012 03:11 PM

With cherry being a natural beautiful wood, I would prolly put a couple of coats of Watco Danish Oil on it first, letting each coat dry good…...Then put a few coats of a hand-rubbed polyeurthane on it….Be sure it’s sanded really smooth, and don’t cut into the vaneer…...Do a small test sample to determine the look you’re after, wheather it’s BLO, or D.O…...You could even use a 50/50 mix of tung oil and mineral spirits first, followed by a few coats of poly…....I’ve done it several ways…..just depends on how and which products you want to use….....piece of cake…..!!!!!

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 2325 days

#3 posted 12-15-2012 03:11 PM

Waterborne poly is all that’s needed; I like Varathane. First coat rubbed back with maroon scotchbrite to get rid of the fuzzies, followed by two more coats, and rubbed out with 0000 steel wool lubed with paste wax, polished with an old tee shirt. Done in a couple days.

BLO is only good for starting fires.

-- 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 Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3122 days

#4 posted 12-15-2012 04:01 PM

I would wipe the whole thing down with mineral spirits and look at it. If you like what that looks like, then just poly, shellac, or lacquer it. Remember that cherry will dark over time. If you think it needs something else, then I’d go the Danish oil route first, then the film finish. Like Clint, I’d avoid the BLO. LOL.

-- jay,

View a1Jim's profile


117061 posts in 3541 days

#5 posted 12-15-2012 04:33 PM

Given your dealing with cherry it is very prone to blotching this means you need to use a conditioner on first to help control the possibility of blotching. The most effective conditioner is one made by Charles Neil a finishing and woodworking expert .Here’s a review I did on it. The other thing blotch control does is it allows plywood and hardwood to have the same color otherwise the two look very different . Charles is also coming out with a book that covers all aspects of finishing that would be a great aid for finishing on future projects.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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