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finishing recommendations for a walnut writing desk

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Forum topic by adamclyde posted 06-03-2013 06:37 PM 875 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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adamclyde

40 posts in 1374 days


06-03-2013 06:37 PM

I’m in the process of making a antique-style schoolhouse writing desk. It’s made completely out of walnut, except for the drawer bottom, which is walnut veneered plywood.

I am totally new to finishing furniture, and this will be my first project that isn’t painted, soo… I’m trying to find a good simple solution.

The wood is beautiful, so I want to let the wood do most of the work. I was thinking of maybe just a wax or boiled linseed oil finish, but the desk is for my 5 year old son and at some point, I’m sure he will leave a cup on it, or spill some water paint on it at some point.

Would wax or BLO be enough? Or should I do a poly finish of some sort?

Sorry this is such a basic request!


5 replies so far

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

14940 posts in 2151 days


#1 posted 06-04-2013 01:33 AM

I am a big fan of rubbed on shellac. Not as durable as poly but looks better to me and MUCH easier to repair/redo in the future.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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adamclyde

40 posts in 1374 days


#2 posted 06-04-2013 01:49 AM

thank you. I haven’t used shellac, but for some reason I have the impression that it is great for a shiny, “hardened” kind of look. What is the final look of rubbed on shellac?

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gfadvm

14940 posts in 2151 days


#3 posted 06-04-2013 02:33 AM

Look at my projects to see rubbed on shellac results.

“A picture is worth a thousand words!”

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View NiteWalker's profile

NiteWalker

2735 posts in 2037 days


#4 posted 06-04-2013 10:01 AM

Walnut is a bit too open grained for a writing desk IMHO. I would add a grain filler first, then top coat with arm-r-seal. There was a woodworker who did a stress test on another forum (woodnet; check it out, it’s great!) with a few polys and the arm-r-seal came out on top.

Shellac and wax aren’t durable enough for a desk IMHO.

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

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 1822 days


#5 posted 06-04-2013 02:13 PM

BLO is only good for starting fires. Use waterborne poly.

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

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