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Finishing for CA softwoods in a small apartment

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Forum topic by siavosh posted 07-18-2013 03:06 AM 544 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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siavosh

282 posts in 522 days


07-18-2013 03:06 AM

Topic tags/keywords: finish pine softwood apartment

Hi folks,

Complete novice here. I just started making small projects out of low cost pine and redwood and am overwhelmed with the information online. I’m sure this has been asked before, but I have an additional constraint where I don’t have a dedicated workshop or garage and am concerned about fumes, toxicity, ventilation etc.

I was wondering if you all have recommendations for a simple, easy, non-toxic, apartment friendly finish for small pine/softwood projects. I’d like to preserve and enhance the look/grain of the wood so I’m guessing I prefer a clear finish.

Thanks!

-- http://woodspotting.com/ -- Discover and follow 100's of woodworking blogs


8 replies so far

View shampeon's profile

shampeon

1376 posts in 834 days


#1 posted 07-18-2013 03:18 AM

Shellac. The solvent is alcohol, and that will cause some fumes, but shellac dries very quickly, and doesn’t out-gas. It’s non-toxic (it’s used to coat pills and apples), and it looks great on pine. You can wipe it on. Pick up some premixed Bullseye Seal Coat shellac from the hardware store and a can of denatured alcohol.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View Manitario's profile

Manitario

2334 posts in 1534 days


#2 posted 07-18-2013 03:31 AM

some of the water based finishes have less potent odor than the typical solvent based finishes, and they clean up with soap and water. It’s hard to mess up finishing pine! Pick up a few small cans of finish and try on some scrap.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View Cosmicsniper's profile

Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1809 days


#3 posted 07-18-2013 04:28 AM

Ditto, shellac.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

View siavosh's profile

siavosh

282 posts in 522 days


#4 posted 07-18-2013 07:44 AM

Thanks folks, shellac it is!

-- http://woodspotting.com/ -- Discover and follow 100's of woodworking blogs

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1448 posts in 1012 days


#5 posted 07-18-2013 11:51 AM

Waterborne poly: no volatiles, non-toxic, no odor, fast dry, durable, soap and water cleanup.

Shellac: alcohol based, toxic, odiferous, poor protection, messy alcohol cleanup.

-- 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 siavosh's profile

siavosh

282 posts in 522 days


#6 posted 07-18-2013 04:50 PM

Thanks Clint, maybe I’ll get both and experiment…

-- http://woodspotting.com/ -- Discover and follow 100's of woodworking blogs

View shampeon's profile

shampeon

1376 posts in 834 days


#7 posted 07-18-2013 07:02 PM

Shellac is non-toxic. Citation. Denatured alcohol is, but it is the solvent and will evaporate quickly (most of it within 20 minutes).

Polyurethane is similarly non-toxic when cured. Waterborne poly has much fewer VOCs than oil-based poly, but still outgasses. E.g. see the summary here. I’ve never used a waterborne finish that didn’t have odor.

Both would work. Shellac will cure faster, which means less time with the windows open, but Clint is right that cleanup is easier with waterborne finishes.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View crank49's profile

crank49

3421 posts in 1622 days


#8 posted 07-18-2013 08:34 PM

Minwax Polycrylic. A clear water based durable finish. Drys super fast, no smell. Not cheap, however.

Shellac is good also, but dissolves in the presence of alcohol so don’t use it on the bar. A super sealer to put under other finishes.

-- Michael :-{| “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― A H

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