English Walnut Finishing : Completely Transparent

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Forum topic by brianaltman posted 336 days ago 765 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 336 days

336 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: walnut finishing transparent clear

I have a 150 year old English walnut table that I am refinishing. Upon removing the stain , the walnut is beautiful and we would like showcase the wood without any tint or stain color of any kind.

I have tried many approaches: Shellac, Water based Poly, diluted Poly, Tung Oil, Lacquer, etc in various dilutions and combinations. All oils give an amber tint, to some degree. Even the water Poly give more color than we would wish.

I have also tried just wax, which comes close.

Any thoughts?

8 replies so far

View Loco's profile


210 posts in 352 days

#1 posted 336 days ago

Get a 2 part urethane especially made for hardwood flooring.

-- What day is it ? No matter. Ummmm What month is it ? No moron. I paid for a 2 x 6. That means Two inches by six inches. I want the rest of my wood.

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211 posts in 1210 days

#2 posted 336 days ago

The clearest finish I have worked with is from sherwin williams called Kem Aqua Plus

View mrjinx007's profile


1322 posts in 371 days

#3 posted 336 days ago

Oil base poly, gloss does a good job. I have few walnut projects with walnut and poly you can look at and decide. One thing though, with poly, you have to exercise much patience.


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404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 1572 days

#4 posted 336 days ago

Osmo light worktop oil is the most transparent finish I’ve ever encountered.

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Fred Hargis

1654 posts in 1096 days

#5 posted 336 days ago

CAB acrylic finishes are water clear, and do not yellow. There are several on the market, here's one.

-- I long for the days when Coke was a cola, and a joint was a bad place to be (Merle Haggard)

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Clint Searl

1392 posts in 964 days

#6 posted 336 days ago

CAB acrylic solvent lacquer or waterborne poly floor finish.

-- Clint Searl.............We deserve what we tolerate

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1116 posts in 2474 days

#7 posted 335 days ago

+ 1 on the Kem Aqua Plus

View RussellAP's profile


2938 posts in 890 days

#8 posted 335 days ago

I work a lot with walnut and I am having trouble understanding your question. is it all sapwood? Anything you put on walnut even water will darken it. A light coat of danish oil, is the same as anything else you could use, it all darkens because it all wets.
You want to keep it from dark blotchy finishes and that usually means (to me at least) Arm-r-seal clear satin poly.

Can you tell us more about your surface prep. What grit is it sanded to? Some say 240g is plenty, I like 320-600g on my walnut so the grain quality stays clearer.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

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