non-darkening finish technique for walnut bench

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Forum topic by Mark Shultz posted 279 days ago 488 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Mark Shultz

62 posts in 1015 days

279 days ago

I’m putting a walnut bench atop our shoe storage in our new mudroom area. while the walnut glue up has sat in the basement unfinished, my wife has fallen in love with its light cream color, and almost purplish undertones. when i put water on it to test my sanding, the color darkens considerably – quite nicely in my opinion, but too dark for my wife’s preferences.

Can anyone recommend a finishing technique that isn’t going to darken the color?

7 replies so far

View Texcaster's profile


651 posts in 299 days

#1 posted 279 days ago

Blonde shellac won’t change it much.

-- Bill....... I listen very closely to the timber and then impose my will.

View Mark Shultz's profile

Mark Shultz

62 posts in 1015 days

#2 posted 278 days ago

Thanks Tex. Other suggestions?

View Finisherman's profile


195 posts in 474 days

#3 posted 278 days ago

CAB (aka water-white) lacquer would well, provided that you have the ability to spray your finishes. Otherwise, a waterborne finish would probably work really well. They dry very clear and impart little in the way of colour to the wood.

View AandCstyle's profile


1286 posts in 882 days

#4 posted 278 days ago

Take a look at Target's EM9000.

Also, be aware that walnut will lighten in color over time with exposure to light.

-- Art

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1419 posts in 986 days

#5 posted 278 days ago

Waterborne poly.

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

View Loren's profile


7389 posts in 2273 days

#6 posted 278 days ago

You might try filling the pores with something on the lighter
side. Seal with the blondest shellac you can get, or like
Clint says, a waterborne poly. Do some tests.


View DeltaDaddy's profile


52 posts in 279 days

#7 posted 278 days ago

I’m with Art, Walnut lightens considerably with exposure to sunlight. I just finished my stair project about 7 months ago and the walnut post at the bottom near the door is lightening up quite a bit. so are my window Jam extensions. I just used pre cat. laquer

-- Take it apart to see how it works

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