non-darkening finish technique for walnut bench

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Forum topic by Mark Shultz posted 11-15-2013 02:37 AM 1180 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Mark Shultz

92 posts in 2228 days

11-15-2013 02:37 AM

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


1262 posts in 1512 days

#1 posted 11-15-2013 03:20 AM

Blonde shellac won’t change it much.

-- Mama calls me Texcaster but my real name is Mr. Earl.

View Mark Shultz's profile

Mark Shultz

92 posts in 2228 days

#2 posted 11-16-2013 12:01 AM

Thanks Tex. Other suggestions?

View Finisherman's profile


227 posts in 1687 days

#3 posted 11-16-2013 12:26 AM

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


2905 posts in 2095 days

#4 posted 11-16-2013 12:37 AM

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

1533 posts in 2199 days

#5 posted 11-16-2013 01:07 AM

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

View Loren's profile (online now)


9632 posts in 3486 days

#6 posted 11-16-2013 01:16 AM

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 1492 days

#7 posted 11-16-2013 01:35 AM

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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