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How should you finish "old" wood

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Forum topic by bygrace posted 11-21-2013 03:46 AM 815 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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bygrace

164 posts in 1431 days


11-21-2013 03:46 AM

I have a friend who asked me how to refinish a small bookcase he has made out of 1×12’s pulled from an old house his grandfather(?) lived in. He wants to keep the rustic look of the wood, its grayish in color and a little rough to the touch. My experience with finishes is very limited so I was hoping for some help from you guys and gals. I thought maybe a few coats of Watco natural oil would help but wasn’t sure what to seal it with.
Any thoughts?

-- Andy, Waxahachie, Tx.


8 replies so far

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CharlesNeil

1610 posts in 3332 days


#1 posted 11-23-2013 03:43 PM

Unfortunately , there is not much you can use that will not alter the color , a Water base finish will change it the least, out side of that , Formbys tung oil in a low gloss sheen would be next, but anything is going to darken the color, you will just have to do a test and see if its acceptable .

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Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2312 days


#2 posted 11-23-2013 03:50 PM

The gray is the finish. Anything on top of that will take it right into the “What the heck?” category. You might find a similar piece of material and add a few brush strokes of various surface finishes and show it to your friend. I think he’ll want the piece back immediately.

Kindly,

Lee

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

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Bill White

4450 posts in 3422 days


#3 posted 11-23-2013 05:38 PM

I might just skip sand to knock off any “roughies”, then the natural Watco.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

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CharlesNeil

1610 posts in 3332 days


#4 posted 11-23-2013 06:34 PM

Bill,

Watco oil, as with any oil is going to darken it more, because the oil will react with the wood, Water base is non- reactive , the Formbys is thin and dries fast, thus less reaction .

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Finisherman

227 posts in 1311 days


#5 posted 11-23-2013 08:37 PM

Waterborne finishes would be a good choice, for the reasons mentioned above. Blonde shellac might be another viable option for antique lumber. It won’t change the colour as much as an oil based finish would, and it’s more period appropriate.

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bygrace

164 posts in 1431 days


#6 posted 11-24-2013 12:36 AM

Thanks everyone for your input. I think I’ll try some water based finishes on the underside of the bottom shelf as you suggested Charles, maybe even some tung oil just to see if he likes it. But thank you all so much.

-- Andy, Waxahachie, Tx.

View CharlesNeil's profile

CharlesNeil

1610 posts in 3332 days


#7 posted 11-24-2013 05:33 PM

Formbys is not tung oil its a varnish oil, and dries fast, thats important, a pure tung oil will take forever to dry and change the color as will any slow dring oil

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 2431 days


#8 posted 11-24-2013 05:40 PM

Osmo Polyx hardwax oil for light woods would be my choice. That’s the stuff they put on countertops, the clearest finish I ever saw.

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