Does anyone use WD-40 as a finish?

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Forum topic by johnhutchinson posted 01-05-2014 01:08 AM 9065 views 1 time favorited 58 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1193 posts in 1089 days

01-05-2014 01:08 AM

Maybe I should be asking if ANYONE ELSE uses WD-40 as finish, because my brother does. He sprays it on, sands with 400-grit wet/dry paper, and buffs with an old cotton t-shirt. He gets spectacular results and the semi-gloss finish seems to last forever with no discoloration of the wood. Even his work in cherry, which is prone to oxidation, stays bright for years.

-- John - Central Ohio - "too much is never enough"

58 replies so far

View Texcaster's profile


1138 posts in 1134 days

#1 posted 01-05-2014 01:17 AM

I haven’t tried it as a polish but it’s great for knocking out wasp nests!

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

View Loren's profile


8295 posts in 3108 days

#2 posted 01-05-2014 01:25 AM

Never. It might function like kerosene, which stains
wood. Some old timers were known to use used
motor oil. Many if not most oils will polymerize from
oxidation and thus sort of harden up on the surface
of the wood.

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Monte Pittman

21984 posts in 1798 days

#3 posted 01-05-2014 01:28 AM

Guess I have never heard of that before. I will be interested to see the posts.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View dawsonbob's profile


1909 posts in 1215 days

#4 posted 01-05-2014 01:35 AM

What Can’t you use WD-40 for, other than on your morning cereal or evening martini? I think Ill grab a piece of scrap tomorrow and give it a try.

-- Mistakes are what pave the road to perfection

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1193 posts in 1089 days

#5 posted 01-05-2014 01:51 AM

I read somewhere that it’s been used to refinish hardwood strip flooring.
Wonder if it’s non-slip? :)

What my brother seems to be doing is creating a micro-filler slurry for the wood. I recently saw something on Woodsmith where Don was using a similar technique … but not with WD-40.

-- John - Central Ohio - "too much is never enough"

View patron's profile


13535 posts in 2801 days

#6 posted 01-05-2014 02:00 AM

we used automatic transmission fluid
on the teak at a boat company i worked for in florida

it was cheaper than teak oil

worked ok

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View bowedcurly's profile


515 posts in 1189 days

#7 posted 01-05-2014 02:27 AM

gonna try it

-- Staining killed the wood<<<<<>>>>>Dyeing gave it life

View BentheViking's profile


1763 posts in 2024 days

#8 posted 01-05-2014 02:38 AM

follow up question. Has anyone used duck tape as a finish?

yeah me either!

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

View johnhutchinson's profile


1193 posts in 1089 days

#9 posted 01-05-2014 03:17 AM

Okay, go ahead, knock yourself out with a good yuck. :)

He used WD-40 exclusively on the rotary box we published with American Woodworker. We told them what he used, but I don’t think they believed it because they never revealed the “secret”.

-- John - Central Ohio - "too much is never enough"

View luv2learn's profile


2458 posts in 1763 days

#10 posted 01-05-2014 04:53 AM

I never heard of using WD-40 as a finish but then again I haven’t heard about many things that work as a finish. I guess I will have to give this a go myself :-)

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View lab7654's profile


264 posts in 1707 days

#11 posted 01-05-2014 05:03 AM

How does it smell after it…”cures”? The smell of it gives me a headache whenever I use it. I wonder if it repels water?

-- Tristin King -- When in doubt, sand it.

View doubleDD's profile


5213 posts in 1503 days

#12 posted 01-05-2014 05:34 AM

WE used it as a touch up for trim work that was already finished. Worked great.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View oldnovice's profile


5721 posts in 2828 days

#13 posted 01-05-2014 05:57 AM

I have seen others use it but I have never tried it as I think the smell would never really go away and that would not be very desirable.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View NormG's profile


5499 posts in 2464 days

#14 posted 01-05-2014 06:17 AM

You learn something new daily

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View johnhutchinson's profile


1193 posts in 1089 days

#15 posted 01-05-2014 06:25 AM

For those who have been asking about a smell after it cures, there is none that I can detect.

I think the WD-40 finish must be a wooden clockmaker “secret”. That’s my brother’s primary area of interest. Makes sense, I guess.

-- John - Central Ohio - "too much is never enough"

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