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Forum topic by buschywooder posted 03-29-2014 03:12 AM 1074 views 1 time favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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buschywooder

20 posts in 1973 days


03-29-2014 03:12 AM

Topic tags/keywords: finishing walnut cabinets

Just getting started on fronting kitchen cabinets with home sawn walnut. Air dried and stored inside for 20+ years, but thinking I will have to put it in the kiln after it is cut to size (rails, stiles, and boards for panels and drawer glue ups). I like what I’ve seen done with drawers, continuing the grain, and was planning on doing the same. This kitchen is small, and the only place to put in a toe kick drawer, hubby put in a toe kick heater instead…..Slant Fin. Big question is really…..what finish to use? Planning on spraying as much as I can. Being cautious about WB on walnut, mostly because of what I’ve read about them looking muddy on walnut and a few other woods. Gave myself an early Mother’s Day present of an Earlex 5500, and added a 1.5 mm needle to the package. So far, I’m really enjoying it over the conversion gun I had ben trying. Have heard that Vintage Cherry and lacquer looks good, but what about endurance in a kitchen? And I’ve never stained/dyed walnut before. Anyone? I know there are a lot of experienced cabinet makers out there!

—Dana, Illinois

-- Dana, Illinois


14 replies so far

View redSLED's profile

redSLED

790 posts in 1356 days


#1 posted 03-29-2014 03:25 AM

So . . . you’ve narrowed your finish down to an oil-based spray finish, correct?

-- Perfection is the difference between too much and not enough.

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buschywooder

20 posts in 1973 days


#2 posted 03-29-2014 12:43 PM

Not really. Won’t it take a long time to dry between coats? I’m learning about the different lacquers, but have no experience with them. Isn’t that what the finish is on purchased cabinetry?

-- Dana, Illinois

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3937 posts in 1956 days


#3 posted 03-29-2014 01:17 PM

The lacquer used on factory cabinets is a catalyzed lacquer, much more durable than the common stuff you buy, and much more hazardous to use. I’d suggest you consider a good waterborne. That wouldn’t be my first choice, but if spraying is a criteria, it will work well, and a good one will be quite durable. I think most of the stuff about the muddy look was from the earlier formulas. The new ones are water clear, which also means you want to do something to enhance the color before you apply them (at least buy some and check the appearance out yourself). As for the color, a coat of garnet shellac may give you what you want, or a coat of BLO. If you choose BLO let it cure a wekk or so before applying waterborne AND DO NOT let any of it get inside the cabinet (it will smell forever when couped up like that) My first choice would be an alkyd varnish, but life is miserable when you try to spray it, and it takes quite a while to cure. Consider using pre finished plywood for heh carcase, really saves you time finishing the inside, and looks quite nice.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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buschywooder

20 posts in 1973 days


#4 posted 03-29-2014 08:00 PM

Thanks, Fred. Carcases are done, and will have walnut panels put on the ends. Made of ply, they are painted inside, more for visibility sake, than anything else. So, do you think the newer versions of WB poly are ok for walnut? I saw one company actually recommends one of theirs specifically for walnut and cherry, over their other offering. Can I get decent product from BB stores, or will I have to go online. I’ve really only read about Enduro, Target, and a little of Campbell. Our CU Woodshop here in Champaign carries GF and Behlen/Mohawk. They can probably get me most anything I want. Appreciate your advice.

-- Dana, Illinois

View RussellAP's profile

RussellAP

3059 posts in 1750 days


#5 posted 03-29-2014 08:14 PM

Two lb cut of blonde shellac, then satin poly on top. It will look stunning.
You know that if you cut your pieces, then throw them in a kiln, they wont fit anymore. If the wood is that wet, dry it before you cut it.

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

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RussellAP

3059 posts in 1750 days


#6 posted 03-29-2014 08:18 PM

Also, if you plan to use BLO, which is almost always not the best choice for anything, try it on a test piece. Walnut has tannin’s and blo can and will react with those tannin’s and make it so dark you can’t see the grain. I’ve used danish oil with much much better results.

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

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buschywooder

20 posts in 1973 days


#7 posted 03-31-2014 12:09 PM

Russell, only putting pieces cut to rough size in the kiln, stickered and only to get them down a couple more % points. Roland Johnson recommended that to me at the Wood show.

And is the poly ok to spray? And are you talking oil or WB. I’m still investigating the different brands for their effects on walnut. Good point about how dark BLO will make it.

-- Dana, Illinois

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RussellAP

3059 posts in 1750 days


#8 posted 03-31-2014 12:23 PM

Buschywooder, I normally rag on oil poly, or use a foam brush if I am doing a flat surface. It will clog a sprayer if it’s not thin enough and thinning it will cause it to run. I use a cotton fabric available at paint stores. They come in 1’x1’ size and if you get some cotton balls, stick about 10 of them inside the cotton and apply the poly that way. It gives a smooth application, yet you can squeeze some out when needed for tough spots like corners. I always use satin poly, so two coats is plenty. If you’re using a gloss then you will likely need more than two coats to get it even. Gloss is much more visible than satin.

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

View lumberjoe's profile

lumberjoe

2893 posts in 1711 days


#9 posted 03-31-2014 05:34 PM

I recently applied a bunch of different finishes on pieces of walnut

Waterborne alone leaves the walnut a bit flat

On the left is a waterborne gloss poly – 3 coats brushed on. On the right is an oil based semigloss poly. The middle is natural wood.

I would recommend spraying a waterborne lacquer for your final topcoat. Something like Target Coatings EM6000 would hold up really well in a kitchen.

As far as bringing out grain, nothing does it better than oil on walnut. If you use BLO, cut it 50% with mineral spirits and go really light. Give it at least 10 days to polymerize before shooting the lacquer. I would avoid the danish oil. Danish oil is just BLO with some poly and solvents in it. You don’t need the varnish component here.

Polermized tung oil actually looks nice on walnut as well. Apply it similarly to the BLO. Thin it 50% with mineral spirits and let it cure for 10 days before spaying lacquer.

Dewaxed shellac actually doesn’t do much for walnut compared to an oil based finish. In my finishing testing, my experience was the exact opposite of what russell recommends. Below is a piece with dewaxed shellac on the right, and a gloss Arm-r-seal on the left (again, BLO component). The shellac really muted the figure compared to the oil finish. Also a 2lb cut is far too heavy for a washcoat. 1lb cut is what you want.

-- https://pinepointwoodworks.wordpress.com/

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3937 posts in 1956 days


#10 posted 03-31-2014 06:19 PM

Don’t get too wrapped up in what the waterborne finishes called themselves. Whether they name it “lacquer”, “poly”, or some other magic word, they are still predominantly an acrylic finish….all the same at heart. Oil based “poly” (varnish) can be sprayed, but some cautions apply to doing that as well (especially if it’s indoors). Oil based finishes cure very slowly, so the over spray mist that coats everything will stick to it and then cure, making clean up a huge headache (among other things).....it’s as much a problem as spraying oil based paint and the two are quite similar in that respect. Spraying a water borne is different, the stuff dries in the air and you sweep the white dust up from the floor (that’s the acrylic resin). I recommended BLO just for the reason that it will turn the walnut dark, if that doesn’t appeal to you, avoid using oil or oil based finishes as the first coat (back to the shellac). Lastly, I wouldn’t buy anything for this from the BB stores, get one of the name brands on line or from a “real” paint store. Any of those brands you mentioned will have a web site and list stocking dealers, though it might be easier to just go on line.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View lumberjoe's profile

lumberjoe

2893 posts in 1711 days


#11 posted 03-31-2014 06:44 PM

First, saying all waterborne finishes are the same is a huge disservice to waterborne finishes. While not traditionally “Lacquer” or “poly”, they are not all the same thing in a different can. If they were your last statement about going to a “real” store holds no value.

The EM6000 I recommended is nothing at all like Minwax Polycrylic. For example Em6000 can be repaired without any whiteness lines. Try to do that with polycrylic.

Also waterborne finishes have come a long way since you probably read that flexner article. Most pro finishers use waterborne “lacquers” almost exclusively now.

-- https://pinepointwoodworks.wordpress.com/

View shampeon's profile

shampeon

1713 posts in 1646 days


#12 posted 03-31-2014 06:58 PM

EM6000 is a fantastic finish. It’s so easy to spray & cleanup, dries fast, and won’t destroy your lungs.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View buschywooder's profile

buschywooder

20 posts in 1973 days


#13 posted 04-01-2014 03:37 PM

So…....it seems like padding on an oil poly thinned 50% for color, then EM 6000 from Target (2 coats of each do?). How many coats of each? And do you have any more recommendations for brands? I’ve only ever used what I could buy locally; Minwax for wipe on poly, and straight poly. Very uncertain about what the better brands are. I know there is Deft and Varathane locally, as well as GF which I could have to order for gallon size. Any better recommendations from your experience?

-- Dana, Illinois

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

4854 posts in 2276 days


#14 posted 04-01-2014 03:43 PM

Put the lumber in a kiln, then mill the parts. Reversing the order here can leave you with warped parts.

As far as finish, I like Rudd lacquer in the satin sheen. It sprays well, and two coats is all you need. I scuff sand with 320 grit soft sanding sponges between coats, and wet sand the final coat with a 1500 grit sponge (optional).

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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