Finishing walnut

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Forum topic by sawdust99 posted 08-08-2014 02:36 PM 2515 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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26 posts in 3126 days

08-08-2014 02:36 PM

when I put on a wood sealer on walnut it turns real dark. What is best way to finish walnut so you can see the grain and not have it turn real dark ? Thanks for any help.


9 replies so far

View Pezking7p's profile


3230 posts in 1886 days

#1 posted 08-08-2014 02:37 PM

What wood sealer are you using?

-- -Dan

View sawdust99's profile


26 posts in 3126 days

#2 posted 08-08-2014 03:14 PM

i have used 2 or 3 different ones and get same result.


View jmartel's profile


8276 posts in 2384 days

#3 posted 08-08-2014 03:17 PM

What have you sanded the wood to?

I typically finish Walnut with Arm-R-Seal. It’s dark brown, but really lights up and shows off grain in sunlight.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View shampeon's profile


1894 posts in 2418 days

#4 posted 08-08-2014 03:32 PM

Are they all oil-based?

A thin blonde shellac coat will keep the grain visible and minimize the darkening. And I imagine a water-based poly would do the same.

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

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2298 posts in 2604 days

#5 posted 08-08-2014 03:32 PM

What have you sanded the wood to?

I typically finish Walnut with Arm-R-Seal. It s dark brown, but really lights up and shows off grain in sunlight.

- jmartel

+1 to Arm-R-Seal. I usually wipe on anywhere from 3 to 6 coats, depending on the item being finished. Never seen walnut turn black.

Edit : Low quality picture of walnut with 3 coats of Arm-R-Seal

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View Woodknack's profile


12455 posts in 2614 days

#6 posted 08-08-2014 04:23 PM

The walnut should lighten a bit over time. Lacquer or blonde shellac alone will give you the most neutral color.

-- Rick M,

View CharlesNeil's profile


2468 posts in 4105 days

#7 posted 08-08-2014 04:32 PM

The issue with Walnut these days is most of it is steamed, they do this to get the tannins in the wood to leach into the sap wood and color it, unfortunately it also causes the walnut to be much darker and often it will have a purple cast to it. While I could give you a dye formula, or as stated use some amber or blond shellac some Golden oak stain will often help alot . It helps to impart the golden hue as well as lightens it a tad. But be sure to do a test first to be sure your happy.

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 2595 days

#8 posted 08-08-2014 04:38 PM

Try using just waterborne poly. Nothing else. It’ll cause the least darkening.

-- 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 Bill White's profile

Bill White

5148 posts in 4195 days

#9 posted 08-08-2014 05:30 PM

Kinda wonder what ya want walnut to look like.
I, for one, want the deeper hues, but I don’t wash out the sap wood or the grain show.
Just me.


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