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Need advise on finish for Cherry

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Forum topic by Joel_B posted 09-14-2014 11:10 PM 1640 views 0 times favorited 38 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Joel_B

294 posts in 844 days


09-14-2014 11:10 PM

I am planning to build some bedroom furniture from Cherry and would like the finish to be natural looking with low gloss. After doing some research I see two basic options, oils or poly.
I have had some good results using satin wipe on poly and the finish should be durable and not need much maintenance.
I am not sure how oil would compare in terms of looks and durability, I don’t want to have to reapply it periodically unless its a long time. I like the idea of using tung oil being that is non toxic. I would prefer to use something that doesn’t give off noxious fumes during and after application but I realize that isn’t always possible.
I realize that Cherry darkens over time and some people try to stain it. I just want to leave it natural and don’t care specifically what the color is. It is what it is. I am hoping to finish the surface with a hand plane and not do any sanding. Of course I will be doing some testing on scrap pieces.

Thanks

-- Joel, Encinitas, CA


38 replies so far

View crank49's profile

crank49

3981 posts in 2434 days


#1 posted 09-15-2014 12:23 AM

I had a Cherry bar built for our kitchen remodel and it is finished with satin lacquer; sprayed on.
It looks beautiful, but I worry about how durable it will be with water getting on it and such.

You can use oil to get the best look for the grain and then seal it, after it dries, with dewaxed shellac.
Then, after lightly sanding the shellac, you can top coat with water based poly.
This is the best of both worlds. Looks great and is durable.
What I plan to do if the lacquer dies on my bar.

-- Michael: Hillary has a long list of accomplishments, though most DAs would refer to them as felonies.

View Sawdustmaker115's profile

Sawdustmaker115

306 posts in 1184 days


#2 posted 09-15-2014 12:26 AM


I had a Cherry bar built for our kitchen remodel and it is finished with satin lacquer; sprayed on.
It looks beautiful, but I worry about how durable it will be with water getting on it and such.

You can use oil to get the best look for the grain and then seal it afte it dries with dewaxed shellac.
Then, after lightly sanding the shellac, you can top coat with water based poly.
This is the best of both worlds. Looks great and is durable.
What I plan to do if the lacquer dies on my bar.

- crank49

+ 1

-- Anthony--http://knottywoodshop.weebly.com/

View derosa's profile

derosa

1568 posts in 2299 days


#3 posted 09-15-2014 12:26 AM

I really like the look of Danish oil and wax, let’s the grain show through nicely and cherry is reasonably tough enough as bedroom furniture to not really need a tough finish. Could end up with water stains on the end tables so supply coasters if you bring a drink to bed.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

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CharlesA

3022 posts in 1261 days


#4 posted 09-15-2014 12:30 AM

Satin Arm-R-Seal. It will naturally darken over time. Looks like this:

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View Joel_B's profile

Joel_B

294 posts in 844 days


#5 posted 09-15-2014 01:12 AM



I had a Cherry bar built for our kitchen remodel and it is finished with satin lacquer; sprayed on.
It looks beautiful, but I worry about how durable it will be with water getting on it and such.

You can use oil to get the best look for the grain and then seal it, after it dries, with dewaxed shellac.
Then, after lightly sanding the shellac, you can top coat with water based poly.
This is the best of both worlds. Looks great and is durable.
What I plan to do if the lacquer dies on my bar.

- crank49

What are pros and cons of different oils such tung, danish, linseed?
Does the poly have to be water based? I am asking because I don’t think it looks that good, but admit I don’t have a lot of experience with it.
Yes I wanted to avoid fumes but I could make an exception here.

-- Joel, Encinitas, CA

View ChefHDAN's profile

ChefHDAN

808 posts in 2313 days


#6 posted 09-15-2014 01:19 AM

My cherry hall table was finished with 3 coats of BLO and they 3 coats of water based poly, these are current pics and if you look at the pics in my projects from 4 years ago you can see how it darkened. I built this with lumber from a sawyer who could assure me the lumber was from the same tree and the aging is consistent.

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View Pezking7p's profile

Pezking7p

3097 posts in 1115 days


#7 posted 09-15-2014 01:27 AM

Wipe on oil-based poly isn’t so bad. I finished a side table in my house last winter with watch satin poly. Never noticed the smell, though it was in a room we don’t use often. I think it’s easy to apply and it makes the cherry look good, too.

I think the only reason to use an oil (not an oil finish like Danish oil, which is a varnish not an oil) is because of the color it adds such as BLO, or because you want it to make the grain look a certain way. From what you’re saying about how you want the cherry to look, I think you should skip the oil and just use poly.

-- -Dan

View bonesbr549's profile

bonesbr549

1176 posts in 2530 days


#8 posted 09-15-2014 02:09 AM

I work mostly with Cherry. The best finish I’ve found is Waterlox. I prefer a satin finish. I hate the plastic looks. I spray it on. It’s ann oil base finish so you apply a coat wait 24hrs and do a 2n’d . I generally go with 3 coats and rub out the last one.

If you want a water base then I’d go general finishes high performance for a top coat. I’ve sprayed a coat and in two hours been ready to do another. If you want to color, don’t stain! Use Dyes.

Here is Waterlox on a hutch I did and a wine cabinet.
https://flic.kr/s/aHsjDQLAxi

The Bed is general finishes dye and High performance top coat.
https://flic.kr/s/aHsjDxpcFT

The biggest difference between the two finishes is that the oil will give the nice amber hue and it the most labor intensive.

The water base is the easiest to use, and the most forgiving!

Good luck!

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View crank49's profile

crank49

3981 posts in 2434 days


#9 posted 09-15-2014 02:13 AM

For me, products like tung oil, danish oil, etc. make the grain of the wood have depth.
Just make it look good.
But, I don’t think these types of products are as durable as poly.
They can be easily re-applied as needed because re-application will just melt into the existing surface.
So, for some applications they are just fine, especially if you don’t mind renewing it ocassionally.

Poly on the other hand forms a shell, a protective coating, but can’t be re-applied after it’s finished without sanding and prep work.

Water based poly is very durable, odorless, an does not yellow or change the color of the wood, but tends to look a little bland. That’s why I suggested poly over oil with a shellac barrier coat between. Oil for the depth and to make the grain pop, shellac to give the poly something to grab onto, and the poly to be the protective coating.
Not my invention, I read it in Fine Woodworking Magazine.

-- Michael: Hillary has a long list of accomplishments, though most DAs would refer to them as felonies.

View Joel_B's profile

Joel_B

294 posts in 844 days


#10 posted 09-15-2014 02:47 AM



I work mostly with Cherry. The best finish I ve found is Waterlox. I prefer a satin finish. I hate the plastic looks. I spray it on. It s ann oil base finish so you apply a coat wait 24hrs and do a 2n d . I generally go with 3 coats and rub out the last one.

If you want a water base then I d go general finishes high performance for a top coat. I ve sprayed a coat and in two hours been ready to do another. If you want to color, don t stain! Use Dyes.

Here is Waterlox on a hutch I did and a wine cabinet.
https://flic.kr/s/aHsjDQLAxi

The Bed is general finishes dye and High performance top coat.
https://flic.kr/s/aHsjDxpcFT

The biggest difference between the two finishes is that the oil will give the nice amber hue and it the most labor intensive.

The water base is the easiest to use, and the most forgiving!

Good luck!

- bonesbr549

I really like the look of the Waterlox, but read it can months to cure and smells during that time.
Is there a way to achieve a similar look without the long cure time?
Didn’t care for the General Finishes top coat too shiny and plasticky.

BTW beautiful and insipring work.

-- Joel, Encinitas, CA

View Joel_B's profile

Joel_B

294 posts in 844 days


#11 posted 09-15-2014 02:52 AM

How did you finish the wood before applying the Waterlox?
Hand plane or sanding or ?

Thanks


I work mostly with Cherry. The best finish I ve found is Waterlox. I prefer a satin finish. I hate the plastic looks. I spray it on. It s ann oil base finish so you apply a coat wait 24hrs and do a 2n d . I generally go with 3 coats and rub out the last one.

If you want a water base then I d go general finishes high performance for a top coat. I ve sprayed a coat and in two hours been ready to do another. If you want to color, don t stain! Use Dyes.

Here is Waterlox on a hutch I did and a wine cabinet.
https://flic.kr/s/aHsjDQLAxi

The Bed is general finishes dye and High performance top coat.
https://flic.kr/s/aHsjDxpcFT

The biggest difference between the two finishes is that the oil will give the nice amber hue and it the most labor intensive.

The water base is the easiest to use, and the most forgiving!

Good luck!

- bonesbr549


-- Joel, Encinitas, CA

View Joel_B's profile

Joel_B

294 posts in 844 days


#12 posted 09-15-2014 02:59 AM



Satin Arm-R-Seal. It will naturally darken over time. Looks like this:

- CharlesA

That looks a possibility. Maybe a good trade off between looks, durability and not too much labor.

-- Joel, Encinitas, CA

View bonesbr549's profile

bonesbr549

1176 posts in 2530 days


#13 posted 09-15-2014 03:23 AM



How did you finish the wood before applying the Waterlox?
Hand plane or sanding or ?

Thanks

I work mostly with Cherry. The best finish I ve found is Waterlox. I prefer a satin finish. I hate the plastic looks. I spray it on. It s ann oil base finish so you apply a coat wait 24hrs and do a 2n d . I generally go with 3 coats and rub out the last one.

If you want a water base then I d go general finishes high performance for a top coat. I ve sprayed a coat and in two hours been ready to do another. If you want to color, don t stain! Use Dyes.

Here is Waterlox on a hutch I did and a wine cabinet.
https://flic.kr/s/aHsjDQLAxi

The Bed is general finishes dye and High performance top coat.
https://flic.kr/s/aHsjDxpcFT

The biggest difference between the two finishes is that the oil will give the nice amber hue and it the most labor intensive.

The water base is the easiest to use, and the most forgiving!

Good luck!

- bonesbr549

- Joel_B

I sand starting with 100 if any lines need evening etc. I move up to 220 on all surfaces, and one grit higher on end-grain. I use that on all wood. The tops like on a table I’ll go up to 400 on the top, then use wet/dry autobody paper and use mineral spirits and go up to 2000 if I want a real rubbed out finish.

https://flic.kr/s/aHsjvaxHi6

I only do that on tops that have a high finish. 220 is fine for other finishes. If you use waterlox a couple suggestions.

1 scuff coat light between coats.

2 watch for runs! It will happen after you walk away. Hit it with light and watch it.

If you get any runs and you get it early use masking tape to dab it off. It will flow back out. If you miss it. Use a razor blade as a scraper and scrape the high part off and hit it with another coat. It will flow together. I’ve fixed many a runs like that.

I love waterlox though. Especially if you like natural cherry. !!

Good luck and do some trial runs. (do vertacle surfaces to practice)

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View Grandpa's profile

Grandpa

3256 posts in 2139 days


#14 posted 09-15-2014 03:30 AM

Oil based polyurethane is about the toughest finish we have today. Usually the more it costs the more plastic it has in it and the stronger the finish. There are a million options. It just depends on what you want. I like Verathane for a strong finish. It comes in satin or gloss. Lots of other finishes but none as strong or durable.

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a1Jim

115202 posts in 3040 days


#15 posted 09-15-2014 03:43 AM

I think something that needs to be addressed is Cherries propensity to blotch, This can make a huge difference in the finished pieces appearance after applying stain..Think about a wood conditioner, I like Charles Neil’s conditioner blotch control and have had great success with it.

http://lumberjocks.com/reviews/1430

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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