What best to use on walnut hall tree bench.

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Forum topic by Vest posted 12-14-2014 01:20 PM 980 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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54 posts in 1587 days

12-14-2014 01:20 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Was wondering what would be a good finish for a walnut hall tree bench? I have always in the past just stained and used polyurethane . I was looking for something a little better for this project. We have a 3 year old so he is pretty hard on stuff climbing on it. That is why I think the polyurethane isn’t the way to go for this project. Any suggestions ? I don’t know anything about tong oil or teak oil so any input would be greatly appreciated .

11 replies so far

View bigblockyeti's profile


5090 posts in 1684 days

#1 posted 12-14-2014 02:23 PM

For something that will see the kind of abuse a three year old can dole out, polyurethane is probably your best bet from a protection standpoint. Sure it does tend to make things look a little like plastic, but it’s durability is hard to beat.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4182 days

#2 posted 12-14-2014 02:32 PM

I agree, poly is your best bet if you’re looking for durability. Use a satin sheen level and wipe it on. It won’t look plasticky that way.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View a1Jim's profile


117061 posts in 3540 days

#3 posted 12-14-2014 03:12 PM

ArmR Seal is a very tuff top coat.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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Ron Ford

208 posts in 1696 days

#4 posted 12-14-2014 03:13 PM

Will the bench be indoors or outdoors? Danish oil is a good finish for indoors, allowed to dry and then waxed or given some other top coat. If it is going to be an outdoors piece, use teak oil. It is almost identical to danish oil but is meant for exterior applications.

Hope this helps.


-- Once in awhile I make something really great. Most days I just make sawdust.

View Vest's profile


54 posts in 1587 days

#5 posted 12-14-2014 04:38 PM

Thanks guys. Yes it will be indoors. The reason I was leaning toward something other than polyurethane was I made it with raised panels. Over time as the wood expands and contracts it tends to leave a small line around the rails and styles.

View AandCstyle's profile


3025 posts in 2220 days

#6 posted 12-15-2014 01:39 AM

Over time as the wood expands and contracts it tends to leave a small line around the rails and styles.

- Vest

Pre-finish your panels then there won’t be any unfinished areas as the wood contracts.

-- Art

View wseand's profile


2796 posts in 3005 days

#7 posted 12-15-2014 01:47 AM

I’m with Jim and Art.

View Vest's profile


54 posts in 1587 days

#8 posted 12-15-2014 01:53 AM

Art that is a great idea. Unfortunately I have already assembled the panels. I will however remember this the next time. I have heard a lot of people talk about using tung oil , teak oil , and danish oil. I have never used any of these. I thought maybe one of these would be better and easier than applying 3 coats Minwax Polyurethane. Plus I figured that them being a oil would let it seep in further and wouldn’t end up leaving a small line around the panel next to the rail and styles after time of expanding and contracting. Thanks to everyone for all the comments. This group sure can be helpful when it comes to a lot of questions regarding wood or tools either one. Thanks again.

View wseand's profile


2796 posts in 3005 days

#9 posted 12-15-2014 02:11 AM

Oils dont have a lot of protection as far as scatching and elements. You could try a wipe on style poly. You could try a mixture of oil, poly, and mineral spirits. I don’t get as much of a build up with it. It takes a few more coats but it might help you out. Jim and Art might have some better ideas.

View Vest's profile


54 posts in 1587 days

#10 posted 12-15-2014 02:35 AM

Thanks Bill

View OSU55's profile


1630 posts in 1953 days

#11 posted 12-15-2014 05:47 PM

Poly seeps into the wood about the same as the “oil” finishes, with much better protection. Poly is the best choice when a high level of protection is desired (unless you want to get into the more “professional” finishes) A satin sheen will keep from looking like plastic. For a “close to the grain oil rubbed” look I use satin poly thinned 50% with MS. Brush on until it doesn’t soak up any more, and then “dry brush” the poly. This consists of wiping the brush dry on a shop towel, and brushing the poly around until it starts setting, drying the brush on the towel as needed. Work on areas, not the whole piece. I use a golden taklon brush that has super fine bristles which prevents brush marks. This provides more film thickness vs wiping the finish off. If you want more film thickness, add coats. If a thicker film thickness is desired, do the normal application where you tip off the poly quickly and let it dry.

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