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Alternatives for finish for light wood

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Forum topic by Gregg M. posted 01-12-2015 07:25 PM 695 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Gregg M.

170 posts in 1147 days


01-12-2015 07:25 PM

Topic tags/keywords: finish oil varnish walnut maple jewelry box

I am getting ready to finish a jewery box made of walnut and figured maple. I normally use Watco Danish Oil. I finished a sample piece of the maple and it lost some of its figure when the oil was applied. While I like the color and finish of oil/varnish, I was hoping for a better contrast between the walnut and maple and was hoping to keep the maple a bit lighter and not as amber in color. I am looking for other suggestions based on your experience.

Thanks, Gregg
Sample contrast between oil finish and raw wood


-- Marvel Woodworking, West Chester, PA - http://www.MarvelWoodworking.com


5 replies so far

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bondogaposis

4034 posts in 1816 days


#1 posted 01-12-2015 08:01 PM

It depends if you want a built up finish or an oil type finish like Watco. Pure tung oil will give you a light oil finish. Blond shellac and water base poly are build up finishes that are light in color.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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SASmith

1850 posts in 2452 days


#2 posted 01-12-2015 08:04 PM

Water-based poly will keep maple white.

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

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OSU55

1059 posts in 1454 days


#3 posted 01-13-2015 05:29 PM

WB poly or lacquer will keep it as white as possible (I use Target Coatings products), but neither wood will have any grain pop, and the walnut will look lifeless and washed out. Any solvent finishes will probably give al least the “wet” look as in your pics. You might try solvent lacquer, but it will amber over time. Blonde shellac will look about the sameas the oil, super blonde shellac is lighter, but will still have some ambering. Shellac will pop the grain in both types of wood, and bring some life to the walnut. From the pics it does appear you can color/finish the maple and walnut pieces separately.

I don’t have much experience with leaving wood “white” because to me it’s “lifeless”, no grain pop, shimmer, etc. JMO but the oiled piece looks far better than the “white” pieces. In fact, a light rose’ color on the maple. against the walnut, would look great for a jewelry box.

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Gregg M.

170 posts in 1147 days


#4 posted 01-13-2015 06:15 PM

Thank you for sharing your experience and knowledge. I have two boxes to complete so I will try two different finishes. I went out and bought a tung oil finish (Formbys ?) and super blonde shellac. I will see which ends up looking the best on this wood. Thanks Gregg

-- Marvel Woodworking, West Chester, PA - http://www.MarvelWoodworking.com

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bondogaposis

4034 posts in 1816 days


#5 posted 01-13-2015 07:09 PM

Well unfortunately Formby’s Tung Oil finish has no tung oil in it, it is a varnish/BLO blend. You need to get pure tung oil for a non yellowing finish. I highly recommend reading Bob Flexner to decipher all of the finish manufacturers attempts to confuse consumers.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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