Finshing a walnut, curly maple, and zebrawood box.

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Forum topic by SG6578 posted 02-02-2015 02:55 PM 959 views 1 time favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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42 posts in 1449 days

02-02-2015 02:55 PM

Topic tags/keywords: finishing contrasting colors

Hello all,

This is my first post in this site and I appreciate any help given in advance.

I have built a jewelry box from 12/4 walnut that I bored out the inside to keep the design to a single piece of wood. 7” wide by 11” long The cover has dado’ed inserts of curly maple and zebrawood 1” wide. I routed an island on the bottom of the cover with the reverse of the bore from the cavity.

I am describing it as I can’t get my camera to work.

My question is this: With such a contrast of wood colors, how should I approach this as far as finishing goes? I want something that makes the walnut richer and darker but doesn’t take too much of the pale color from the maple or the zebrawood.

If someone could give me a brief step by step process I would greatly appreciate it.

Thank you,


7 replies so far

View HornedWoodwork's profile


222 posts in 1452 days

#1 posted 02-02-2015 04:24 PM

Can you create a sample board with all raw materials? If so go ahead and try boiled linseed or tung oil. Wipe on heavy, wait 30 minutes wipe off completely, leave it to dry 24 hours (48 if you have high humidity), sand, repeat. 3-4 applications is all it should take. The sample board can tell you which coat looks best, I’ll guess it will coat 3 or 4, but keep going to maybe coat 5 or 6 so you have options. Waterlox is another great choice in this situation.

-- Talent, brilliance, and humility are my virtues.

View Ghidrah's profile


667 posts in 1460 days

#2 posted 02-02-2015 05:54 PM

I lurve Tung oil its considered a finishing oil so you can get away without covering it, although you’ll need to reapply a coat every couple yrs. Shellac is a good cover for Tung oil as long as you haven’t flooded the wood, (past experience) too much oil and it can sweat for over a yr.

-- I meant to do that!

View SG6578's profile


42 posts in 1449 days

#3 posted 02-03-2015 12:12 AM

Thank you very much for the help guys I’m going to head to Menards to pick up some Tung oil right now.

View SG6578's profile


42 posts in 1449 days

#4 posted 02-03-2015 12:41 AM

After research, on Tung oil I’m confused ….do I shellac then start with the coats of oil or do I oil and then shellac?

I have found instances of both but it seems to make sense that you would start with the oil?

When you sand after a coat of oil what grit are you using?

View AandCstyle's profile


3185 posts in 2494 days

#5 posted 02-03-2015 12:56 AM

SG, I apply Watco Danish oil to the project as indicated on the can. I let it dry for 3-4 days and spray it with rattle can lacquer and finally finish with a coat of Johnson’s paste wax. I don’t use (or see any need for) shellac in this case. Here is my most recent project finished as described. I sand the project to 220G, then with 600G after 2-3 coats of lacquer. Finally, 1 more coat of lacquer. HTH

-- Art

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2928 days

#6 posted 02-03-2015 01:08 AM

Blackcherry has an excellent blog on applying shellac that has become my preferred finishing method. I have done BLO, lacquer, poly, tung oil finish, etc and the shellac method he blogged about is by far the easiest and gives me the best look.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View SG6578's profile


42 posts in 1449 days

#7 posted 02-03-2015 02:11 AM

Lot of options here. Thank you for all the help. Will research and post a few pics of the process shortly.

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