Finishing Lacewood (aka leopard wood) Coffee Table Top

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Forum topic by BigMig posted 04-02-2015 02:02 PM 1237 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View BigMig's profile


424 posts in 2579 days

04-02-2015 02:02 PM

Well, I’m approaching the final stages of making a coffee table for my own living room. The legs will be painted (maple) and the top is leopard wood/lace wood. Of course, I want the top to show off the wood’s natural beauty and figure.

I have lots of small scraps (from the top) on which I’ll try different finishes and techniques, but I figured (no pun intended) that you LJers might be able to help me narrow down the things I try.

I imagine I’ll want to use a first finish that will accentuate the wild grain of the wood. Not sure if that will be BLO, or Tung, or something else. Then – not too sure, though I will want it to be pretty durable – as a coffee table.

Well, team, whatya think?

-- Mike from Lansdowne, PA

5 replies so far

View barada83's profile


86 posts in 1152 days

#1 posted 04-02-2015 02:21 PM

I would try a natural Danish oil or similar BLO mix. I would only apply once though. I’ve had some adhesion issues with the long curing time of the BLO with projects that had multiple coats. This is especially true if using any sort of water based topcoat. The offgassing of the oils will mess with things so I would recommend a long dry period of about 2 weeks minimum – basically until there is no more smell then seal with a dewaxed shellac seal coat. Scuff it lightly then proceed to your top coat. If you go with oil based topcoats you might drop the shellac seal coat but I would recommend the long waiting period.

As it seems you are planning to do, try out your schedule on scrap.

-- Mike

View Yonak's profile


986 posts in 1487 days

#2 posted 04-02-2015 03:14 PM

I think I want to see it when you get it finished. It sounds scrumptious.

View BigMig's profile


424 posts in 2579 days

#3 posted 04-03-2015 02:55 PM

Thanks team. I expect to take some time experimenting on the scraps. And yes – when I’ve used Danish oil in the past – I’ve made the mistake of (1) applying too heavy , coupled with (2) applying too frequently. Bad mistakes – but fortunately, they were only on jigs and other non-critical things. So I won’t make those mistakes again.

I do expect to test BLO, danish oil and Tung and compare the results. Stay tuned, friends!

-- Mike from Lansdowne, PA

View waho6o9's profile


8165 posts in 2543 days

#4 posted 04-03-2015 03:29 PM

I’d throw in Shellac for a test piece as well.

Looking forward to your fine coffee table Mike!

View redryder's profile


2393 posts in 3067 days

#5 posted 04-03-2015 07:31 PM

I made a Lazy Susan with Lace wood on it.
First seal coat with Shellac and several finish coats of spray Lacquer.
Very durable and many people pointed at it and said, “oh ya, oh ya”.
Experimentation can be fun.

Good luck…..............

-- mike...............

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