Glossy finish on Basswood Pendants

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Forum topic by Gingerbeard posted 04-28-2015 09:04 PM 642 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3 posts in 1119 days

04-28-2015 09:04 PM

I’m new to the forum. I’ve only been whittling and carving for a couple months now, and I consider myself a newbie to woodworking in general.

Lately I’ve been carving pendants from 2×2x0.5inch pieces of basswood. I have carved crosses, hearts, teardrops and some other shapes. Some of them have turned out to be some very attractive pieces, and I would like to finish them…

I’ve sanded them using up to 400grit sandpaper, and then I have applied MINWAX Wood Sealer, and MINWAX (cherry) Wood Finish. After that I spray on TreeHouse Studio High Gloss finish, from Hobby Lobby. The finished product is passable, but it’s not as good as I’d like it to be. It’s not very glossy, and it looks to be a bit dirty.

I guess I have two questions. Is there a style of finishing, or a product, that would provide a better finish? Is there a better wood for this project?

-- Master Amateur Whittler,

2 replies so far

View bruc101's profile


1200 posts in 3536 days

#1 posted 04-28-2015 11:50 PM

First things first…Welcome to the forum and community.

There is a lady in our valley that whittles small things such as the two pieces in your photo.
She uses Deft lacquer in the spray can. She also comes to our shop every month probably and we give her a quart of semi gloss pre cat lacquer. On some of her projects she will use the pre cat to dip her pieces in.

She doesn’t let one spray or dip do the job for her. She’ll builds her coats.

I’m sure a jock will come along that has a better way of doing it and will give you better answers than mine.

-- Bruce Free Plans

View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2965 days

#2 posted 04-29-2015 01:58 AM

I think Basswood is going to be the easiest wood to carve those shapes.
But it is also the reason the finished pieces look kinda dry.
Cherry might give a better finish and still have very consistant grain for carving.
I have used clear sanding sealer applied in multiple coats and then buffed out with steel wool to get a nice finish on parts like that.

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