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Thread: Finishing Walnut

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    The Heart of Dixie
    Posts
    4,265

    Finishing Walnut

    Getting to the point soon I am going to need to do some finishing on the raised panels of walnut before I do some assembly. So, I though I would see what others like on walnut?

    I am going to have to stain/dye/tint the wood to get an even color. As hard as I tried I couldn't find enough boards that matched. So there is some difference in color that need to be evened out.

    I love shellac finishes, but this is a wine cabinet so I don't dare finish it in shellac. One spill and finish is ruined. I was thinking lacquer, but I have never sprayed before. I do prefer something I can spray though. So what else is there?
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
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  2. #2
    Jeff,

    Mind you I've never sprayed lacquer but I use it on a lot of my turnings. I use Deft brushing lacquer.

    When I built an oak side board for my wife, I made my own wipe-on poly by thinning it.

    On my turnings, I use a base coat of shellac as some of the woods have a high oil content. I then put lacquer over it. I often have to thin the lacquer because I have it in a jar that doesn't seal completely and overtime the lacquer thinner evaporates and it gets thicker.

    My opinion based on my experience. Lacquer dries extremely fast but like shellac when you place a 2nd coat on it becomes part of the first coat. I'd think you could thin it ....brush it on...let it level itself......Then go with a 2nd , 3rd, 4th coat etc.

    If it were me, I'd take a scrap piece of wood and try it. Make sure your test piece is similar in size and sanded to the same grit. Wood type wouldn't be important but size and sanded surface would be important. Try it.

    Other alternative....buy and learn to spray.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ozarks
    Posts
    4,992
    jeff, lacquer is probably the most forgiving finish to spray...even an inexpensive gun will do well and quite a few of the gravity fed hvlp set ups will run off a buzzer type compressor. after your stain/dye routine hit `er with sanding sealer thinned 50/50 for a few coats then lightly scuff with worn 220, repeat untill the surface looks like glass, then apply 2-15 coats of whatever sheen topcoat you like. be sure to thin the topcoat too, i usually start about 80-20 depending on weather, in the high heat/humidity we`re having now 70-30 might be a better starting point but it ain`t rocket science.
    good luck! tod
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  4. #4
    Most all the furniture in my home is Walnut. I prefer the natural colors and the streaks of sap as well but then That is me. Warning, those sap boards will NEVER catch up with the heartwood. I can show you pieces I made over 40 years ago that have sap boards pronounced. Given that, I too sometimes color match, especially for client projects. What ever you do, there is a couple of steps you need to do with Walnut. It is an open grain wood. and the grain must be filled. I usually sand to my liking and then raise the grain, wipe with clear (bottled or distilled) water and allow to dry. Sand off the raised grain to expose a smooth surface to accept the stain. Stain and then apply a sanding sealer. After the sanding sealer is hard (not just dry but hard) light sand and then apply Bartley's paste wood filler in the dark brown color. Squeegie off the excess by wiping across the grain. Again allow to dry and then fine sand with the grain, apply a finish coat.

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