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Thread: what sealer/lacquer for BLO bowl finish

  1. #1

    what sealer/lacquer for BLO bowl finish

    I'm a newbie, and I keep reading different "best" ways to finish a bowl. I settled on boiled linseed oil because I couldn't get antique oil in my town, but ordered some, & needed a substitute for temp. use. Anyway, the linseed oil doesn't dry very hard, so I need something to put on as a protection. The bowls are definitely going to be practical use-fruit/salad, whatever. Should I use a wipe-on poly, spraycan lacquer (I don't have an air sprayer yet) or a lacquer/wax combo? I'd appreciate any suggestions, and explanations of why some are better than others. I'm a little hard headed. I have to know how and why everything works. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tellico Plains, Tennessee
    Posts
    4,351
    Nathan,
    It takes a few days for the BLO to dry, depending on what wood you are using and sometimes the temperature... I use three or four coats of BLO on some of my bowls and let them sit a week after the last coat, then buff with a dry buffer or sometimes with a carnuba wax (on some strictly decorative bowls, I've used Minwax furniture polish as well).. you don't need anything over the oil if it sits long enough to cure.. that becomes a personal preference.
    Others may weigh in with different ideas, this is only my opinion.
    Chuck
    Tellico Plains, TN
    https://www.etsy.com/shop/TellicoTurnings
    My parents taught me to respect my elders, but it's getting harder and harder to find any.
    If you go looking for trouble, it will usually find you.

  3. #3
    There are a lot of guys who use Lacquer and or WB finishes with a pre finish of BLO. But Chemically speaking, it won't work. Dissimilar materials will not bond correctly. BLO take Years to truely cure and must breathe solvent finishes take days to cure and seal the BLO vapors under it seal. It does not allow a true bond to the surface below. There are those who say "Yeah But I have done this or that" But if you go back to the basics and true Learned WWers will tell you that you can't mix that kind of finishes.

    If you start with an oil based finish then you finish with an oil based finish. BLO is oil based.

    Solvent based finishes such as Shellac, Lacquer and such seal the surface not allowing any fumes or solvents to excape. Water borne finishes breathe and allow fumes to escape but lack the ambering qualities that solvent based and Oil based finishes provide.

    The reason for the BLO is to (I hate this term) "Pop" the grain, actually any ambering finish such as Poly or varnish, or lacquer, shellac will "Pop" the grain as the amber color is what highlights the grain structure, you can do the same thing with water, wet the surface and see the grain patterns, But Water based finishes puts a whitewash over the grain and seals the "depth" of the color changes.
    So, If you start with BLO then finish with another oil based finish. but you can get the same effect with Shellac as a sealer and from it you can use any finish to achieve a bond and the color enhancement you desire. Or use an oil based Sanding Sealer which will "pop" the grain or enhance the color differences, and then you can finish with a good Poly to protect the works.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
    Posts
    30,014
    I'm one of the guys who uses spray can lacquer over an oil finish (Minwax Antique Oil finish). I give the AO finish a day or do of drying before spraying with lacquer. (Usually 3 to 5 light coats, then buffed.) BLO will take longer to cure than the AO, but it should produce similar results, I'd think.

    Also, as Chuck mentioned, if you simply build up a few coats of BLO, it can be buffed to look real nice.

    What Bill says about dissimilar finishes makes sense, but to date, I've not had any of my finishes show any signs of bonding problems from doing things this way. [knock on wood]
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Goodland, Kansas
    Posts
    4,834
    When I first started turning I used BLO and then after a couple of weeks sprayed one piece with several light coats of lacquer and the other I used wipe on poly. Both turned sticky after several months. If I use BLO then it is only BLO. I use Minwax Antique Oil or Danish Oil most of the time. These I do not have trouble if I want to add more shine with lacquer or poly.
    Bernie W.

    Retirement: Thats when you return from work one day
    and say, Hi, Honey, Im home forever.

    To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tellico Plains, Tennessee
    Posts
    4,351
    One thing I have found... BLO won't dry over cocobolo... I tried it on a pepper mill and after a week, the mill was still sticky... had to take a solvent and wipe the BLO off and use another finish... Same with an Indian Rosewood mill... so be careful with your oilier and denser woods...
    Chuck
    Tellico Plains, TN
    https://www.etsy.com/shop/TellicoTurnings
    My parents taught me to respect my elders, but it's getting harder and harder to find any.
    If you go looking for trouble, it will usually find you.

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