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Thread: BLO/garnet shellac on live edge walnut

  1. #1

    BLO/garnet shellac on live edge walnut

    I have some black walnut with live edges. Iím planning on keeping the live edge on one side. The wood is air-dried, so thereís a really nice contrast between the white sapwood and the darker heartwood. I would like to preserve that.

    The professionals often recommend using BLO and garnet shellac under Waterlox. Hereís my newbie question: will the BLO and shellac affect the color of the sapwood? If so, should I skip the BLO/shellac and just use the Waterlox by itself?

    Thanks for any advice!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by rob chronos View Post
    I have some black walnut with live edges. I’m planning on keeping the live edge on one side. The wood is air-dried, so there’s a really nice contrast between the white sapwood and the darker heartwood. I would like to preserve that.

    The professionals often recommend using BLO and garnet shellac under Waterlox. Here’s my newbie question: will the BLO and shellac affect the color of the sapwood? If so, should I skip the BLO/shellac and just use the Waterlox by itself?

    Thanks for any advice!
    Yes. I have used BLO, tung oil, and even mineral oil (cutting boards) on B.Walnut. The oil will impart some amount of yellow tone in the sap wood. I have used shellac, but not garnet, and even the lightest also impact color.

    Experiment on some drop to find what you want/like.
    Molann an obair an saor.

  3. #3
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    Honestly, if you're planning on Waterlox...which is an oil based product...you can skip the BLO and shellac. The Waterlox will have about the same effect on the walnut when you apply the first coat. De-waxed shellac over oil is only really needed if you're top-coating with a water borne finish and need the color and "pop". Example...Waterlox on air dried walnut:

    IMG_E4356.jpg
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  4. #4
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    If you're in question about what your finish will do to your work piece always practice on a scrap from the project.

  5. #5
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    Direct answer is that the BLO will yellow the sapwood a bit. Walnut lightens over time so if you want to stay dark, some colorant can help. Oils will darken the material initially. I will see if I can find a picture of a piece that was nice and dark with BLO but, lightened many shades over about 10 years.

    Ok, not the frame but, an old base that was hit with BLO and then shellac. Forgive the appearance, it has been laying in the scrap bin for years.

    Before:

    ws frame sm (1).jpg

    After:

    walnut change-1.jpg
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 11-16-2019 at 1:47 PM.
    I am familiar with modern idioms but they are outside the vocabulary of what I want to say.

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  6. #6
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    This is Arm-R-Seal on a live edge walnut slab:



    Waterlox will be slightly darker. If it were me, I would skip the BLO and shellac.

    John

  7. #7
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    I just happened to have mixed up a batch of garnet shellac. Here's a piece of scrap walnut w/ sapwood on both edges. walnut w garnet.jpg

  8. #8
    I also think you can skip the blo and shellac.

  9. #9
    Thanks for the input! I'll happily skip the BLO/shellac -- makes my job easier. Is it necessary to fill the pores in the walnut?

  10. #10
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    Personal preference. And it won't matter if you apply several coats of varnish then sand it back flat, then apply your finish coats. That's what I did with the live edge slab above.

    John

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by rob chronos View Post
    I have some black walnut with live edges. Iím planning on keeping the live edge on one side. The wood is air-dried, so thereís a really nice contrast between the white sapwood and the darker heartwood. I would like to preserve that.

    The professionals often recommend using BLO and garnet shellac under Waterlox. Hereís my newbie question: will the BLO and shellac affect the color of the sapwood? If so, should I skip the BLO/shellac and just use the Waterlox by itself?

    Thanks for any advice!
    The blo won't alter the color very much but the garnet shellac certainly would. That white sapwood would end up looking pink. The waterlox finish would do more in not altering the color of the wood. I would use just that.

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