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Thread: Walnut finish recomendations

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Cleveland, Ohio

    Walnut finish recomendations

    Hi all,

    Newer to woodworking and looking for finish recommendations for walnut. Something relatively simple and inexpensive. Attached is the top I am using for a microwave cart/coffee stand. This was just wiped with mineral spirits after glue up and sanding when it was still wet. This is the color/look I want to achieve. A few other walnut pieces I have made I have used tung oil or boiled linseed oil and it leaves to dull of a finish.
    What recommendations to you have? Feel free to show examples of walnut finishes you use.

    I was thinking still use the boiled linseed oil and a type of wipe on poly after?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Unlike cherry which darkens with age and exposure, walnut lightens. Although I avoid colorants whenever I can, if I want walnut to retain that just oiled look it needs some help. The super simple way would be to grab yourself some Watco medium or dark walnut depending on what you are after. You can find these at most home stores. Once fully cured this can be top-coated with your preferred top coat. I use a transtint dye mix and a modified phenolic blend . . .

    GnG Low CoD (286).jpg

    I do this because I am after a deep-in-the-wood coloration that minimizes the surface blocking BUT, the Watco and some poly will get you a pretty good look pretty easily. Hmm, didn't quite have the top left drawer closed in that pic ;-)

    Here's a simple frame new and after 10 years of exposure. Finish was an oil / poly blend.

    ws frame sm (1).jpgwalnut change-1.jpg

    Sorry bout the sideways shot. The pic orientation here has been wonky for years.
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 05-26-2020 at 11:18 AM.
    "What kind of chump do you take me for?"
    "First class."

  3. #3
    Try Waterlox Original Sealer Finish. It's a wiping varnish that's dark

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Waterlox or Watco are easy to hand apply and because they are oil based finishes, they will impart the warm look to the walnut you want. Do keep in mind that walnut natrually gets lighter over time with exposure to UV, etc. "Old" walnut pieces often have a wonderful darker honey amber hue.

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

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