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Thread: What finish for this vase? PIC

  1. #1

    What finish for this vase? PIC

    What finish do you recommend for this vase? I would like to bring out the figure and color variations but worry that oil or some other material might fill in the worm holes and imperfections. I don't know what type of wood it is (suggestions?) but has burl like features.
    Woodworking 007.jpg

  2. #2
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    Wipe it down with mineral spirits and see what happens to the color and figuring (the mineral spirits will evaporate quickly). If you like the result, use wipe-on polyurethane (oil-based). If not, rattle can lacquer will dry clear and do little to change the color. I use clear wax frequently (Bri-wax) on turned objects with good result.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Dwayne Watt View Post
    Wipe it down with mineral spirits and see what happens to the color and figuring (the mineral spirits will evaporate quickly). If you like the result, use wipe-on polyurethane (oil-based). If not, rattle can lacquer will dry clear and do little to change the color. I use clear wax frequently (Bri-wax) on turned objects with good result.
    Will a clear lacquer bring out the same color as the mineral spirits or leave it the same?

  4. #4
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    Clear finishes like clear lacquer, water-based poly and similar water-based finishes don't add much if anything to grain popping.
    My typical oil finish is Lee Valley's Polymerized Tung Oil but it isn't the only game in town and oil-based poly will do the job.
    I wouldn't worry about filling holes etc because wipe-on finishes like the 2 above, are put on, allowed to sit for a few minutes, then wiped off. Should you happen to see any collection of oil after wiping down you can wick it out with some paper towel but I don't think it will be a problem. If you think it is, immediately clean it off with mineral spirits and re-think the situation.
    Because you are doing the wipe-off operation, it will take several coats, typically 3 or more, to build the final finish.
    BTW, clear finish built up in holes doesn't mean invisible.
    Last edited by Bill Howatt; 11-21-2023 at 10:40 AM.

  5. #5
    Will it be handled or sit on a shelf, this can help reduce your finish options.
    Assuming the wood is properly prepped, oil finishes "usually" bring out the grain more than clear top coats.

  6. #6
    I really want to bring out the figure and color in the wood. As it sits the color especially is very subdued. I'll try wiping it down with mineral spirits to see its effect. If all goes well I'll give it an oil type finish. I don't know if this is necessarily oil type but my current go to finish is Tried & True. It has deepened the color on every wood I've used so far. This will be a gift but I suspect it will probably sit on a shelf most of the time.

  7. #7
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    Another option is Watco Danish oil natural. I like it for bowls - especially with a lot of character.
    Thank you,

    Rich Aldrich

    65 miles SE of Steve Schlumpf.

    "To a pessimist, the glass is half empty; to an optimist, the glass is half full; to an engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be." Unknown author



  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Aldrich View Post
    Another option is Watco Danish oil natural. I like it for bowls - especially with a lot of character.
    I also like Watco Danish Oil. I think it pops the grain nicely with just a coat or two and if you want to build up a bit of a sheen, you can do many coats over a couple days/weeks. Here is a 14" tall vase from russian olive burl that is stained with Watco DO. It has numerous voids and holes that were not filled in with the oil:

    E3B2AE77-6A33-4280-8491-ECAED4A3804C.jpg

    Thanks, Tom

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Wilson80 View Post
    I also like Watco Danish Oil. I think it pops the grain nicely with just a coat or two and if you want to build up a bit of a sheen, you can do many coats over a couple days/weeks. Here is a 14" tall vase from russian olive burl that is stained with Watco DO. It has numerous voids and holes that were not filled in with the oil:

    E3B2AE77-6A33-4280-8491-ECAED4A3804C.jpg

    Thanks, Tom
    Nice Tom! I have some Watco Danish Oil and might use it instead of Tried & True which is essentially Linseed oil. Do you think the Danish Oil will work out better?

  10. #10
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    There are no Danes in Danish Oil, I'm told.
    Like a huge number of finishes with sexy, meaningless names, it also contains Linseed oil and soybean oil, solvents.
    https://www.rustoleum.com/MSDS/ENGLISH/65751.PDF

  11. #11
    I wiped the vase down with mineral spirits and didn't like the result. The pastel gray and pink colors turned into almost black and light brown respectively. The grain and figuring popped but I really wanted to maintain or slightly deepen the existing colors. If all of the oil treatments produce similar results I would like to use something else. I'm leaning more now in the direction of a satin lacquer finish out of a rattle can. I've been happy using Deft products in the past. If there are no more suggestions I'll probably go with that.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Mathews View Post
    Nice Tom! I have some Watco Danish Oil and might use it instead of Tried & True which is essentially Linseed oil. Do you think the Danish Oil will work out better?
    I’m not sure - I’ve never used Tries and True or plain linseed oil. I’m sure it’ll be fine regardless but be sure too show us your end result.

  13. #13
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    Maintaining wood colors can be a disappointing game since wood tends to generally darken and go brown over time. Wood species and exposure to sunlight(UV) will affect the speed of change.

  14. #14
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    I usually use Tride and True on bowls, and gloss lacquer on vases. I would suggest trying your R & T on the inside near the bottom and see if you like it. Or on some scraps that you may have cut off before tuning. The same for lacquer. Like Bill says UV light will change the color. I have "yellow" mulberry that will turn dark brown when exposed to UV.

  15. #15
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    Just now looked closer at the original photo...to me that looks like soft maple of some sort (silver maple?). My experience with soft maple is severe darkening of colors when oiled (oil based polyurethane) just as you indicated. The results are not always aesthetically pleasing. There are Krylon acrylic clear coatings that are UV inhibitors. I have used them on dyed pieces as well as mulberry with decent results.

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