Reply by OSU55

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Posted on About to put a finish on my first project

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2238 posts in 2347 days

#1 posted 02-12-2017 01:59 PM

What look do you want? Water clear, no yellowing at all? Fully filled (piano) finish? Need more info to help you out. Doesn’t sound like you have spray equipment – limits the possibilities on the piece. Wiping some mineral spirits on the wood will give you a pretty good idea what the color of the wood is after sanding, evaporate, and not effect the later finish.

I hope you kept your cut offs. Can’t stress enough the importance of testing whatever you think you may want to do.

Waterborne finishes don’t pop the grain – they look lifeless. I use shellac under them to liven them up. Shellac alone would look great, but will have color, how much depends on the type used.

Don’t worry how “cheap” a finish is, concern yourself with the result, meaning the look, feel, durability, etc. Very nice finishes can be achieved with “cheap” poly or rattle can lacquer, it’s all about proper application. It’s likely this could get used to hold jewelry or other objects with sharp edges/corners. Lacquer and shellac will get scratched up on the inside over time. You may want felt on the inside bottom to protect the piece and the contents.

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