Reply by LesB

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Posted on Walnut and birdseye maple box finish questions.

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2664 posts in 4356 days

#1 posted 09-27-2020 04:44 PM

The list you provided are not finishes.
Do you intend to add a stain to the color of the wood or stay natural?
Very old cans of finish are not good to use (more than 1 or 2 years old throw out)...old stain usually is OK.
Both walnut and padauk have open pores in their grain which may need filling if you want a smooth finish. Maple does not normally have open pores but with birds eye there may be some “chip” out of the eyes when it is cut or planed and they may need to be filled.
Sealers should not be needed unless you are using stain and want to control the penetration (mainly on the birds eye)

For a natural finish I would use an oil like BLO (boiled linseed) or processed Walnut oil. The oil will make the grain show better (pop or bling as some call it). With several coats these will build into a surface finish that can be waxed and buffed to a satin shine, but it will not be as hard as Lacquer, poly, Shellac, or varnish. You can also apply a top finish over these oils after they have cured for a week or so.
Always sand lightly with 320 or 400 grit between coats; especially the first couple of costs.

For a small project like this you can get spray cans of all four of these but there is also wipe on poly and Shellac can be wiped on using a lint free cloth. The wipe on is very easy to control but takes more coats to build a finish.

-- Les B, Oregon

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