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Finishing walnut quickly...

by dakremer
posted 09-19-2018 10:23 PM


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54 replies so far

View shampeon's profile

shampeon

1900 posts in 2569 days


#1 posted 09-19-2018 10:34 PM

Oil with a poly top coat will take too long. Most definitely you don’t want to do an oil then water-based poly top coat in 2 days, that’s just going to fail.

The fastest finish by far is shellac. Dries to the touch in minutes, and can be top-coated soon after. I’d test some shellac on some scrap and see how you like it. If you want the oil to darken the walnut and pop the grain more, you can do the oil, then top coat with shellac, which will seal it all. Or you can make a rubbing varnish with equal parts oil, shellac, and DNA, which will dry faster than oil alone.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

22657 posts in 3491 days


#2 posted 09-19-2018 10:34 PM

If you are using Danish oil, you have to wait 3 days to recoat it. Oil it use poly in it Saturday. You can get 3 coats of wipe on poly in it on Saturday.

Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

8646 posts in 2962 days


#3 posted 09-19-2018 10:41 PM

Shellac it then wax it.

Done.

General Finishes has some high quality finishes as well.

View dakremer's profile

dakremer

2742 posts in 3477 days


#4 posted 09-19-2018 10:44 PM

Good to know about the danish oil. Looks like that won’t work, because I can’t wait that long. Maybe I dont need to darken the walnut and just the water based poly or shellac will be fine

I just don’t want the walnut to turn tan over time. I want that rick dark walnut color

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

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dakremer

2742 posts in 3477 days


#5 posted 09-19-2018 10:45 PM

Will shellac be a durable enough finish for something like a prayer kneeler? There’s a shelf for a bible, and the user will be leaning on it…..

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

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dakremer

2742 posts in 3477 days


#6 posted 09-19-2018 10:46 PM

Making something similar to this. The kneeling part will fold up when not in use.

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View dakremer's profile

dakremer

2742 posts in 3477 days


#7 posted 09-19-2018 10:48 PM


Or you can make a rubbing varnish with equal parts oil, shellac, and DNA, which will dry faster than oil alone.

- shampeon

I wouldn’t mind trying this. This will be be applied like wipe on Poly? Just wipe it on, let it dry, sand between coats?

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

2260 posts in 2183 days


#8 posted 09-19-2018 10:52 PM

Shellac is very durable I don’t agree with all the naysayers. Some only know can shellac
For your project I would use spray lacquer in rattle can.
Cool project

-- Aj

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dakremer

2742 posts in 3477 days


#9 posted 09-19-2018 10:54 PM



Shellac is very durable I don t agree with all the naysayers. Some only know can shellac
For your project I would use spray lacquer in rattle can.
Cool project

- Aj2

Whats the reason you would you use spray lacquer over shellac?

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View shampeon's profile

shampeon

1900 posts in 2569 days


#10 posted 09-19-2018 10:56 PM

Yeah, just rag it on, wipe off any extra. You can apply a couple coats before you’d need to sand. I usually apply a coat over everything, and by the time I’m done, I can go back and apply another. The oxygen in the DNA/shellac acts as a hardener for the oil.

Shellac isn’t the most hard-wearing finish, though. In a situation without time constraints, I’d use a poly top coat for protection.

You could probably do the varnish wipe for color/grain, then wipe-on poly afterward. But you can experiment right now with scraps to see if any of the non-oil options have the look you’d like.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View kevinw's profile

kevinw

199 posts in 4125 days


#11 posted 09-19-2018 11:05 PM

I dont think the oil would dry quickly enough. What about a base coat of lacquer or shellac and then the water base?

-- Kevin, Blue Springs, MO

View Snowbeast's profile

Snowbeast

101 posts in 1723 days


#12 posted 09-19-2018 11:06 PM

I use a coat of Bullseye shellac sanding sealer to pop the color and then top it with three coats of water-based poly. I make a large number of custom presentation plaques for a trophy shop and have never had this combo let me down.

View kevinw's profile

kevinw

199 posts in 4125 days


#13 posted 09-19-2018 11:08 PM

I wouldn’t recommend only the water base. It makes walnut look sort of grayish if that is your base coat,

-- Kevin, Blue Springs, MO

View Andre's profile (online now)

Andre

2611 posts in 2191 days


#14 posted 09-19-2018 11:10 PM

OSMOS

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View dakremer's profile

dakremer

2742 posts in 3477 days


#15 posted 09-19-2018 11:17 PM



OSMOS

- Andre

Wow that looks beautiful! Thats the look I’m going for. Is that OSMOS fast drying? how many coats? Time between coats? Where can I get it?

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View dakremer's profile

dakremer

2742 posts in 3477 days


#16 posted 09-19-2018 11:18 PM



I use a coat of Bullseye shellac sanding sealer to pop the color and then top it with three coats of water-based poly. I make a large number of custom presentation plaques for a trophy shop and have never had this combo let me down.

- Snowbeast

That seems easy enough. How long do you wait between sanding sealer and poly? Do you apply with a rag or (foam) brush?

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

2260 posts in 2183 days


#17 posted 09-19-2018 11:49 PM

A rattle can of spray lacquer is faster. It will look great if one follows directions on the can.Plus a good shellac finish is many many super thin coats it takes way more time and skill.

-- Aj

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dakremer

2742 posts in 3477 days


#18 posted 09-19-2018 11:50 PM

I just noticed my can of Bullseye Shellac (its not the sanding sealer) says not to use polyurethane as a top coat. Is the Bullseye Shellac Sanding Sealer different than the regular Bullseye Shellac?

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View Firewood's profile

Firewood

774 posts in 2019 days


#19 posted 09-19-2018 11:58 PM

I just finished putting 3 coats of clear shellac and coat of black bison wax on a piece of scrap. Here is the result.

I rubbed out the shellac with 4-0 SW and applied the wax with SW. Give a nice velvety finish.

-- Mike - Waukesha, WI

View Firewood's profile

Firewood

774 posts in 2019 days


#20 posted 09-19-2018 11:59 PM

The sanding sealer is dewaxed. That’s the difference between the two.

-- Mike - Waukesha, WI

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

2260 posts in 2183 days


#21 posted 09-20-2018 12:46 AM

That’s stuff they call shellac that comes in a can is garbage. It will not dry very hard. I wouldn’t put it on anything thats made for the house of god. The only thing it’s good for is coating the inside of a cats litter box.

Real shellac is dissolved in alcohol by the craftsman made in small batches as need basis.

-- Aj

View Snowbeast's profile

Snowbeast

101 posts in 1723 days


#22 posted 09-20-2018 01:29 AM

The sanding sealer gets about an hour to dry and then the poly goes on. I just use a HF chip brush for the sanding sealer and a soft bristle brush for the poly. I usually do one side, let it dry for about an hour and then flip to do the other side. I can have three good coats done in about 5 hours. Let dry overnight and you’re good to go.

I’ll probably catch a lot of flack for this method but it’s been working for me for many years with no complaints.

This pic is just a sample of this technique. The poly is a satin finish water-base that is actually sold as a floor finish.

View Andre's profile (online now)

Andre

2611 posts in 2191 days


#23 posted 09-20-2018 01:40 AM

Wow that looks beautiful! That’s the look I’m going for. Is that OSMOS fast drying? how many coats? Time between coats? Where can I get it?

Google it for your area, 2 coats usually, 20 – 30 min between coats more if you want deeper luster, Really amazing product! But not cheap!

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View dakremer's profile

dakremer

2742 posts in 3477 days


#24 posted 09-20-2018 01:40 AM

Right now I’m thinking I’m either going to do the sanding sealer/poly mix, or just the can spray lacquer.

What is more fool proof? I only have one shot at finishing it. If I screw anything up, I won’t have it done in time.

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View shampeon's profile

shampeon

1900 posts in 2569 days


#25 posted 09-20-2018 01:53 AM

Any wipe-on finish is more forgiving in application than spraying. Spraying lacquer will take fewer coats, but it’s riskier. I guess it’s up to you on how confident you are in spraying rattle-can lacquer.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

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dakremer

2742 posts in 3477 days


#26 posted 09-20-2018 02:03 AM



Any wipe-on finish is more forgiving in application than spraying. Spraying lacquer will take fewer coats, but it s riskier. I guess it s up to you on how confident you are in spraying rattle-can lacquer.

- shampeon

If I decide to try the oil/shellac/DNA….Do I need a certain type of (danish) oil and shellac? Or just whatever I can get off the shelf at Lowes/Menards/HomeDepot?

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View Rich's profile (online now)

Rich

4474 posts in 975 days


#27 posted 09-20-2018 05:44 AM

Wow. So many opinions. What I can offer is that if you want to stick with an oil finish, add some Japan drier. I usually use about 2 or 3 oz per gallon of oil. It will cut the drying time way down.

Here’s a test I did with pure tung oil cut 50% with solvent. On the left is the oil, and on the right is the oil treated with Japan drier. After two hours, the untreated oil is liquid, and on the right, curing has already begun. I used to wait several days before putting lacquer over the oil; with drier, I can do it the next day.

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

View Woodbum's profile

Woodbum

873 posts in 3451 days


#28 posted 09-20-2018 01:00 PM

HVLP spray lacquer. Fast and durable. Or lacking a HVLP setup, canned spray lacquer from Watco will work fine.

-- "Now I'm just another old guy wearing funny clothes"

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5205 posts in 4346 days


#29 posted 09-20-2018 01:09 PM

Keep in mind that walnut will lighten over time regardless of the finish used. Just the nature of the wood. Just the reverse of cherry darkening over the years with exposure to sunlight.

-- [email protected]

View PPK's profile

PPK

1402 posts in 1195 days


#30 posted 09-20-2018 01:30 PM



HVLP spray lacquer. Fast and durable. Or lacking a HVLP setup, canned spray lacquer from Watco will work fine.

- Woodbum

+1

Lacquer is very easy to apply, dries quickly, (think 15 minutes) and should you get a run is easy to sand off. The spray can lacquer is not at all hard to apply.

-- Pete

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

2297 posts in 2375 days


#31 posted 09-20-2018 02:01 PM

I find rattle can lacquer to be pretty soft. In a time pinch I would apply dye using Target WR4000 stain base, after 3-4 hrs seal with dewaxed shellec tinted with transtint, after 3-4 hrs, topcoat with wb poly, I use Target EM9000.

You probably dont have those products. Just use mw stain to provide the lasting color to the walnut. Possibly just the liquid part of dark walnut – thin it to reduce intensity. If you know of a wb stain that looks right use it. Walnut benefits from a little coloring – helps even out the look and wont lightn over time. Apply a sealer coat of dewaxed shellac, topcoat with wb poly. If you have a sprayer precat lacquer works great for this. Apply directly over the stain.

View shampeon's profile

shampeon

1900 posts in 2569 days


#32 posted 09-20-2018 04:04 PM


If I decide to try the oil/shellac/DNA….Do I need a certain type of (danish) oil and shellac? Or just whatever I can get off the shelf at Lowes/Menards/HomeDepot?

Oil doesn’t really matter. I’ve used Watco Danish oil (occasionally) and BLO (usually). You can use the walnut stained Danish oil to help darken the wood.

Get the Bullseye sanding sealer. It’s a lighter cut and dewaxed. Buy a mason jar, add a third each of oil, shellac, and DNA, shake it up, and rag it on/off.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View Waldo88's profile

Waldo88

207 posts in 1682 days


#33 posted 09-20-2018 04:29 PM

When time is an issue, there is lacquer, and there is everything else. There is a reason basically all commercial products sold that feature clear coated wood use lacquer, its just not economically viable to use any other finish, time = money.

Lacquer is extremely fast to apply (spray it on). It dries to be sandable in like 15 min. Problem spots are easy to fix, and another coat makes the fix go away since new lacquer dissolves into the old layer. It is fully cured and not off-gassing much within a day. Lacquer doesn’t quite have shellac’s hardness or the abrasion resistance of varnish, but its a very strong and durable finish. LIS, basically all things made from wood with a clear coat that are commercially sold have a lacquer finish.

View cracknpop's profile

cracknpop

347 posts in 2734 days


#34 posted 09-20-2018 11:53 PM

Time pinch or not, I spray lacquer. Fast. Forgiving. Durable enough. Lost count how many times I sprayed lacquer at midnight and presented the project by Noon the next day (see my most recent project post)

Here is a picture of a walnut countertop I made several years ago and only topcoated with lacquer. Has stood up to the abuse of heat, water/coffee in our coffee bar area. Come to think of it, I had planned to wax it regularly but never did so. Hmmmm.

-- Rick - I know I am not perfect, but I will keep pressing on toward the goal of becoming all I am called to be.

View cracknpop's profile

cracknpop

347 posts in 2734 days


#35 posted 09-21-2018 02:02 AM



Here is a picture of a walnut countertop I made several years ago and only topcoated with lacquer. Has stood up to the abuse of heat, water/coffee in our coffee bar area. Come to think of it, I had planned to wax it regularly but never did so. Hmmmm.

Ooooops… forgot to post the pic:

-- Rick - I know I am not perfect, but I will keep pressing on toward the goal of becoming all I am called to be.

View dakremer's profile

dakremer

2742 posts in 3477 days


#36 posted 09-21-2018 02:36 AM

Thanks for all the responses guys! I think I’ve settled on lacquer. Seems to be the easiest, and least potential to screw up at this point. I won’t be able to put a finish on it until tomorrow afternoon (Friday). Which means I have all Friday and Saturday for the finish to be ready by Sunday morning.

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

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dakremer

2742 posts in 3477 days


#37 posted 09-21-2018 02:38 AM

Do you guys prefer Watco or Minwax spray can lacquer?

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

8646 posts in 2962 days


#38 posted 09-21-2018 02:52 AM

Given the choices get Watco

ABOUT LACQUER CLEAR WOOD FINISH SPRAY
WATCO® Lacquer Clear Wood Finish Spray is the finest lacquer available. Apply to furniture, doors, cabinets and paneling for a crystal-clear, durable wood finish and seal. Dries in 30 minutes and does not require sanding between coats. Please read product labels for additional directions and precautions before using
Fast-drying
Gloss, semi-gloss or satin finish
FOR BEST RESULTS
Two to three coats are recommended for maximum protection.
https://www.rustoleum.com/en/product-catalog/consumer-brands/watco/lacquer-clear-wood-finish-spray

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dakremer

2742 posts in 3477 days


#39 posted 09-21-2018 04:24 AM

Another question – Since walnut is an open grain wood, will just a lacquer finish give me a smooth finish? Or will I need to use a grain filler or (bullseye) sanding sealer first?

I’m just going for a satin finish. Nothing glossy.

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View shampeon's profile

shampeon

1900 posts in 2569 days


#40 posted 09-21-2018 04:37 AM

Yeah, you’ll need grain filler if you want perfectly smooth. Sanding sealer won’t fill the pores, nor will lacquer (at least the number of coats you’d ever want to spray with rattle cans).

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

1336 posts in 1880 days


#41 posted 09-21-2018 06:19 AM

+1 Spray lacquer is fastest. Deft from Ace hardware would be my choice for rattle cans.

+1 Walnut grain benefits from some slight color addition to remove grey purple tones common in kiln dried lumber.

I like to use Mohawk or Behlen’s Brown Maple dye stain on Walnut, reduced 50% to 75% using alcohol/acetone blend to minimize grain raising. You can see difference between the natural walnut playing squares and dyed table frame in this project:
Click for details

If you spray top coat, then do not need a sealer for water based dye stain. If you brush top coat finish, then typically need use a 1/2 pound cut of shellac as seal coat.

If you use a grain filler, pick one carefully.
Most commercial grain fillers are neutral color, or the water based clear ones leave odd color haze on walnut that highlights the ugly grey purple tones. I almost always apply dye to grain filled walnut to even out colors.

Can avoid need for dye after grain filler if color of something like Timber mate walnut filler coordinates with your lumber? I like timber mate as it adds a subtle color tone to wood when thinned and used as grain filler. Almost like using a 5-10% dilution of dye stain, unless you over sand and remove tone. Have also used Elmer’s walnut filler from BORG as grain filler on a small project. Local supply house that sells commercial finishing products recommends Famowood latex for grain filler. It is cheaper than Timber mate when you need bulk quantities, it has lighter walnut color than Timber mate.

FWIW – Your finishing schedule depends heavily on your environment. If you can avoid temperatures below 75F and humidity above 50% while finishing; things go much faster – and have more choices.
Here in AZ from May-September; I can typically grain fill, shellac seal, and brush on 4-5 coats of Arm-R-Seal in 2 days. In cooler weather it takes 3-4 days depending on humidity.

IMHO – with Iowa fall weather looming, your fastest solution is a water based color matched grain fill, dry thoroughly, sand smooth, and spray lacquer.

Best Luck.

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

View dakremer's profile

dakremer

2742 posts in 3477 days


#42 posted 09-21-2018 03:29 PM

I think with my time constraints I’m only going to have time to spray lacquer. I’m going to be finishing the sanding today, and hopefully spraying the lacquer by this evening. That will give it all day Saturday to cure, before Sunday’s event.

Wish I hadn’t procrastinated on the project, So I’d have a a little more time to grain fill, stain, finish. Oh well – walnut still looks amazing even with just a top coat!

Will lacquer raise the grain? Should I raise the grain and sand before spraying lacquer?

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View cracknpop's profile

cracknpop

347 posts in 2734 days


#43 posted 09-21-2018 06:40 PM

You have plenty of time to spray lacquer. I have not had it to raise the grain, but then again, I do not use a water base lacquer. You’ve got time to wipe it down and sand it before spraying just to make sure. Better yet, spray your first coat, let it dry an hour and lightly sand it before topcoating. With walnut, there will not be much grain to fill.

I’ve never felt a need to stain walnut. However, I did learn a technique at a workshop using dye on the sapwood and then staining to make it a uniform color. I preferred the natural look. My first project with walnut, I wiped on tung oil and let it dry overnight before spraying lacquer top coat. Was told it would “really pop the grain”. Honestly, I don’t see a difference using the tung oil or not.

I have sprayed lacquer at midnight, up at 6AM to finish assembly and wax it, delivered by Noon. Good luck. Share pics when it is done.

-- Rick - I know I am not perfect, but I will keep pressing on toward the goal of becoming all I am called to be.

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dakremer

2742 posts in 3477 days


#44 posted 09-21-2018 07:28 PM

I will definitely share when done! Its been awhile since I’ve done any fine woodworking. My woodworking these days fall on the carpentry side of the spectrum (fixing up a 100 year old home)

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

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dakremer

2742 posts in 3477 days


#45 posted 09-22-2018 08:34 PM

Hey guys, quick questions….

I put the final coat on of lacquer about an hour ago. I gave it a very light sanding with a 320grit pad, now I have lacquer dust all over it. Whats the best way to clean it all up? Acetone? Water?

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

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dakremer

2742 posts in 3477 days


#46 posted 09-22-2018 08:38 PM

....and should I put a wax over top of it? or not necessary?

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View Rich's profile (online now)

Rich

4474 posts in 975 days


#47 posted 09-22-2018 08:42 PM


Hey guys, quick questions….

I put the final coat on of lacquer about an hour ago. I gave it a very light sanding with a 320grit pad, now I have lacquer dust all over it. Whats the best way to clean it all up? Acetone? Water?

- dakremer

Not acetone! LOL. That’s a solvent for lacquer and you’ll have a huge problem on your hands. Use naphtha.

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

View Rich's profile (online now)

Rich

4474 posts in 975 days


#48 posted 09-22-2018 08:43 PM


....and should I put a wax over top of it? or not necessary?

- dakremer

Not necessary. You can try a little wax on one of your test boards to see if you like it if you want.

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

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dakremer

2742 posts in 3477 days


#49 posted 09-22-2018 08:44 PM

Ok, I don’t have any Naphtha. Whats the next best option? Soapy water?

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

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dakremer

2742 posts in 3477 days


#50 posted 09-22-2018 08:45 PM

Is Naphtha the same thing as mineral spirits?

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

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