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All Replies on Do I have to use some kind of finish?

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View CrankAddict's profile

Do I have to use some kind of finish?

by CrankAddict
posted 12-13-2018 05:32 AM


24 replies so far

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

1623 posts in 1944 days


#1 posted 12-13-2018 05:50 AM

Without some type of finish, dust and dirt will get into pores of wood, and make it tough to clean.
Might look nice today, but in 6 months dust will settle in and leave uneven shadows.

Normally a simple wipe down with BLO would make a nice natural finish, but it will darken the wood slightly

If you want water clear coating that adds zero color, suggest General Finishes High Performance water based top coat. Comes in flat, satin, semi and gloss versions. The satin version give wood a very natural look.
Others mfg similar coatings available online, GF HP Top Coat is little easier to find at your local wood working store.

PS – always test finish on scraps before committing to project.

Best Luck.

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

View jamsomito's profile

jamsomito

432 posts in 875 days


#2 posted 12-13-2018 06:23 AM

+1 on general finishes water based poly. Best water based finish I’ve used. Its a bit more forgiving than minwax polycrylic (levels better, less brush strokes IMO). I used the flat sheen and really like the look. It keeps a very natural color. It will add a lot of character and some color though. Like you put water on it (ish).

Another note, all wood will change color over time from uv light. A finish such as above will help preserve it a bit longer. Eventually it will change regardless though.

I like BLO but I find it has one of the heaviest amber tones of the finishes I’ve used. I might recommend the water poly if a natural look is what you’re after.

View WoodenDreams's profile

WoodenDreams

666 posts in 360 days


#3 posted 12-13-2018 06:27 AM

Use Lemon Pledge to dust it, and you’ll end up about the same as if you put on a finish.

View Rich's profile

Rich

4688 posts in 1039 days


#4 posted 12-13-2018 06:32 AM

The best finish for any piece of red oak is a bon fire.

-- My grandfather always said that when one door closes, another one opens. He was a wonderful man, but a lousy cabinet maker

View jamsomito's profile

jamsomito

432 posts in 875 days


#5 posted 12-13-2018 06:45 AM



The best finish for any piece of red oak is a bon fire.

- Rich

LOL. OP, it’s a joke. Go find the thread, it’s an entertaining read.

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

5332 posts in 2759 days


#6 posted 12-13-2018 08:57 AM

Now that Rich has chimed in I’d say put a water clear fire retardant on it.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

5332 posts in 2759 days


#7 posted 12-13-2018 09:00 AM

I don’t think there anything you can put on it that won’t change it is some way. Remember to try it on scrap first. Rich says all oak is scrap so you should have plenty to practice with.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View Rich's profile

Rich

4688 posts in 1039 days


#8 posted 12-13-2018 09:54 AM


The best finish for any piece of red oak is a bon fire.

- Rich

LOL. OP, it s a joke. Go find the thread, it s an entertaining read.

- jamsomito

I was dead serious.

-- My grandfather always said that when one door closes, another one opens. He was a wonderful man, but a lousy cabinet maker

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5640 posts in 2943 days


#9 posted 12-13-2018 11:35 AM

Somewhere above it was said already: but almost any finish you use will alter the appearance at least slightly. Waterborne finishes can be water clear (and stay that way) but you will still have a change in appearance. That said, you do need to finish it in some fashion. Back to the waterborne finishes, some of them have a tint to mimic their oil based counterpart, so check the label carefully if you choose to use one.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View ChefHDAN's profile

ChefHDAN

1419 posts in 3299 days


#10 posted 12-13-2018 01:30 PM

Jeff, since you’re just starting out, you’ll find WATCO oils are very easy to use and get beautiful results. BRIWAX is another I used frequently in the beginning. Although you like the look now you’ll come to learn that the finish is where the magic happens, making the grain and figure pop. There is not much of interest in red oak, but it’s economical and a decent place to learn using your tools. With time, focusing on featuring the grain, even a simple red oak table or some candle stands be very attractive even if they’re RO. If you’ve got kids beyond that red pitty, then you should consider WB poly finishes for anything with a horizontal surface the kids can put stuff on. Good looking frame!

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View swirt's profile

swirt

4061 posts in 3421 days


#11 posted 12-13-2018 02:07 PM

Pure Tung oil imparts much less color change than BLO. It would give you a natural finish without as much darkening.

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

View CrankAddict's profile

CrankAddict

38 posts in 251 days


#12 posted 12-13-2018 02:40 PM

Thanks for the input everyone. I’m so new to this I had to google “BLO” to see what that was :) I will definitely test on some scrap and report back with the final results. Thanks again!

View JADobson's profile

JADobson

1445 posts in 2560 days


#13 posted 12-13-2018 03:05 PM

What about just a good coat of wax? Shouldn’t change the colour much if you use a neutral coloured wax.

-- No craft is very far from the line beyond which is magic. -- Lord Dunsany — Instagram @grailwoodworks

View ChefHDAN's profile

ChefHDAN

1419 posts in 3299 days


#14 posted 12-13-2018 03:22 PM

Jeff, be sure to read and follow the safety instructions with BLO, it and many other finishes can be highly flammable. I do not have a fire bucket, but I always hang any towels etc. used over a ladder rack so that they can dry out before disposal, never leave them wadded up thrown in a trash can.

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View CrankAddict's profile

CrankAddict

38 posts in 251 days


#15 posted 12-13-2018 03:26 PM

I’ve been reading about white stains, or even mixing in some white paint to a white stain. That seems to produce a light appearance even after poly is added. What I’m seeing when clear poly is added to the bare oak seems to end up much too brown/yellow/red. Any thoughts on white stains?

And thanks for the heads up on the BLO fire stuff. I think that’s the only thing I still remember from high school shop class. At the time it sounded awesome, but now that it’s MY house it sounds terrifying lol.

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

2771 posts in 1672 days


#16 posted 12-13-2018 03:34 PM

I’d give plain old paste wax a try (on scrap). You can get in in a number of different colors and since red oak is porous, the wax filling the pores will turn them the same color.

View 000's profile

000

2859 posts in 1349 days


#17 posted 12-13-2018 04:07 PM

I use a product (mainly for White Oak) that helps keep the natural color of the oak.

Here is a pic showing the finishes.

Half of a board was sprayed with 2 coats of water white lacquer,
and the other half was sprayed with 2 coats of the Bona
The long board has no finish to compare to.

It’s probably too expensive for a one off frame,
but next time somebody is doing a clear finish on white oak it is highly recommended by me.
And it’s waterborne and durable.

View GR8HUNTER's profile (online now)

GR8HUNTER

6327 posts in 1162 days


#18 posted 12-13-2018 04:10 PM

watco natural Danish oil :<))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View OnhillWW's profile

OnhillWW

184 posts in 1682 days


#19 posted 12-13-2018 05:16 PM

If you want to keep the color and look of bare wood but add protection I would consider Water borne polys with a mat finish or rattle can Lacquer in mat . Treat all surfaces to best keep it from warping. Both of these dry very fast so you can complete the project in a couple of hours.

-- Cheap is expensive! - my Dad

View Jeremymcon's profile

Jeremymcon

353 posts in 1129 days


#20 posted 12-13-2018 06:53 PM

I can tell you that even with no finish that frame will darken. I have an unfinished piece if red oak that has been sitting in a window (keeps the window closed when the air conditioner is in) that has darkened significantly. That said, I see no reason why you couldn’t just leave it unfinished. Watco won’t give it much protection, but it will make it a little easier to clean. If you ever clean it with a damp rag or something you’ll raise the grain of there’s no finish on it.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5640 posts in 2943 days


#21 posted 12-13-2018 06:56 PM

I should have mentioned earlier, while the waterborne finishes may fit your needs, keep in mind you may have raised grain to smooth out. No big deal, apply the first coat, smooth it out, and then apply however many more you want. The first ones locks the fibers in place and seals the wood, so after that it’s not a problem.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Andybb's profile (online now)

Andybb

1939 posts in 1053 days


#22 posted 12-13-2018 07:05 PM

Nothing wrong with Lemon pledge or whatever you use when it’s time to dust. It will do what you need it to do and it will get touched up anytime you pull out the Pledge without having to go into the garage and get some special product used only for that. It’ll get dusted along with everything else without any extra effort. JMHO using the KISS method. I have also used Bona but I already have it around the house.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View Phil32's profile

Phil32

598 posts in 353 days


#23 posted 12-13-2018 08:41 PM

I agree with jbay – evidence is better than opinion. I also like the natural look on woodcarvings I do, and have tried various finishes. Here are two examples. On the left is a bare piece of basswood – the backside of a carving. (I like to taper the edges so they don’t look heavy on the wall.) The right one is the backside of an identical, finished carving. The finish is water-based polyacrylic. The carving is over six years old.

-- Phil Allin - There are mountain climbers and people who talk about climbing mountains. The climbers have "selfies" at the summit!

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

16158 posts in 3068 days


#24 posted 12-13-2018 09:10 PM

Want to experiment? Try soap.

https://www.popularwoodworking.com/techniques/soap-making-clean-finish-2/

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

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