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I need some help….......I have some gorgeous "curly redwood slab table tops and need to know the best finish for them. I have finished numerous types of wood but have never finished redwood. i remember having a redwood picnic table many moons ago and was told to never "seal" redwood. I'm thinking of using General Finishes, outdoor oil. The "curl" in this wood is simply stunning and I would hate to screw them up. I will post pictures once there are completed…...........any other ideas would be greatly appreciated
 

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First, I would like to know why "never seal redwood" if someone can answer this with a solid answer, then I will back away from what I will suggest. I have always preferred to finish my finest work with automotive urethane. There are big advantages, what would take 10 -12 coats of lacquer, can be done in 3 coats of urethane, it has excellent buildup in it. Since it is catalyzed, can be sanded easily, it sands better than lacquer because it hardens, better, faster,(to the point of sanding) and evenly by the chemical reaction, verses the air drying by lacquer. It polishes beautifully, with the automotive compounds available, looks like and feels like glass. There is none better for protection from water, spilled drinks, and superior UV protection. It must be sprayed on, and the cost, might keep you from doing it this way, but it is much faster, and the finish is the best bar none. To me, when you have such a beautiful wood, it deserves the very best enhancement there can be. Hope this helps you decide, if you have any questions, let me know. - Dan
 

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Sounds like you have redwood burl - the wood from the base of the tree as it goes to the roots. It can be stunning with a clear finish.

I've never heard that redwood shouldn't be sealed. Who said that?
 
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