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I made a nice walnut and cherry box to hold a cash for a wedding gift and wanted to finish it with General finishes high performance. I decided to darken the cherry and walnut with BLO first which I let dry for 24 hours before spraying on 4 coats of the GF water based poly. It looked great when done, but I could scratch the finish off with my fingernail. It was so bad I sanded it down and have to refinish it.

I am guessing that GF is not good over the BLO and I should have put a coat of shellac over the BLO before applying the GF poly. Or it needed more than 24 hours for the BLO to Dry. Wedding is in 4 days so I may just go with shellac to not chance any more finish failures.
 

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Yea, BLO takes a long long time to dry and even then it's not really hard (IMO). I have not used it in years because I don't have two weeks to let it dry. You could seal it with shellac and It should stick, but with no dry time that's going to be rough. I work pretty much in cherry for future reference if you want a good dark finish and ok with oil use waterlox. If you want General finishes Arm-R-Seal or other poly gel coats. Here's a link from General finishes about BLO. Sorry with your timelines you are going to have a challenge.

http://generalfinishes.com/blog/2014/04/what-best-clear-finish-bring-out-natural-color-and-characteristics-wood-grain#.U_6K0PldW0g
 

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Try Arm-R-Seal if you want nice look with poly in a short time period. I thought that BLO was 5 days to weeks in drying time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have a lot to learn in the finishing realm. That article you referenced says it all. Thanks. I knew I should have thrown a coat of dewaxed shellac down before the poly. Live and learn. I just wiped on my second coat of shellac and think I may just go with that. It looks good after only 2 coats wiped on.
 

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Don't feel bad. Finishing has always been the bane of my being. I love to make furniture hate to finish it. I'ts more chemistry than anything. I'll recomned you go over to Charles Neil's site and take a look at his dvd finishing from a-z its great and I learned more from that than anything else. He runs discounts on DVD's every now and then. it's a 10 dvd set so you get your money's worth. Check it out. Take care.
 

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BLO will do that to you. I cannot understand WHY people insist on putting that crap on an otherwise nice project ??? It accomplishes NOTHING that can't be done in a safer & more predictable manner by using dyes and or chemicals.
 

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Whoa guys. Easy on the BLO. People put BLO on stuff because it is accessible and that is what we all do when we start off. I will say that BLO is not the best finishing option, but I don't think it is a cardinal sin or anything. Pure oil finishes are pretty finicky and it is a shame that they get advertised as way easier than film finishes. In my opinion, pure oils such as BLO are more difficult to work with and give you much worse results. Try a danish oil or some other oil/varnish blend to deepen the color. Then go with a film finish over that.
 

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As a rule, oil and waterborne finishes don't mix. Either use only oil based or waterborne products exclusively on each project, or seal in the oil based product with a coat of dewaxed shellac prior to applying the waterborne finish.
 

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I'm happy to be proven wrong, but if the oil-baed stain or oil is completely dried/cured, you can put a waterborne poly on top of it. The problem isn't mixing water and oil, but only allowing the BLO to dry for 24 hours, when it days days for it to cure. It may be that an oil-based poly would have worked better in this case, but neither would work well.
 

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Also, WB finishes, IMHO, are used in these situations:

1. Very light wood you wan to stay very light- where stylistically you want it to look washed out, which is what WB tends to do
2. Used over paint, or milk paint, or a colored dye- oil base finished change the appearance of colors, so if your doing something in a color, use WB because it dries clear as clear.

Oil will warm up a woods natural beauty, WB finish will ultimately make it look washed out, and even have a hazy hue to it. For this piece, it sounds like wipe on oil based poly would have achieved the same look at BLO and a film finish in less steps

But by all means, experiment- it's the only way to learn what works best!
 

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Everyone else has this covered, but I'll add this would have been a good case for a seal coat of shellac. The alcohol in shellac acts as a drier for the BLO, allowing it to cure much faster.
 

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Holy cow! BLO has some haters out there. I stripped it down and again used BLO and put a few sealer coats of shellac before the water based poly and it looked awesome. I posted it in the projects click on the projects next to my profile pic to view it. Check it out. I love the BLO look on dark woods. I learned a lot from this screw up. Shellac is the universal primer/sealer.
 
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