What's your favourite finish

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Forum topic by Mrkixx posted 01-13-2016 02:36 AM 1533 views 1 time favorited 24 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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71 posts in 2897 days

01-13-2016 02:36 AM

Happy New Year Guys and Gals, I have been wondering about, finishing for projects. And the types as well as the ways to apply them. So if I may, I would like to ask all of you, yes all of you. What your favourite finishes are, and if you have a special mix for wipe on’s or brands of choice, or how you like to apply them. Wax, poly, paste, water based, or whatever.

24 replies so far

View AandCstyle's profile


3288 posts in 3175 days

#1 posted 01-13-2016 01:56 PM

I’ll start this one: Most of the time I use a combination of Target Coating’s Emtech finishes-EM1000, EM6000, WR4000, EM9000, etc. They are waterborne so I can spray them without having explosion proof fan and lights. They are very easy to use including clean up. I will add color with TransTint dyes.

-- Art

View conifur's profile


954 posts in 2069 days

#2 posted 01-13-2016 01:57 PM

Shellac and MinWax wipe on oil base Poly.

-- Knowledge and experience equals Wisdom, Michael Frankowski

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1934 posts in 2887 days

#3 posted 01-13-2016 02:05 PM

Tried and True Danish Oil. It is a completely natural finish, very forgiving, and very beautiful. I use a rag. Three coats is usually sufficient for most things I do. And it looks and feels amazing when done.

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View CB_Cohick's profile


493 posts in 2169 days

#4 posted 01-13-2016 02:15 PM

Tried and True Danish Oil. It is a completely natural finish, very forgiving, and very beautiful. I use a rag. Three coats is usually sufficient for most things I do. And it looks and feels amazing when done.

- Kaleb the Swede

+1 , This is my current favorite for ease of application and final appearance. I have had good results with tung oil also, but that stuff takes forever to dry.

-- Chris - Would work, but I'm too busy reading about woodwork.

View dhazelton's profile


2839 posts in 3214 days

#5 posted 01-13-2016 02:15 PM

Shellac brushed on and rubbed out with 0000 steel wool and waxed. The fancier you try to get with finishes the more chances for error.

View Scott C.'s profile

Scott C.

162 posts in 2969 days

#6 posted 01-13-2016 02:15 PM

General finishes Enduro Var is great stuff, super expensive though. GF High performance poly is also very good.

-- measure twice, cut once, swear and start over.

View Fred Hargis's profile (online now)

Fred Hargis

6575 posts in 3411 days

#7 posted 01-13-2016 02:16 PM

Don’t really have a favorite, or it change with the specific project. But I do seem to use more varnish than anything else, but as it’s availability dwindles I’ll probably be switching those applications to the acrylics (water borne finishes).

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

View WoodNSawdust's profile


1417 posts in 2094 days

#8 posted 01-13-2016 02:19 PM

Home mixed shellac to color the wood followed by water based Minwax Polycrylic spray finish. I use the Earlex 5000 hvlp sprayer. Cleanup is just water.

The other finish I will use is lacquer. Cleanup is expensive.

-- "I love it when a plan comes together" John "Hannibal" Smith

View jdh122's profile


1185 posts in 3735 days

#9 posted 01-13-2016 02:20 PM

Lee Valley tung oil. They sell high gloss and matte versions and you mix them, after a single coat of the matte as a sealer. It’s very expensive, and their sealer seems to be pretty similar to other tung oils, so I only buy their high gloss and use inexpensive tung oil (Gaudrreault’s) to replace the sealer. Usually do 4 coats total, don’t even wax it after. BY varying the mix of the two you can get as much or as little gloss as you want. I find the result to be much better than regular tung oil.
I’ve also used the Tried and True finishes and like them, but since discovering the LV tung oil haven’t used much else.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View jmartel's profile


9110 posts in 3068 days

#10 posted 01-13-2016 02:39 PM

I really like General Finishes Arm-R-Seal. Been using Shellac more and more recently as well. Shellac followed by applying paste wax with a #0000 steel wool pad is amazingly smooth and nice to touch.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View JayT's profile


6414 posts in 3129 days

#11 posted 01-13-2016 03:20 PM

I really like Danish Oil and use it whenever appropriate. I’ve also used shellac, wipe on poly, brush on poly, rattle can lacquer and others. The one I’ve only used once, so far, but has some intriguing possibilities is Minwax Antique Oil.

-- - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View endgrainy's profile


251 posts in 2806 days

#12 posted 01-13-2016 03:56 PM

General finishes Arm-R-Seal when durability is important. Beautiful finish that’s easy to apply with a rag. No thinning, just wipe on out of the can.

Shellac (Zinser Sealcoat) when durability is not as critical. Easy to apply, dries quickly. I either wipe on or spray with HVLP. Typically I thin with 50% denatured alcohol.

I like to to buff out both with steel wool or high grit sandpaper to “finish the finish.”

-- Follow me on Instagram @endgrainy

View sawdustdad's profile


379 posts in 1803 days

#13 posted 01-13-2016 06:20 PM

Minwax wipe-on poly is my go-to finish for most stuff. Applied with a rag, 3 to 10 coats depending on objectives. Other finishes as warranted (Shellac, tung oil, Watco daniish oil, brushed poly, or even Minwax poly in a rattle can)

-- Murphy's Carpentry Corollary #3: Half of all boards cut to a specific length will be too short.

View Drew's profile


401 posts in 4018 days

#14 posted 01-13-2016 11:14 PM

I use Target Coatings for topcoats.
I use a lot of EM8000CV. Great color, easy to shoot, very durable and easy to clean out of my gun. Also shoot EM9000SC on painted pieces because it is very clear.

Most of my colors are General Finishes dye stains. Don’t use any of their topcoats anymore.


View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3608 days

#15 posted 01-14-2016 03:29 AM

Rubbed on shellac unless it’s a tabletop, then I use wiped on Spar Urethane.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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