Black Palm Finishing

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Forum topic by Walnut_Weasel posted 03-21-2010 02:46 PM 3365 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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360 posts in 3672 days

03-21-2010 02:46 PM

I just picked up a small piece of black palm that I think I am going to try to use for some decorative inlay. Does anyone have any experience finishing it (or any other palm)? It feels like it may be a bit waxy but I am not sure.

I found some information about the “wood” when I googled it but I am having trouble finding any information about applying finish.

-- James -

3 replies so far

View Don's profile


517 posts in 3523 days

#1 posted 04-01-2010 07:17 AM

I’ve never worked with it but if it’s waxy then polyurethenes and lacquers probobly won’t work well. Shellac has a natural wax in it and is a good finish for nearly anything. It’s even used for things like concrete, drywall, candy, medicine, kids toys, etc… It’s also real easy to strip if it doesn’t work well.

-- Don - I wood work if I could. Redmond WA.

View bill1352's profile


130 posts in 3572 days

#2 posted 04-01-2010 02:25 PM

it splinters faster then you can blink so be sure you have extra sharp blades. i’d look at a sealer to start unless you just use an oil finish.

-- Keep Your Stick On The Ice

View closetguy's profile


744 posts in 4342 days

#3 posted 04-01-2010 03:10 PM

I use both red and black palm in some of my bookmarks, so obviously they are sliced real thin. Red palm is a little more unstable than black. I soak the finished product in a liquid stabilizer that I get from HD, then finish with three coats of General Finishes Arm-R-Seal. Depending on your thickness needs, you may want to look at using it as an end grain inlay. I think the end grain is very dramatic, but it’s not stable enough for my bookmarks.

-- I don't make mistakes, only design

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