What's the best finish to use?

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Forum topic by xunil76 posted 02-27-2017 07:11 PM 1614 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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31 posts in 1311 days

02-27-2017 07:11 PM

if i were to make bowls/cups that will come into contact with hot drinks or foods (hot tea, hot soup, etc.), what finish would hold up the best under those uses?

also, for cups, what would be the best finish for serving alcoholic drinks?

6 replies so far

View OSU55's profile


2657 posts in 2836 days

#1 posted 02-27-2017 08:31 PM

For hot drinks and/or alcohol, a stainless liner. Never tried a finish for that type of application since all I’ve read about others’ experience were about failures of the various finishes attempted. For a soup bowl – nothing or maybe mineral oil. I dont think the old wooden cups and bowls had any finish.

Maybe a marine epoxy but I have no idea what heat or alcohol exposure may do.

View Wildwood's profile


2890 posts in 2981 days

#2 posted 02-27-2017 08:36 PM

For bowls coming in contact with food I use nothing but mineral oil (laxative) and give a bottle to the customer. Only do those on special order, all other bowls (dust collectors) use any film finish have on hand. If were to turn a cup for beverages would buy a liner as already recommended.

-- Bill

View ScottM's profile


748 posts in 2993 days

#3 posted 02-27-2017 08:42 PM

General Finishes Salad Bowl Finish. Food safe film finish, if you build it up. Mix it 50/50 with mineral spirits (paint thinner) and apply it letting it soak into the wood. This will cure inside the wood giving it a more water resistant finish. It’s designed for food contact. However, I wouldn’t let the liquid sit in it for more than a couple of hours. It is still wood…

View Woodknack's profile


13470 posts in 3227 days

#4 posted 02-27-2017 10:12 PM

Between my research and experiments, the only thing I believe will stand up to very hot water is epoxy, or nothing. Kuksas are traditionally boiled in salt water and no finish is used. When I get back around to this again, that’s the way I will go next. But you’re probably ahead to use a stainless liner as suggested by OSU55.

-- Rick M,

View oldnovice's profile


7644 posts in 4214 days

#5 posted 02-28-2017 06:03 AM

I would suggest a glass or stainless steel liner for hot beverages and/or foods.

However, according to Charles Neil video,, all finishes are cold food safe when dry!
For example, shellac is used to coat medicines, also in this case, and for food glazing!

But for heavens sake, DO NOT drink your shellac, the formulations for pharmaceutical and food industries are highly controlled in levels that are suitable for consumption!

-- "It's fine in practise but it will never work in theory"

View Wildwood's profile


2890 posts in 2981 days

#6 posted 02-28-2017 11:50 AM

I post this food safe link below couple times a year. Because don’t believe once a finish has cured its food safe. Yes, there is a federal CFR saying toxic chemicals are safe for food contact but nothing about wood finishes. Don’t take my word for anything check out a products MSDS or SDS!

What is an MSDS OR SDS?

Food Safe Finishes

-- Bill

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