light sapwood with dark heartwood...

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Forum topic by sam57 posted 03-23-2017 02:39 AM 598 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3 posts in 883 days

03-23-2017 02:39 AM

Topic tags/keywords: walnut rustic question finishing

We have walnut slabs we are finishing for a bar top. The sapwood is very light on these. When we stain it, we would like to keep the sapwood as light as possible, but want the heartwood stained very dark. As newbies, we are at a loss as to how to achieve that look. Suggestions appreciated!

5 replies so far

View papadan's profile


3584 posts in 3821 days

#1 posted 03-23-2017 04:06 AM

I don’t know why you would stain Walnut!

View jerryminer's profile


960 posts in 1894 days

#2 posted 03-23-2017 07:01 AM

I’m with papadan—- use a clear finish

-- Jerry, making sawdust professionally since 1976

View ScottM's profile


739 posts in 2599 days

#3 posted 03-23-2017 12:00 PM

Ditto with both replies. Just leave it alone.

View sam57's profile


3 posts in 883 days

#4 posted 03-23-2017 12:29 PM

Thanks, folks. That was my first thought.

View JayT's profile


6241 posts in 2664 days

#5 posted 03-23-2017 12:30 PM

Totally agree with the others and will add one more thing. Use an oil finish, preferably a slower drying one—the oil will help darken the heartwood and the slower drying finishes absorb more to increase how dark it goes. After that is fully dry, you can topcoat with whatever you need for protection—poly of some kind will be toughest for a bar top. If you just use a water based poly with nothing else, the walnut will not darken like with an oil finish.

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

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