Inside Box, to finish or not to finish

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Forum topic by bushmaster posted 05-18-2017 05:38 PM 825 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3670 posts in 2730 days

05-18-2017 05:38 PM

I am just in the finishing stage of finishing a couple boxes for gifts, So do I apply finish to the inside of the box, would like to, but concerned with the smell that can linger in a closed space. I would use a fast curing spray finish, such as Krylon spray lacquer. Is this advisable. I see lots of fantastic boxes entered on this site, would like your opinions and secrets.
Thanks Brian, the Bushman

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

14 replies so far

View jmartel's profile


8513 posts in 2597 days

#1 posted 05-18-2017 05:42 PM

Could use shellac. The smell goes away pretty quickly.

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

View Fred Hargis's profile (online now)

Fred Hargis

5635 posts in 2941 days

#2 posted 05-18-2017 06:07 PM

Shellac, any waterborne finish, or lacquer should be fine. The lingering odor problem is typically associated with oil based finishes.

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

View waho6o9's profile


8702 posts in 3024 days

#3 posted 05-18-2017 06:12 PM

Shellac and or wax works for me.

View DrDirt's profile


4588 posts in 4189 days

#4 posted 05-18-2017 07:27 PM

I spray lacquer for boxes inside and out…. since I expect that inevitably something sticky/nasty will be put in the box… or will sit in the sun on a dresser and melt a lipstick.

NO oils though… that takes forever to cure and stop smelling. But Lacquer and Shellac are great.

-- β€œThe two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View bushmaster's profile


3670 posts in 2730 days

#5 posted 05-18-2017 08:52 PM

Thanks for the advice, Will go ahead with the lacquer as I have some, agree with things in the box that can get it marked or dirty, they will not receive them till towards the end of June, so will be well aired by then.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

View BenDupre's profile


719 posts in 935 days

#6 posted 05-18-2017 08:57 PM

My woodshop teacher taught the rule was “whatever you do to finish one side, do it to the other” because.. moisture. So i would spray the inside and give it all the time it needs to cure out. Good Luck

-- The problem with communication is the illusion that it has occurred. – George Bernard Shaw

View Rich's profile (online now)


4677 posts in 1037 days

#7 posted 05-18-2017 09:05 PM

Not a finish per se, but flocking can provide a nice finishing touch. Just a thought β€” it might not be the sort of interior you are looking for though.

If you want finished wood, the shellac and lacquer recommendations above are good ones.

-- My grandfather always said that when one door closes, another one opens. He was a wonderful man, but a lousy cabinet maker

View AandCstyle's profile


3216 posts in 2704 days

#8 posted 05-18-2017 09:25 PM

Brian, here is another vote for lacquer, but I am partial to Deft lacquer. FWIW

-- Art

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

22994 posts in 3553 days

#9 posted 05-18-2017 09:40 PM

Hi Brian,

Lacquer would be good. Danish oil would work too. I use Danish oil before the lacquer every time….it makes the grain “pop” .

Just don’t use oil based poly.That will keep the smell and be objectionable!

Cheer, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View MrUnix's profile (online now)


7434 posts in 2646 days

#10 posted 05-18-2017 10:12 PM

Ok, dissenting voice here for oil based poly :)

I have a couple of Cedar lidded boxes I turned a while back, and finished with oil based poly inside and out. If you take the lid off the box, all you smell is Cedar. They were allowed to cure for several weeks though. The poly doesn’t smell like poly forever :)

I do use Lacquer as well, and Danish oil. And I always finish the inside the same as the outside, even when I plan to line them with something like felt also.


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View kiefer's profile


5658 posts in 3114 days

#11 posted 05-19-2017 02:22 AM

I use linseed oil and wax or poly inside and out I hate lacquer then spray with Febreze after the finish has cured .


-- Kiefer

View crowie's profile


3120 posts in 2398 days

#12 posted 05-19-2017 10:39 AM

Brain, I maybe a little late but you could do a test box, say, using a cardboard shoe box or similar and see how the smell issue becomes an problem…just a thought…

-- Lifes good, Enjoy each new day...... Cheers from "On Top DownUnder" Crowie

View bushmaster's profile


3670 posts in 2730 days

#13 posted 05-19-2017 01:36 PM

Kiefer, Febreze, Will have to try that, I think that is a Klaus original, always thinking beyond and coming up with great projects and ideas. Thanks.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

View EricTwice's profile


248 posts in 981 days

#14 posted 05-19-2017 02:19 PM

Always finish both sides, it makes the wood more stable and prevents warping. l would use lacquer or shellac. Just because they are fast, easy and no fuss.

but almost anything will work, what do you have? use that.

-- nice recovery, They should pay extra for that mistake, Eric E.

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