End Grain sealing

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Forum topic by Raymond posted 01-21-2011 05:38 PM 10300 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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683 posts in 5058 days

01-21-2011 05:38 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I hate end grain. What is your best way of sealing an end grain prior to applying a finish. I have some cedar that is sucking up finish like a sponge.

-- Ray

16 replies so far

View hObOmOnk's profile


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#1 posted 01-21-2011 05:49 PM


-- 温故知新

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Chris Wright

541 posts in 4812 days

#2 posted 01-21-2011 06:04 PM

I’ve used sanding sealer on all types of woods. May take a few extra coats then the long grain but with a little sanding between them you should end up with a surface that’s as smooth as glass.

-- "At its best, life is completely unpredictable." - Christopher Walken

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#3 posted 01-21-2011 06:09 PM

+1 on shellac…and on cedar I’d make certain it’s a thick cut.

-- jay,

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#4 posted 01-21-2011 06:33 PM

+2 on shellac

-- Childress Woodworks

View Jonathan's profile


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#5 posted 01-21-2011 06:43 PM

Shellac (dewaxed) is always a great choice because it’s compatible with anything you might want to put over the top of it.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View tbone's profile


330 posts in 5015 days

#6 posted 01-21-2011 07:26 PM

I bow down to the king—Woodwhisperer—and follow this advice.

-- Kinky Friedman: "The first thing I'll do if I'm elected is demand a recount."

View woodsmith1's profile


58 posts in 4286 days

#7 posted 01-21-2011 10:48 PM

I’e heard of mixing 50% water and 50% wood glue then brushing that on but have never tried it. Usually just more coats for finish.

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Scott Bryan

27249 posts in 5153 days

#8 posted 01-21-2011 11:30 PM

Raymond, here is another vote for shellac but you can sand the end grain to a higher grit (if you stop at 220 for instance sand the end grain to at least 320). Sanding to a higher grit inhibits the absorption of stain/finish.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

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2609 posts in 4381 days

#9 posted 01-21-2011 11:37 PM

Scott brings up another option, although you might want to go 2-grits higher on the end grain, which would put the above example at 400-grit. Try 1-grit higher on a sample piece, and if that isn’t even enough between the two grains, then try the same experiment going 2-grits higher.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

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Rick Dennington

7191 posts in 4525 days

#10 posted 01-22-2011 01:02 AM

Put Super Glue on the end grain.. It works for me…....just saturate, let it dry….good to go….

-- " There's a better way.....find it"...... Thomas Edison.

View Gator's profile


383 posts in 5007 days

#11 posted 01-22-2011 06:24 AM

If you are staining a piece and want to keep the end grain for going darker, dilute the finish by 75% with mineral spirits for the end grain application. Put a coat on, and if required, add another.


-- Master designer of precision sawdust and one of a kind slivers.

View Raymond's profile


683 posts in 5058 days

#12 posted 01-24-2011 07:34 PM

Great tips thank everyone.

-- Ray

View Nomad62's profile


726 posts in 4289 days

#13 posted 01-24-2011 08:26 PM

Cedar is a sponge, lol. Anyway, I just toured a local high-end custom furniture outlet and they put three coats of finish on their end grains before any goes on the flat surfaces.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

View NietzscheWN's profile


1 post in 1354 days

#14 posted 05-04-2018 02:05 AM

Made some hard maple raised panel cabinet doors and knowing end grain on ogee profile of raised panel would soak up too much stain decided to sand end grain to 600 grit (220 on long grain) and use minwax wood sealer (between 15-180 minutes after application ) but still too dark. Sanded progressively to 1500 grit and wood shiny but still too dark lines on exposed end grain of ogee panel edge so mixed titebond original yellow glue 50 percent water and 50 percent glue ( a little goes a long way) and brushed in direction of open pores. Let dry overnight. Resanded doen to 1000 grit. Used minwax sanding sealer and it worked after two coats of gunstock oil stain.

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2936 posts in 3320 days

#15 posted 05-04-2018 12:19 PM

End grain can be burnished with a polished metal surface to close the pores up, its what I do. I use a slightly convex curve, like a large spoon, and rub it over the surface with a bit of pressure. Sanding to higher grits also works.

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