Vanity Questions - Waterproofing, Stain and Wood Species

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Forum topic by aaronp0654 posted 12-11-2018 01:21 PM 398 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View aaronp0654's profile


2 posts in 411 days

12-11-2018 01:21 PM

Hello All,

First time posting a question…

Someone asked me to make a vanity similar to the one in these pics, but I had a few questions.

First of all, I can’t figure out what wood species this is? I want to make sure it comes out with the same “natural” color. I would use pine, but it will come out more yellow than this modern brown look. (sorry, if these aren’t technical terms!) I’ve looked all over the web and tried to compare them to similar modern vanities and most come up being teak wood? I felt like teak wood has longer straight lines and may not be the right one. I’m assuming if I find the right species I’ll just use a clear coat? I’ve read a lot of people use Waterlox and then finish with the satin sealer.

Thanks for your assistance!!

6 replies so far

View Robert's profile


3602 posts in 2090 days

#1 posted 12-11-2018 04:20 PM

Mahogany will give a similar look. In fact that may be mahogany. Also likely to be an Asian wood.

Any exterior varnish will do the job.

You can experiment with some dyes or stains to dial in the color you want.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View LesB's profile


2318 posts in 4052 days

#2 posted 12-11-2018 05:40 PM

Cherry would give you that color but will darken as it ages. Another wood with a similar color is Alder. It is often used in place of cherry on cabinets. You might have to add a little color to the alder to get the exact match. Cherry will darken as it ages and is exposed to light but that can be slowed with a varnish or verathane finish. Both would provide a durable surface.
You mentioned pine. If you haven’t worked with adding color to pine be cautious because it accepts stain unevenly unless you seal it first. You could add a colored shellac for color which works well on pine. There are some darker amber shellacs that will come close to your color. If you want to add a harder finish like varnish or verathane over the shellac be sure to use de-waxed shellac.

-- Les B, Oregon

View bondogaposis's profile


5607 posts in 2960 days

#3 posted 12-11-2018 07:47 PM

My guess is that vanity is bubinga. I would look at boat varnishes for finishing that.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View aaronp0654's profile


2 posts in 411 days

#4 posted 12-17-2018 01:25 PM

Thanks everyone for your replies. I went in to my local Wood Werks and a few people there said they thought it looked like cherry. Their finishing guy said the best option would be to spray on the polyurethane, but said the next best option would be 4 or 5 coats of Arm-R-Seal. I don’t think I’m ready for using a $300 sprayer yet! He did said using the Arm-R-Seal wouldn’t be a hard/waterproof coat. I will stop back in and see if they have any Alder, Mahogany and my guess is they won’t have “bubinga”. Ha. I don’t know what bubinga is, but I got a feeling the guy I’m making it for won’t want to pay for it.

Thanks again everyone for the help. I’ll post a picture when I get it done.

Take Care

View bilyo's profile


962 posts in 1712 days

#5 posted 12-17-2018 05:43 PM

Just my 2 cents worth, and it may be worth less: If I was doing that vanity for myself, I would look for some plastic laminate with the look of wood as close to the picture as possible. Then use cherry (or what ever it is) for the rest. That top is going to get some abuse over the years and the best clear finish will ultimately need redoing. Plastic laminate will hold up better and look good longer. If carefully done, I think you would have to look twice to tell the top is not real wood.

View a1Jim's profile


117909 posts in 4186 days

#6 posted 12-17-2018 05:52 PM

I agree that cherry and Arm R Seal are a good choice and you don’t need a sprayer to put it on but it makes things easier. If you have a big enough compressor you don’t need to spend $300 on a sprayer Harbor freight sell guns for $30 or less that works great, I’ve been spraying for 45 years and don’t see the need for expensive spray guns.


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