preventing doug fir from yellowing, possible?

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Forum topic by Spikes posted 12-14-2018 08:19 PM 1028 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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125 posts in 854 days

12-14-2018 08:19 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question dougfir bed finishing


newbie woodworker here, I’m prepping to make a bed using doug fir. I intend to stain it with an oak finish and worry + water poly clear coat or maybe brush on lacquer. I’ve read that while all wood yellows over time, doug fir is particularly bad at it. Is there any combination of finishes, sealant or whatnot that can prevent/reduce the yellowing? Some people seem to suggest that the only acceptable finish is a dark one to hide the yellowing, but I’d like to keep it light.

Also I’ve read that soft woods have inconsistent hardness between late growth and early growth and that shows in blotchy finishing. It seems people precondition the wood to avoid that, but I have not been able to find a clear recommendation in the case of doug fir.

thanks for any input,

-- Don't worry about making progress, worry about practicing. If you practice you will make progress even if you don't want to.

3 replies so far

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5295 posts in 4769 days

#1 posted 12-14-2018 08:50 PM

I often use thinned shellac (dewaxed) as a wash coat.
Charles Neil, who is a member here, sells a pre-finish blotch control that has good reviews.
A water based finish will minimize yellowing. Remember, I said “minimize”.

-- [email protected]

View Holbs's profile


2361 posts in 2837 days

#2 posted 12-15-2018 01:58 AM

^^^ I agree. Charles Neil is probably busy with Christmas woodworking stuff :) He does have a page you should visit. He also sells that blotch control from his webpage. Great reviews on it. And great vids and advice.

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter "xylokopos/ξυλοκὀπος"

View Aj2's profile


3187 posts in 2606 days

#3 posted 12-15-2018 02:38 AM

Douglas fir does not yellow over time it gets darker. Eventually turns a nice cinnamon brown color but it takes about 40 years. So if you want to speed things up. Here’s how I’ve done it wash coat with super blonde shellac to close some of the pores. Then generals finish pecan oil based stain at least two coats. Then top coat polyurethane gel.

Not against Mr Neil’s finishing at all. Much respect for Charles

One more thing I would like to add if your using construction lumber from the borg all bets are off. I only have stained Clear vertical grain fir with close growth rings.

-- Aj

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