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Best finish for inside of chest

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Forum topic by mds4752 posted 03-12-2019 12:29 AM 524 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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mds4752

50 posts in 2070 days


03-12-2019 12:29 AM

Building a blanket chest for my grand daughter from walnut & hard maple. For the outside I plan to apply Waterlox on top of the stain. My question is for the inside of the chest. Should I finish it using the same varnish? That seems like overkill. Shellac? That seems appropriate but I worry about warping the boards caused by different types of finishing on opposite sides of the same board. Unfinished? Seems reasonable but again, I worry about warping due to varnish on one side and no finish on the other. Any suggestions are much appreciated.

-- "Live each day as if it were your last; one day you're sure to be right." -- Lt Harry "Breaker" Morant


15 replies so far

View CWWoodworking's profile

CWWoodworking

432 posts in 540 days


#1 posted 03-12-2019 12:43 AM

Finish just like outside.

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

5234 posts in 2670 days


#2 posted 03-12-2019 01:01 AM

I’d used a water based finish or shellac finish. Oil base in a closed space can stink for years. I know this is a fact. You could even leave it with no finish. Many high end furniture pieces than will have clothes in them will use no finish.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View Scap's profile

Scap

75 posts in 288 days


#3 posted 03-12-2019 01:21 AM

You could line it with cedar too.
If she likes the smell…

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

2202 posts in 2159 days


#4 posted 03-12-2019 02:15 AM

No finish or shellac only. Oil will stink Alaska guy isn’t kidding.

-- Aj

View Jeff Heath's profile

Jeff Heath

107 posts in 3430 days


#5 posted 03-12-2019 03:43 AM

I use shellac.

-- Jeff Heath

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

1226 posts in 1855 days


#6 posted 03-12-2019 04:59 AM

I use shellac if contents will never have any solvents that might dissolve shellac, or water based poly if contents can not be controlled.

General Finishes High Performance, or Enduro work well for inside of cabinets, boxes, or drawers. Can put down 2-3 coats in one day, virtually no smell, and more than durable enough for inside of things. Works even in my router tool drawer with wrenches and oilier.
Often use GF WB on inside of cabinets, and Arm-R-Seal on outside, never seen any issue with differential stress due different finishes. Most of time I prefinish the insides with WB and spray gun, assemble pieces, and finish outside with Arm-R-Seal (or spray 2K poly). As long as the GF Enduro is cured long enough, oil based poly can even be applied on top to level the edges, and it blends seamlessly.

Best Luck.

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

View BlueRidgeDog's profile

BlueRidgeDog

485 posts in 140 days


#7 posted 03-12-2019 10:58 AM

I have used no finish, just wax and lacquer depending on the needs.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5506 posts in 2854 days


#8 posted 03-12-2019 01:48 PM

In case no one mentioned it: DON”T use an oil based finish (the smell thing). Shellac, or a waterborne is what you want. You could also use solvent lacquer, but the other 2 would be much better.

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

View jonah's profile

jonah

2068 posts in 3659 days


#9 posted 03-12-2019 02:22 PM

+1 to water based poly or shellac. If it’s for clothes/blankets/toys but not for anything involving alcohol (which dissolves shellac), shellac is my choice because it dries so fast. You can get two or three coats done in an hour and a half if it’s warm out.

View mds4752's profile

mds4752

50 posts in 2070 days


#10 posted 03-18-2019 01:53 AM

Thanks everyone for the advice. I really appreciate this site & its members. I believe I will finish the inside with shellac. Possibly the bottom of the chest in shellac too.

-- "Live each day as if it were your last; one day you're sure to be right." -- Lt Harry "Breaker" Morant

View Richard's profile

Richard

11274 posts in 3394 days


#11 posted 03-21-2019 12:02 AM


I d used a water based finish or shellac finish. Oil base in a closed space can stink for years. I know this is a fact. You could even leave it with no finish. Many high end furniture pieces than will have clothes in them will use no finish.

- AlaskaGuy

Totally Agree with AlaskaGuy. My choice would be to leave it Unfinished. If it NEEDED a Finish I’d go with a water based finish.

-- Richard (Ontario, CANADA)

View JamesT's profile

JamesT

104 posts in 2273 days


#12 posted 03-30-2019 03:18 PM

You can have both the water based finish and shellac. Take a look at Target Coatings USH3000 Water Base Amber Shellac. I’ve started using it under their EM6000 Water Based Lacquer and it works great.

-- Jim from Horseshoe Bend

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

5368 posts in 2712 days


#13 posted 03-30-2019 05:22 PM

I always leave the inside of chests unfinished.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Phil32's profile

Phil32

533 posts in 264 days


#14 posted 03-30-2019 05:50 PM

No one seems to have addressed your concern about using different finishes on the inside vs outside. If the blanket chest is well-constructed, you should have no problems with differing finishes or no finish on the inside.

-- Phil Allin - There are mountain climbers and people who talk about climbing mountains. The climbers have "selfies" at the summit!

View Woodknack's profile

Woodknack

12772 posts in 2741 days


#15 posted 03-30-2019 09:18 PM

Chests are the exception to finishing both sides equally, you can leave the inside unfinished.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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