What kind of top coat to use for walnut finished with danish oil.

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Forum topic by jerryo posted 03-16-2012 01:25 PM 1659 views 1 time favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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135 posts in 3974 days

03-16-2012 01:25 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Hello fellow lumberjocks, I have just made a plaque for a guy retiring at work out of walnut. I finished it with 2 coats of med. walnut danish oil and was wondering if anyone could give suggestions about what kind of top coat to use. Can I use a water based top coat over an oil finsh? Any info about what has worked for you would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Jerry

8 replies so far

View RogerM's profile


807 posts in 3409 days

#1 posted 03-16-2012 01:35 PM

Jerry – I suggest sealing the danish oil coat with a coal of Seal Coat (dilute shellac). Rub this down with 0000 steel wool then follow with either additional coats of shellac or poly. Shellac rubs out easier but is less resistant to wear which is not a problem with a plaque.

-- Roger M, Aiken, SC

View jerryo's profile


135 posts in 3974 days

#2 posted 03-16-2012 01:39 PM

Thanks Roger, I am going to start calling you “Roger to the rescue” lol. No, really thanks alot. I will use this method and let you know how it comes out. Jerry

View chrisstef's profile


18129 posts in 4017 days

#3 posted 03-16-2012 01:43 PM

Just be careful leaving brush marks with the shellac, just one swipe across and none more. I think that a beaver hair brush is supposed to be the best for shellac but ive done OK with a foam brush. Good luck Jerry.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 3372 days

#4 posted 03-16-2012 08:41 PM

Forget the shellac. When it’s fully dry, go with the waterborne. No problema.

Or just spray it with rattlecan oil poly.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 4247 days

#5 posted 03-16-2012 09:52 PM

I finish my walnut projects by wet sanding with tung oil so the microscopic walnut dust fills the pores. Then I mix pure tung oil with thinner (50-50) and then mix that solution 50-50 with exterior spar varnish. Either semi-gloss or gloss. Depends on the project.

-- Hal, Tennessee

View Mark Whitsitt's profile

Mark Whitsitt

86 posts in 3990 days

#6 posted 03-19-2012 01:15 AM

I’ve had luck with both organic and waterborne top coats after danish oil as long as you wait more than 72 hours and make sure the oil is absolutely positively dry. Paste wax can be applied sooner, but it’s obviously not as permanent and you’ll need to reapply over time.

-- -- "there are many good reasons to use old hand tools, but moral superiority is NOT one of them..."

View superstretch's profile


1531 posts in 3704 days

#7 posted 03-19-2012 04:57 PM

I go paste wax if it doesn’t need much moisture protection and wipe on poly if it does.. just keeping it simple.

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5342 posts in 4971 days

#8 posted 03-19-2012 05:22 PM

Use the shellac as a wiping coat, or go to a wiping varnish. Then a good coat of wax and 0000 steel wool to soften the sheen.
No poly. Has no place on a plaque.

-- [email protected]

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