Favourite Finish

//Favourite Finish
Favourite Finish 2015-06-10T09:52:43+00:00
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  • #1851726

    best.nathan
    Participant
    Post count: 1

    I’m a huge fan of Minwax Tung Oil. It’s a wiping varnish. Wipe on the first coat really thick, let it soak in, wipe off the excess. Gives me some really good results. I’m also a fan of milk paint with a top coat of paste wax. Interested in hearing other people’s thoughts.

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  • Bill
    Participant
    Post count: 72

    It’s really difficult to pick one or two favorites.  In finishing, form generally follows function.  That said, there are some finishes I will do just about anything to avoid using!  If it involves my wearing a respirator, or having to follow some ridiculous  seven step recipe to ensure good results, it’s not high on my list of “go-to” finishes.

    For delicate, low-wear items, I like shellac.  It’s beautiful and easy to apply.  For other projects, wiping varnish, BLO, DO, and other rub on finishes are great (just remember not to leave your oily rags wadded up in the trash or, heaven forbid, laying in a pile of sawdust!).  For food safe applications like spoons and bowls, I’ll use Crisco vegetable oil, flax seed oil, etc.  The common theme in my approach, as I’m sure you’ll recognize, is if it makes me high, brain-damaged, or can create a cloud of explosive VOC’s in my shop, I don’t use it.  I know lacquer and all the modern variants thereon have their place in modern woodworking – God knows I’ve used enough of them in the past.  I just don’t want to use them anymore.  I try to do things as “old school” as possible – for sanity and safety – hence the reason I’m ecstatic that Joshua has launched the hand tool forum for me and the rest of the net’s Luddites (I wonder what Mr. Ludd would think of all of us who are passionate about using traditional methods of woodworking while learning about it and discussing it on a computer…)

    But to get back to the OP’s question…if I were restricted to only one, though, I think I’d pick a rubbed oil finish and a coat or two of paste wax.  In my opinion, that’s about as simple and beautiful as wood gets.

  • Tom Baker
    Participant
    Post count: 7

    Up until now my favorite finish has been General Finishes Arm-R-Seal. It goes on very easy, I just wipe it on using a cheese cloth pad I make, which holds a sufficient amount to permit me to wipe with the grain, leaving a wet surface behind, and I do not touch it again. To retouch it can leave streak. Leaving the wet surface allows it to flow level, and allows any bubbles to eliminate themselves. I’ve never had the bubbles remain until dried, flows out nice and smooth.

    I lightly, and I stress lightly, wipe with 4 O steel wool when dry, about 10 hours, then repeat. Three coats and the surface is very nice. I also use semi-gloss, but did use high gloss once only to have a glass or plastic finish.

    I used Minwax Antique Finish once, red can, and very much liked that too. Don’t know why I haven’t tried it again, but plan to on the next project.

    All in all, with me the easier the finish, the better the finish. I hate to finish my projects, because of the odor, and the teadiousness of getting into all the corners and cubby holes – like period desks. Don’t want to spray, don’t have or want to purchase a spray gun, then build a spray booth. My work space is limited, one car garage.

    So, if you have an easy good looking method and material, let me know what they are.

  • SamGordon
    Participant
    Post count: 4

    Wipe On Finishes

    Hi.
    My favorite finish has to be one that wipes on.
    I’m a massive fan of Danish Oil.
    I would like to learn to use Shellac, but most of all I like clear finishes.
    I live in Australia and our woods have great coloring and I find it almost a sacrilege to color our native woods but that being said due to the color of our timbers I will quite frequently leave clear plantation pine uncolored due simply to the color of our wood here, sometimes I like to see that light boring blonde color of wood.

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