Walnut Kitchen table Natural look

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Walnut Kitchen table Natural look

Postby awhit22 » Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:00 am

Hello,

First time posting to this forum. I'm building a farmhouse type kitchen dining table. Top is made of Walnut. Trying to figure out how to finish. My wife loves the colder grey tone of the wood and would like to keep that as much as possible. She doesn't want the darker brown or red-ish finish. From what I've read the only way to keep the color as much like the gray as possible is to use a water-white or clear water based type finish.

Few questions:

Is it a mistake to use a water based laquer or finish for a kitchen table - I have young children?
I have read about Sherwin-Williams CAB-Acrylic Laquer being very good at keeping color, but I can't figure out how to purchase. Can't find on their website. Is there another suggest brand or other option?
Would I need to use a top coat with this?
Is there a better way?

To be fair, this is my first table so I'm learning as I go.

Thanks in Advance.

-Adam

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Re: Walnut Kitchen table Natural look

Postby AsonnyA » Wed Apr 17, 2019 5:51 am

Just about finish you apply will give it the wet look. Wipe the surface with mineral spirits, acetone (be careful of fumes), alcohol or water and see what the wet look will look like. This wet look will likely be the resulting "color" or tone of your finished surface, no matter what finish you apply.

Your local Sherwin Williams, Benjamin Moore supplier, or other dedicated name brand paint store, will likely have an appropriate water based lacquer or similar product. Some of these places may only have 5 gallon quantities available, though. A couple of coats of 2 or 3 cut shellac wouldn't be a bad choice, either. Either lacquer or shellac are not as durable as other finishes, but they are very easy to repair, should the need be.

Sonny

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Re: Walnut Kitchen table Natural look

Postby Bob Boardman » Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:47 am

One other point about CAB Acrylic lacquer is that it must be sprayed on. I bring this up because you didn't mention if you had spray equip or not
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Re: Walnut Kitchen table Natural look

Postby awhit22 » Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:38 am

Good point about the CAB spray application. No, I don't have the equipment. Perhaps this first one is not the right time to experiment.
It's possible I don't really know what I'm talking about. :) Which wouldn't hurt my feelings if that's true.

The raw unfinished wood today has more of a grey undertone. Although having snapped a couple photos, I'm seeing a bit more red in the wood already. My wife was hoping to keep a more natural look of unfinished, but still be able to protect it. She likes the look of the cooler look vs the warmer red/brown you get when applying oil based products. I have tried on a few scrap pieces. Everything is coming out VERY brown or red. I've tried two different Danish Oils on different sections, and just a clear poly without stain on another. There's not much difference. Even tried leaving the oils on in varying lengths of time. not much difference.

Maybe what's I'm asking for is unreasonable or not possible??

Here's a couple images of the raw unfinished look today:

Image https://photos.app.goo.gl/R8HHL6KcckjZrmen7
Image https://photos.app.goo.gl/6XnVQKYNWsjg2yeP7

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Re: Walnut Kitchen table Natural look

Postby Bob Boardman » Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:57 am

As Sonny pointed out, any oil base finish will darken the color - even oil based "clears". A waterbase finish is only way to get anything close to a clear finish.

When you say you used a clear finish was it water or oil base? Even if it's a wb finish, make sure it says 'water white''
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Re: Walnut Kitchen table Natural look

Postby AsonnyA » Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:21 pm

Can you visit a local cabinet shop, maybe have them show you a few finishes. Can't hurt to ask what price they might want for spraying. It's not a large table, so price might be reasonable, especially if they may be spraying something else at the same time. .... unless you & the wife want to do the finishing, yourselves.

Sonny

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Re: Walnut Kitchen table Natural look

Postby Bob Boardman » Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:28 pm

Great idea Sonny
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Re: Walnut Kitchen table Natural look

Postby awhit22 » Wed Apr 17, 2019 3:56 pm

Thank you for the responses so far. Appreciate the help.

Followup question: I have read varying topics on oil vs water based stains / top coats. Seems to be a consensus that Oil base provides better overall protection. But a couple more recent studies suggest water based products have closed the gap and are very similar now in regards to protection. In you're opinion is there a big difference and would there be any concern if I wanted to use a water based product for this application?

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Re: Walnut Kitchen table Natural look

Postby Bob Boardman » Wed Apr 17, 2019 4:28 pm

They have closed the gap between wb and oil products re: durability
You want no additional color - use wb
you want ease of application and clean up -use wb
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Re: Walnut Kitchen table Natural look

Postby AsonnyA » Wed Apr 17, 2019 4:43 pm

I sprayed this walnut table with water based Varathane... dries to touch in 30 minutes. https://www.flickr.com/photos/43836144@ ... hotostream

During spraying, the Varathane started to clot, started to dry, i.e., the spray gun began spitting out small globs of semi-dried finish onto the table's top. The Varathane was starting to dry that fast, because of the atomizing. I couldn't adjust my gun to prevent it. I probably could have brushed on the Varathane with better luck.

I ended up stripping the Varathane off and finishing the table with pre-cat lacquer, sprayed on. A few issues with the lacquer - the stripping didn't get all the Varathane off, so the acetone (lacquer solvent) cause the remnant Varathane to lift from the walnut pores. Had to sand more, then spray more lacquer.

Lesson learned? Be careful what you put on the table. If you have to strip it, later, and refinish, you may end up with remnant finish still on the table, causing issues with your subsequent finish.

Here's an option. Test this procedure on some scrap: Aereosol (rattle) cans of shellac (Lowes, Home Depot, paint store). Spray 1 coat, lightly sand (220 grit) the burrs off, then spray another coat. This might be smooth/sufficient enough. If not, lightly sand and spray a 3rd coat. Live with this finish for a while, see how you like it. If you don't like it, then sand lightly and apply whatever finish you prefer.

Shellac is compatible with almost any other kind of finish, so you can apply anything on top of it. No other finish is compatible with all other finishes, as shellac is. If subsequently (a week, a month, a year later) you don't like the shellac finish, then you can always top coat it with another, WITHOUT having to strip off the shellac, i.e., no remnant finish issues. Simply lightly sand the shellac and apply whatever finish over it. If you put some other finish on the table, it will most likely have to be stripped, completely off, before a subsequent finish can be applied. You wouldn't have to strip the shellac off, before applying another finish.

Shellac is a sealant, as well. " Sealcoat" is a shellac primer, or sorts. Sealcoat is a "2 cut" (solution) of shellac.

Test on some scrap wood a few coats of shellac.

Sonny

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Re: Walnut Kitchen table Natural look

Postby AsonnyA » Wed Apr 17, 2019 4:49 pm

Test on some scrap wood a few coats of *dewaxed shellac. Sealcoat is dewaxed shellac.

Sonny

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Re: Walnut Kitchen table Natural look

Postby Bob Boardman » Wed Apr 17, 2019 4:53 pm

Sonny: I've had similar issues spraying some wb finishes. Ended up using a wb poly & a wb lacquer from a company called Target finishes. They also sell quarts

I love shellac for all reasons you mention, but thought the Sealcoat might add some color to the walnut
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Re: Walnut Kitchen table Natural look

Postby awhit22 » Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:13 pm

I managed to make it down to the local woodcraft store before it closed this afternoon. Testing out a water white option this evening. Will update with how it went.

-Adam

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Re: Walnut Kitchen table Natural look

Postby awhit22 » Sat May 18, 2019 5:18 pm

All,

Thank you for all your help and advice. I finally finished the table and was able to get it into the house today. Believe it or not, my wife actually ended up liking the darker finish opposed to the natural color I originally asked about. All the "clear" top coats I tried for a natural look ended up causing a slightly purple hue to the finish - weird. Ended up going with a Natural Danish Oil base with 4 coats of clear satin polyurethane on top. I think I need to learn how to apply a spray topcoat as that was the hardest part to keep smooth without streaks. Perhaps when I refinish years from now I'll try my hand there. Links to photos below.

Image
Image
Image

https://photos.app.goo.gl/1DsEquTswoyEdUVe7
https://photos.app.goo.gl/HbhQ1LxFLAg96r9o8
https://photos.app.goo.gl/itmXZrEi6p9581uD6

Again thank you all.

-Adam

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Re: Walnut Kitchen table Natural look

Postby AsonnyA » Sun May 19, 2019 8:41 am

Very nice. Good job.

Liking the darker finish! Doing upholstery for multiple decorators, I've learned a little bit about decorating over the years. Your light colored leg base contrasting with the dark top is consistent with some elements of decorating thought, whether it's for a whole room or for an individual niche within a room. When things coordinate, that way, folks are generally pleased with the results.

When trying something new, like stains or finishes, always do a test sample, before committing to your project. A kinna case in point, recently, a customer wanted to "seal" their children's paint/drawing projects with a clear finish. Project: The kids had "painted", with some sort of markers, some pictures on wood. They tried sealing the images with lacquer. The lacquer's solvent "dissolved" the "paint", smearing/distorting the images. The fix was to use (wax) crayons, to draw the images, then seal the images onto the wood. You're never too young to learn.

Sonny


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