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I am just finishing making a large desk made of black walnut-it's only taken about a year to do. I do not wish to stain it - just the natural wood. I am looking for the right finish - the table top is 31" by 104" - and I expect that eventually it will hold full glasses of water, wine, maybe a beer...I used boiled linseed oil on a tall dresser I made a few years ago of the same wood - and it still looks great...but the desk will likely get more abuse - nicks and glassware....
Thanks for your recommendations.
Boiled linseed oil will really give the grain a beautiful, rich look. But for etra added protection several layers of a polyuthane will definitely give it the extra protection. Poly is great for brushing. start with a 50/50 mixture of poly and mineral spiirits, then do a coat of 75/25 mixture of poly and mineral spirits, and a final of 100% poly.
If you have a spray gun, pre catalyzed lacquer goes on smooth, dries quick and has great protection for table tops.
chad stanton- forum moderator
Thank you. Do you recommend applying the BLO first, followed by several coats of poly? Or, just apply several coats of use the poly?
Yes, mix the boiled linseed oil with a 50/50 mixture of pure gum turpentine. The turpentine thins the BLO so it can penetrate deeper into the wood. keep appiling until the wood no longer can absorb it. If the oil pools on top for 20 minutes without soaking in, then its enough and wipe it off. Let it dry at least a couple of days. The oil needs time to dry. Then add your layers of poly.
Just completed refinishing our families 50-year old craddle made from solid black walnut. My Dad built it in the early sixty's to be used for all of the Holmes' newborns (about 18 to 20 babies). I remember my dad telling me that he used only Tung Oil. So, I bought a good wood cleaner and applied it twice (24 hours between applications). Next, I used Hope's 100% Tung Oil. I cut the tung oil with about 25% to 35% mineral spirits.. The mixture gave me good saturation of the black walnut. I applied a couple of coats waiting 24 to 48 hours between coats. For the third coat I used a mixture of 90% tung oil and 10% mineral spirits. After letting the third coat completly dry, maybe 2 to 3 days, I finished the restoration with 2 coats of Minwax Finishing Paste Wax. Sorry, I almost forgot. When cleaning the cradle, I used 0000 steel wool to rub down the surface after the cleaner had worked for about 10 to 15 minutes. Also, after each tung oil coat had dried and before I applied the next coat, I rubbed down the surface with steel wool. I'm not sure that my procedureis the best; but, it sure worked for me. The restored cradle looks great !!!!!
Nice tip. Another great option.