Subscribe to Print
Subscribe to Digital
Give as a Gift
Free Product Guide >>
My husband and I are building a custom home which includes a 14 ft island/bar and the top is made of black walnut with a living edge. This home is extremely rustic and my husband actually cut the black walnut trees from our property. We are now getting various suggestions on how to finish. This is the focal point of the large open space, but want it usable also. has some cracks and knot holes which we wanted to keep for the rustic look but also will be using the area such as eating- cooking and there is also a prep sink in one end . Your honest feedback most appreciated!
Help! What would the experts do?????
The type of finish depends on the use. I have finished natural edge pieces with polyurethane after filling all the defects with epoxy filler that has been tinted. That will yield a durable finish that is impervious to spills and water rings. The pour on epoxy finish that has been suggested IMHO is a bit tacky looking. It is important to climatize the piece to the space before applying finish and it is also important to finish all sides to minimize future movement.
My preferred finish on natural edge wood is a Johnson's paste wax finish with numerous applications and buffings. Wood movement is immaterial, the wax smells good, imperfections slowly accumulate a wax filler and any damage can easily be fixed with sandpaper and more wax. The drawback is that you must insist that your guests USE COASTERS as water rings will form easily.
Check out the mesquite slab end table on my website. www.sanddollarwoodworks.com