What is a good wood Finish for Oak - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-26-2006, 08:13 PM Thread Starter
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What is a good wood Finish for Oak

Hello,

I am a real newbie to wood working. Even so I took a change and started building my own tank stand. I have use Oak for the outside visable surfaces. I am almost done with it and now I need to decide what finish or stains to use.

I am looking for suggestions thanks.

Rick
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-26-2006, 08:29 PM
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If it were me, I'd just do a nice polyurethane seal. Oak has a nice natural color all on its own.


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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-26-2006, 09:06 PM
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I agree that it looks great natural. Most of my house (cabinets, entertainment center, desks, bookshelves, etc) are oak in a natural finish.

That being said...get the Helmsman Spar finish from Minwax (or equivalent).

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-26-2006, 09:24 PM
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I prefer to finish oak in a clear finish too. I think it looks best if the first coat is an oil finish, like what is sold as "Danish Oil Finish". That gives the wood a depth of color that just polyurethane doesn't give. Just be sure to make the next coat a de-waxed shellac sealer - which is now sold as a universal undercoater. Then, add at least three coats of polyurethane. If you want to spend the time doing it, you can achieve a mirror like finish by starting with a filler coat that fills the pores of the wood, but that is a lot of work and there is a technique involved. I only did that on one project - an oak hope chest.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-26-2006, 09:29 PM
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If you apply nothing but a sealer/Polyurethane on red oak plywood it will have a very strong "Gold" color to it, better do a test piece to make sure that is what you want to live with.

Provincial or Special Walnut are nice colors on red oak, go to local hardware store to test some sample colors if you want to go that indepth.

What are the colors of the surrounding pieces of furniture etc.

Minwax

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-26-2006, 09:46 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggetions. I have a sofa with some walnut trim near the tank and a nice desk made from cherry. I think both are much darker than a natural oak.

I think I want to darken it up a bit not a lot. Turbo suggested a minwax product thanks. I looked at their web page and they have a one step product that stains too. Minwax

Has anyone use this before?

Rick
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-26-2006, 10:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rrguymon View Post
". . .Has anyone use this before?"

Rick
Yes. Do NOT use it! It is very hard to get a good finish with it, and it's very opaque in appearance. I would be willing to bet that even the "natural" finished oak some of the other posters have mentioned have at least a "golden oak" stain on it.

If you want a darker finish (and it sounds like you do) go with one of the darker stains. Take one of your scraps and finish that first to make sure it's what you want. No turning back once you stain it! For a finish what I use is a "wiping" type poly which in my case is just the regular gloss poly thinned down (either 50/50 poly/mineral spirits, or 70/30 poly/mineral spirits depending on how much time/work you want to put into it.) This is cheaper than what they sell as "wipe-on" poly (and just about the same thing!) and works just as well. *But* it will take many coats. I typically put on at least six. More is better. One plus on gloss is that you don't have to stir the stuff. Tone your finish down with a bit of fine steel wool if you don't want that high shine.

Of course, "Your Mileage May Vary," I'm just getting into finishing myself.

Slinte!
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-26-2006, 10:29 PM
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I have used it. I still recommend the Spar as it's made to withstand the water better.

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-26-2006, 11:32 PM
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Also with Oak if you are looking for a glossy finish use a sanding sealer, saves you a little time and a few less coats or poly. It helps close up the grains of open woods like oak


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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-27-2006, 02:58 AM
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Natural finish: blonde shellac, water-based polyurethane or lacquer. The shellac will have a slight amber and will have little resistance to moisture. You will need to raise the grain first if you use the water based finish. It's not a problem but you have to do it.

Warm, amber finish: Anything with oil in it. Watco dainish, tung, etc. Oil-based poly will give the same sort of color. The oils will penetrate and do not give the hard finish, but they are easier to repair when there's damage. The mix of mineral and poly is good. You can even add one-third tung, polyuerthne and mineral spirits and wipe the finish on.

Stains: I hate the thin stuff because it can blotch and the tone is sometimes difficult to control. I never use it unless absolutely necessary. When I do, I use gel stains that wipe on.

Get some 000 and 0000 steel wool so you can smooth out your first coat. One other nice thing about watco or tung oil is that you can use fine SiC sand paper (320-, 400- or 600- grit) to sand the finish. The residue will fill in the gaps and open pours. It acts like a natural filler. This is what I would do.

Lots of ways to go my friend.

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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-27-2006, 08:51 AM Thread Starter
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OK thaks all I am learning alot. What about this Danish oil for the first coat oil and stain? Rust-Oleum Brands - Stopping Rust is Just the Start
Im thinking about getting the light walnut.

Hoppy then says to use shellac over the top of the danish as an undercoat. Which is confusing because it is going on top of the Danish oil? I guess it is an undercoat for the minwax polyurethane which goes on last?

Rick
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-27-2006, 04:57 PM
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Shellac, when it is the dewaxed kind, is a universal undercoat or sealer. Every other finish will adhere well to it. Polyurethane, at least the water based type, does not stick well at all to oil based finishes or undercoats. So, you use the shellac to cover such first coats and give a good surface for the polyurethane to stick to. Look for "Zinsser Bulls Eye Seal Coat", which I think most hardware stores stock now. It is dewaxed shellac.

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-27-2006, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
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Ok thanks. I found this link about Danish Oil. I think I will try this and see how it looks. I may not need to cover it with poly?

http://home.insightbb.com/~jpaquay/oil_fin.txt

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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-28-2006, 03:33 AM
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You don't have to coat danish oil with anything unless you want a hard surface film. The oil by itself is a finish used on fine custom furniture. If you get a blemish, just rub in a little more oil or sand out the mark and oil it again. You will never see the repair. You can't do that with a top coat and look right.

Mass produced stuff has a top coat finish, but usually not anything you can buy or would want to put on your project. It's fast drying and cheap as dirt. Anything you put on will be better. There are lots of choices. As stated previously, if you want to use water-based poly on top of oil, you will have to seal the oil. Make sure it's dry before you seal it. If you use oil based, the sealer isn't as critical.

I'm sure whatever you use will look just fine.

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