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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-08-2013, 01:47 PM Thread Starter
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Default Finishing Red Oak



I have finished building this Red Oak shelving unit. I am terribly torn and guided in MANY directions as to how to finish this piece.
WHAT I WANT is: the colors of the wood (the reds, the various hews of gold/yellow, even some greens are there) to be HIGHLIGHTED of its natural beauty...on pieces of scrap I have tried clear shellac {turns EVERYTHING brown}, I tried General Finishes Prarie Wheat Gel stain and it's pretty, but turns everything the same 2 colors (dark brown {wide grain} and wheat {tighter grain}), then I tried Minwax Golden Oak stain, again, pretty, but two colors.
Stains, shelac, and oils all turn the wood into two colors a dark and light or whatever the stain....therefore not getting what I really liked from the polyurethane...the poly accentuates all of the natural grain colors of Red Oak. How many coats should be used to get the seal the wood as good a shellac or lacquer?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-08-2013, 06:46 PM
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That's what I call a shelving unit.....

Would love to see pictures of the construction. How long did it take to build?

Does it really need a stain? Would a clear finish work?

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-08-2013, 09:06 PM
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Maybe just a few clear coats of poly,sanded lightly inbetween every coat after first 2 coats....They sell poly now in a spray can which is easy to apply.. have used it on a few toyboxes for grandkids....Maybe even a light coat of redoak stain under the poly ???

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-08-2013, 10:41 PM
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That is a beautiful piece of craftsmanship well done
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-09-2013, 06:47 AM
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Nice work! I really like the Minwax water based poly. It won't change the color of the wood and it will not yellow in time like regular poly. It will require a minimum of three coats. You will also go through quite a bit of it. It is also pricey. I think it would be worth consitering, especially on red oak. Once again, very nice job!
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-09-2013, 07:07 AM
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Default Rustins clear plastic coating

Hi,
Have you tried this? It's a two-part clear cold cure lacquer finish, and for my money, the best hard 'consumer' finish I've ever come across. It doesn't yellow like poly (the woods underneath will, of course, change colour in the sun and light). It's not cheap, and seems to be absurdly difficult to find. A British product, so I don't know how available it is in the US.
Being red oak, you would have to fill the grain first, with a grain filler, I would think.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-09-2013, 07:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spayne View Post
Hi,
Have you tried this? It's a two-part clear cold cure lacquer finish, and for my money, the best hard 'consumer' finish I've ever come across. It doesn't yellow like poly (the woods underneath will, of course, change colour in the sun and light). It's not cheap, and seems to be absurdly difficult to find. A British product, so I don't know how available it is in the US.
Being red oak, you would have to fill the grain first, with a grain filler, I would think.
Tried What???
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-09-2013, 08:28 AM
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Default red oak finish

Hi'
I built a queen size mission style bed from red oak and I am now building red oak nightstands to match. This finish I used was Sico Crystalex 100% Acrylic Varnish semi-gloss and it turned out beautiful, a clear hard finish that I sprayed on three coats using my Fuji HVLP spray unit, sanding in between each coat. seems to be good stuff.

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-09-2013, 12:43 PM
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That is a nice piece of work!! We are starting to build one of these for my sons office, sad to say it will not be Red Oak (same double window setup on a 12 ft, wall). I have finished a lot of Red Oak. The worst stain I have ever used on Red Oak is Minwax. Once you use it you cannot control the contrast or tone because it has a sealer in the stain and reapplying has no effect. To make the grain really stand out and get high contrasts from light to dark and the in between colors, is to use regular oil stain, then a mineral spirits wash with a rag. I like to use a 1-1-1 mixture of red oak, cherry and mineral spirits. Try it on a piece of scrap until you get the color and tone you want. If it does not have enough contrast then reapply the stain and wash off again. I never use a filler or sealer before staining, when you reach the desired tone you want let it dry for at least 3 days, that is all the sealing it needs. To see what the final finish will look like just run water on your piece of scrap. For the final finish I would use a satin poly, either water or mineral based, but that is just a personal preference.

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Last edited by Willway; 04-09-2013 at 04:07 PM. Reason: wording
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-10-2013, 06:46 AM
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Sorry, I thought the title would come up. It's called Rustins clear plastic coating - if you google this phrase it'll show including the supplier.
Cheers
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