Help with low luster varnish - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 10-11-2009, 12:14 PM Thread Starter
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Help with low luster varnish

I'm wanting to use a low luster varnish for some black walnut cabinets I've made. I tried a little spot using a satin varnish, and it appears too glossy (I used a sanding sealer first, then sanded it lightly). My usual big box stores don't seem to stock a low luster varnish (Cabot was my satin brand from Lowe's). Is there a brand name varnish I could use which isn't "special order"?
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post #2 of 5 Old 10-11-2009, 12:42 PM
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I use Minwax satin poly.

I like the soft effect and ease of use.

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post #3 of 5 Old 10-12-2009, 12:34 PM
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If you look in a good woodworking catalog such as woodworker's supply you can buy the flattening agents to customize your mix as much as you want. Also, make sure to mix up the can good as the only difference between a can of satin, flat, or semigloss, or gloss is normally the different level of flattening agents. They often stick to the bottom of the can.

Josh Jaros Remodeler in The Woodlands, Texas
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post #4 of 5 Old 10-12-2009, 02:12 PM
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The only difference between high gloss and satin is the ingredient used to break up the reflected light in the satin varnish.

So, for the stupid question... Did you mix the satin varnish thoroughly both before and during your test application. If your answer is "No", they you effectively applied gloss finish to your test piece.

If you really want something not glossy and very touchable use a curing oil finish. If you're not in California, Minwax Antique Oil Finish is highly recommended. This will give a very nice non glossy luster to your project. The down side is that the project will have to be waxed on a regular basis and the finish is not suitable for applications where liquids will be present.

Use the right tool for the job.

Rich (Tilting right)
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post #5 of 5 Old 10-13-2009, 06:43 PM
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As Rich mentioned, the Minwax antique finish oil gives a really nice low luster finish. After sanding up to 220 I soak the oil on the surface and then sand it with 400 until it creates a slurry and then completly rub it down with a clean cloth. If you already sealed the grain I'm not sure how well it will work, but the end result especially on blk walnut is really nice.

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