Finish for black walnut bar top - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 5 Old 12-11-2015, 01:11 PM Thread Starter
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 2
View spinalmechanic's Photo Album My Photos
Finish for black walnut bar top

I have a live edge, kiln dried black walnut slab that I'm planning on making as my bar top for a bar I am building out of heritage wood....Douglas fir barn beams, hemlock flooring and pine beams. My question pertains to finishing the walnut. I have been trolling the forums for ideas. I like the idea of tung oil but I am wondering about a great is a bar that will be used. My constraints are that I want it finished before Xmas. I have the slab already prepped with black epoxy in the holes and large grain fissures and sanded down to 220. What is the best finish...balancing looks, durability and time frame? I have used polyurethane and prior heritage harvest tables I have made. Is that ok with the tung oil? I've seen various opinions on this.
Thanks for any info I can get. My wife is anxious to get this done for Xmas.
spinalmechanic is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 5 Old 12-18-2015, 09:59 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 301
View chsdiyer's Photo Album My Photos
I don't have a lot of experience with walnut but i've finished it two different ways and I think I liked both just as much. perhaps the first approach better.

1.) Finished simply with several coats of waterlox original. The color only seems to get better with time. I used it on a vanity and with respect to water it's held up pretty well. [first picture is uncoated - third is waterlox]

2.) Stained it with watco danish oil (medium walnut) and then several coats of polyox (water-based poly). I did that on my kitched countertops and it's held up great. It does get some scratchs from knives and such, but is easily recoated (as is the waterlox). [second picture]

Downside to the waterlox is the smell and the time between coats. If you have good cross ventilation, the smell is not bad.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	100_0136.jpg
Views:	2295
Size:	73.7 KB
ID:	202154  

Attached Images
chsdiyer is offline  
post #3 of 5 Old 12-19-2015, 07:40 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 25,995
View Steve Neul's Photo Album My Photos
If you want a thick glass like finish then tung oil wouldn't be feasible. Tung oil would work though but you need to use 100% tung oil. Tung oil was originally used for hulls of boats but you need several coats in order to make your bar top waterproof. Just do a light sanding between coats with 220 grit or finer paper.

If you want a normal glass like finish you might use an oil based polyurethane. If you want a thick finish you might consider a pour on epoxy.
Steve Neul is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #4 of 5 Old 12-20-2015, 03:04 PM Thread Starter
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 2
View spinalmechanic's Photo Album My Photos
Thanks for the info. I have gone ahead with 100% tung oil that will have a top coat of polyurethane. So far, I have done the bottom of the bar top and it looks great. Going to flip it tomorrow, give a final sand and do a first coat of tung oil. Two coats of that plus the poly. I might make it for Xmas. Thanks for the pics....looks great!
spinalmechanic is offline  
post #5 of 5 Old 12-20-2015, 05:16 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 25,995
View Steve Neul's Photo Album My Photos
I don't believe I would mix the finishes. If you've started with tung oil I would stay with tung oil. It will make a touch durable film finish just like the polyurethane but will take many coats.
Steve Neul is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Water Based Finish that Looks Similar to Oil P Fisher Wood Finishing 6 02-17-2016 08:43 PM
Finishing Walnut BigBadBuford Wood Finishing 28 11-01-2015 07:31 PM
Pilkington's Gunstock Finish The Rattler Wood Finishing 6 10-14-2015 05:55 PM
repairing alcohol dropped on polyurethane water based finish on poplar common man General Woodworking Discussion 5 10-10-2015 05:30 PM
Finish nailers Toolman50 General Woodworking Discussion 10 08-07-2015 12:34 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome