White Oak finish - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 07-14-2020, 11:22 AM Thread Starter
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White Oak finish

My brother-in-law is building us a dining room table from a white oak tree that he took off of our property three years ago. We don't want a finish that will turn the wood amber.



We want a clear finish. He put a little bit of the Watco Tung Oil on a test piece, and it turned amber,. which he said it would do.


Suggestions for a clear finish, preferably in a satin/low gloss?
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post #2 of 10 Old 07-14-2020, 02:21 PM
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Are you capable of spraying?

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post #3 of 10 Old 07-15-2020, 09:03 AM Thread Starter
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I have the ability, and the knowledge to spray, just don't have a sprayer, which is easily remedied.
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post #4 of 10 Old 07-15-2020, 09:19 AM
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Water-based is going to be your best bet, something like Polycrylic. Anything oil-based usually darkens the wood a bit.

I need cheaper hobby
etsy.com/shop/projectepicfail
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post #5 of 10 Old 07-15-2020, 07:27 PM
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I would suggest that you try a polyurethane on a large test piece. Then a water white acrylic test piece. that is the best way to see which you like best. A small swatch wont be enough.

Everyone is different. To me, a water white finish on unstained wood looks lifeless, but that's me. Everyone has their own personal taste.

Anyway, just a thought

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post #6 of 10 Old 07-15-2020, 09:40 PM
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Pretty much any oil finish will amber the wood. Oil does that. I agree with the others that a water-based polyurethane is your best solution to fit the requirements in your original post.

Consider this as a good possibility:
https://generalfinishes.com/wood-fin...urethane-water

It comes in gloss, semi-gloss, satin, and flat. It is an excellent finish, but I agree with @Tony B that if you apply it plain it looks, well, plain. Try it out on a sample first.

Additional note: Their "Flat Out Flat" is different.
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post #7 of 10 Old 07-17-2020, 03:03 PM
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I just finished a maple piece using General Finishes' Salad Bowl Finish. I was really surprised to see how much it didn't amber the light wood. I really like the way this finish looks, I'll try a sample on a piece of white oak and report back with some pictures.
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post #8 of 10 Old 07-17-2020, 07:14 PM
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Check out Target Coatings (targetcoatings.com). They make a sprayable polycarbonate finish called EM 9300. It is crystal clear, non-yellowing, and even suitable for interior or exterior work.
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post #9 of 10 Old 07-18-2020, 10:43 AM
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Here’s a picture of a sample I made on quartersawn white oak.

Even though it’s for bowls, I really like the General Finishes Bowl Finish. It dries slowly enough to flow out nicely, but quickly enough to avoid runs and sags and builds nice gloss. It seems very durable. As I mentioned before I was surprised how much it DIDN’T amber even maple.

On the left is the bowl finish, on the right is a water based poly.

One comment about ambering is that it is the amber color that pops the grain, especially in figured woods like quartersawn white oak.
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post #10 of 10 Old 08-04-2020, 05:23 PM Thread Starter
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Wow...more decisions. Thank you everyone for the suggestions. We got around to picking which boards, and sides of boards we will be using for the top. I will be filling cracks, and holes that are in the pith of the tree with West System Epoxy, to give it a little structural integrity. My wife wants something other than black mixed in with the epoxy, so we shall see.
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