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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all

I would like to get some of your expert advice on a small DIY project (my first with wood) that I'm about to start.

Long story short, I'm am going to build a set of live edge, black walnut shelves and would like some help and recommendations about finishes and coating.

Some relevant info:
- The shelves (or at least some of them) will still have the outer bark on the live edge (not sure if it affects the finishing
- I've read online about several options and some seem to require days/weeks to dry/cure for each coat. unfortunately, I need to get it done much faster as these shelves will go up as part of a stone wall veneer in 2-3 weeks. I assume I'll have to sacrifice some quality but I need something that won't take too long (I will allow more time when I'll be working on a coffee table which will be next...)
- The place I got the slabs from recommended AFM oil wax finish. they had one example in the store which looked good but the (one) review this finish has on Amazon is pretty crappy ( AFM Naturals Oil Wax Finish - Gallon - Amazon.com )

- The floors in the room where these shelves will go are oak with a dark coffee stain (if it makes a difference)

Would appreciate any advice you can give (optimizing for quick and newbie friendly)

cheers
O
 

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I haven't used the AFM finish so I can say how durable it is. Any oil finish would work fine for walnut and I would recommend it for a live edge project. I think it would look much better than any film finish. The only problem may be if someone sets a sweaty glass on the shelf. Most oil finishes are not very water resistant. If water is an issue then tung oil would be a better choice for a finish but takes a very long time to completely finish.
 

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The only thing I have ever used on black walnut is lacquer. I like the natural look of the walnut and do not want to do anything to it that would detract from that.

I have never done anything with bark left on the wood, so I do not know if that would make any difference.

George
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks
any specific product you would recommend?
As far as I understand oil ones take much longer and unfortunately I need to get it done in a weekend (or maybe 2) so won't be able to wait days before coats.
Thanks
O
 

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As far as just an oil finish Watco Danish Oil works very good especially on walnut. You could easily finish the shelves in an afternoot. Just apply one coat and let it sit a couple of hours and apply a second coat. Watch is not that water resistant though. Tung oil would be more water resistant but could take more than a month to finish if done right and depending on how water resistant you want it.
 
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