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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My buddy Bill and I are crafting a few cedar chests for Christmas, and I was wondering if any of you have an idea for a great sealer and finish for the exterior of the chest. I don't want it glossy, but would love to just have it look natural. Satin look maybe...reccomendations?
 

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If I am making a more rustic natural cedar chest I just use a satin poly and don't sand with as fine a grit as I do anything else.
Give the whole thing one last sanding just before the poly to bring out the most color with 220 grit.
 

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If I didn't have spray equipment, my choice would be a coat of boiled linseed oil, to really make the grain "pop" out. Let that dry a day or so and follow with 4-5 coats of wipe-on poly.
You can make or buy the wipe on poly. I make mine with equal parts naptha and polyurethane (use satin if you want less gloss)
Just mix together and apply quickly with an old t-shirt rag. Depending upon conditions, allow to dry a few hours, the re-apply. After 3 coats, scuff with 280 and apply another coat or two.
The best part of this finish is it ain't rocket science..and is quick and easy. You should be able to wipe on a coat of this stuff in about 2 minutes or less.
If the room you are finishing the chests in has low humidity and a decent temp, you can literally have a "finished" finish in one day with professional looking results.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sounds great....and easy, the best part. When I was a kid, my Grandfather would varnish all his clock cases.....I found a can of spar varnish the other day and I think he used that to seal the last coat of tinited varnish, but what I do remember is the several days it ook him to do the finish work.
 
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