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Discussion Starter #1
So I'm building a bathroom vanity for my mother in law. The vanity is made out of oak. Originally she wanted to do a white wash/ pickled finish. After much discussion and showing her what the grain looks like once it's planed down, she has changed her mind and wants to do a natural finish.

The deli ma I'm running into is that she does not want any gloss at all, basically a completely natural/ matte type finish. She also does not want the finish to be any smoother than what it comes out of the planer. So poly, and arm r seal and other similar products are out. So I'm wondering if maybe a BLO finish might do the trick and leave it at that? Or possibly ting oil? Again just something to make the grain stand out with out "staining/ changing " the color of the wood. And she doesn't want any kind of poly or the like because she wants it to still feel like wood.

Any and all opinions are welcome. Thanks in advance
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Would that still make the grain stand out? Wood oil finish assist in sealing any better since it's in a bathroom?
 

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Sounds like she wants an in-the-wood finish, and you might consider showing here what danish oil would look like on the wood. That would be a mixture of varnish/BLO/MS in equal parts. Apply, let it sit a few minutes, then wipe off. It will the matt sheen, and allow you to feel the wood grain. If the color changes too much, maybe use less BLO. For the record, this wouldn't be my first choice for a bath vanity......
 

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Yeah... Any type of oil is going to make the grain pop, but it will also change the color some. Wax really doesn't change the color all that much, but it also makes a super smooth surface. So that may not work for her either?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Did you mean Danish oil wouldn't be your first choice for a bathroom vanity or oak in general?

Yea she doesn't want a super smooth finish. basically wants the "in the wood look" which is a much better way of saying it than I did earlier.
 

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The problem with using most oil finishes for a vanity is most people let a certain amount of water run down the front. Red oak is prone to turn gray when repeatedly wet and if it has enough water exposure actually turn black. The finishes that contain linseed oil are not very water resistant so it would be best to use tung oil which is waterproof if you have enough of it on.

You can use polyurethane and not have a shine or plastic look. You just have to use one that is dead flat. If that sheen isn't available in your area a real paint store like Sherwin Williams has flattening agents which can be added to the poly/
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I've used danish oil in the past and liked it, never used ting oil but it sounds like that may be the way to go?

It's white oak so I guess that's a plus over if it was red oak
 

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Any oil based product you add to white oak will turn it orange/amber tone from its current state. Try it on a small section and see her reaction. Preferably on the back of the piece
 

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I wouldn't use wood for the countertop around a sink. As for a clear finish, any oil, or oil base finish will impart an amber tone. A CAB acrylic lacquer, or waterbase polyurethane will stay clear. You could use a gloss, which is more clear than what it would be with flattening agents. When done just a light rub with a synthetic abrasive pad, like Scotch Brite, will flatten out the sheen.




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Discussion Starter #12
My mistake I guess I didnt state that before. The countertop itself will be granite. Only the vanity is made out of oak. Just wanting to find a way to get close to natural color as possible, and still keeping the "feel" of the wood.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Ill try to put a few diff examples on some scrap I guess and see which she likes, tung oil, danish oil, or blo.
 

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My comment earlier about not being my first choice: it was picked up elsewhere, but danish oil just isn't that durable or water resistant. I really like for items that aren't subject to wear and tear. For a bath vanity I would be more inclined to use varnish, or maybe paint. Your approach is the right, a few sample boards to judge the difference (and maybe some cautionary words about the finish's durability)..
 

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The only thing I've found to hold up through the years
in a bathroom environment is conversion varnish.
It's a catalyzed product that has to be sprayed but
it is much tougher than the 1K products.
 
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