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I have a bit of black walnut that is a VERY dark shade of purple. I'm going to be making a rather large shelf from it and would like to give it a protective finish that might lighten the color up a bit or maybe even highlight the grain.

I've tried a simple poly finish and although it does bring out the brown tones more, I wanted to push it further.

Would something like BLO or tung oil do what I'm looking for? tung oil is a bit more yellow than BLO - which might be too much of what I'm looking for.

Just need something that will lighten up this purple walnut.
 

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I think BLO would help to bring out the grain, but I don't know of any finish that will lighten wood. Typically they darken. Water based stuff is typically clear compared to oil based, so it tends to not darken like the oil does.

Other than bleaching, I've not read anything where people lighten the wood with a finish. I'll be interested to see what others have to say on this.

On another note, while I have not yet witnessed it myself, it is my understanding that walnut will lighten with age on its own. How long that takes probably depends on its UV exposure.
 

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I think BLO would help to bring out the grain, but I don't know of any finish that will lighten wood. Typically they darken. Water based stuff is typically clear compared to oil based, so it tends to not darken like the oil does.

Other than bleaching, I've not read anything where people lighten the wood with a finish. I'll be interested to see what others have to say on this.

On another note, while I have not yet witnessed it myself, it is my understanding that walnut will lighten with age on its own. How long that takes probably depends on its UV exposure.
I'll take a look at bleaching, if only because I'm curious how it's done. I have plenty of BLO to spare but to tell the truth I'm not looking forward to rubbing down this project, which when finished will be rather substantial in size - but it's worth trying out on some test sticks to see what happens to the grain. I'll give it a go today and let you know what it does to the grain and overall look.
 

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you wont like the results of bleaching walnut. it will be blotchy.
walnut is supossed to be dark. the only way your gonna lighten it is to spray a white wash stain over it. not sure thats a good look for walnut. as a finnish i prefere oils, danish
 
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