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Hello, first time posting here. Have read a lot of posts on the forum for help in the past, but now we have our own question. Thanks in advance!

Some background, we have been trimming out our home addition including the stain/polyurethane ourselves, and we are very happy with our results so far, but we are far from experts. Just like to learn and enjoy the work!

We are working on a walnut mantle for our fireplace. We would like a natural looking finish with that rich color and not too much shine. With the wood we got, we don’t have rough saw marks or anything, and we have sanded so far up to 220.

We have watched a lot of videos and reading articles and the possibilities seem endless. One finish option that seemed within our wheelhouse was Odie’s oil. It looks like it brings out the grain/color a lot but maybe not quite as involved as some of the other products/techniques?

Another question is, for these oil/wax finishes, what is the cure time? I’ve seen 72 hours up to 3 weeks…

And would we need to do anything special if this is going to be surrounded by stone (mortar set, not dry stack)? Any extra thoughts on cure time before we could have the stone guys come in?

Thanks for reading, any questions let me know
Ann
 

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My advice would be to start with a coat of Zinsser's Seal Coat (shellac). This will bring out the color and grain in the walnut. Give it a light sanding with 220 to 320 grit and then apply 2-3 coats of a water based polyurethane with similar sanding between coats. The Seal Coat is preferred because water based poly alone is not good at bringing out color and grain. However, it is low odor, durable, and fast drying; and easy cleanup. Also, you can get it in any degree of gloss from flat to high gloss.
Talk to your stone guys about what you plan to do, but I don't think you will have to do anything special to prepare for them other than to mask off what you have done before they start work.
Please be sure to show us some before and after pictures.
 

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What you are asking is difficult to answer. The drying time on any finish largely depends on the temperature and humidity. The drying time listed on the can is for warm dry weather. If it's cool and or damp it may take a lot longer. With an oil finish you can usually tell by the smell. When it quits smelling like a wet finish it's probably dry.
 

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Hello, first time posting here. Have read a lot of posts on the forum for help in the past, but now we have our own question. Thanks in advance!

Some background, we have been trimming out our home addition including the stain/polyurethane ourselves, and we are very happy with our results so far, but we are far from experts. Just like to learn and enjoy the work!

We are working on a walnut mantle for our fireplace. We would like a natural looking finish with that rich color and not too much shine. With the wood we got, we don’t have rough saw marks or anything, and we have sanded so far up to 220.

We have watched a lot of videos and reading articles and the possibilities seem endless. One finish option that seemed within our wheelhouse was Odie’s oil. It looks like it brings out the grain/color a lot but maybe not quite as involved as some of the other products/techniques?

Another question is, for these oil/wax finishes, what is the cure time? I’ve seen 72 hours up to 3 weeks…

And would we need to do anything special if this is going to be surrounded by stone (mortar set, not dry stack)? Any extra thoughts on cure time before we could have the stone guys come in?

Thanks for reading, any questions let me know
Ann
Not sure what you have access to but I would consider starting with a dewaxed shellac. No need for fear hear, you can order the flakes online and you simply desolve them in denatured alcohol and strain. When you purchase them you will have a choice of colors. For a very slight tint I would suggest super blonde or blonde. For a bit darker an orange. Fo a top coat I would suggest a catalyzed conversion varnish in flat, Target Coatings makes a nice one in waterborne. Pre-cat varnish has a very thin build thickness compared to other coatings such as polyurethane. I have found the flat to give a paste wax appearance. Pre-cat is also nearly bulletproof when it comes to hardness and resistance to most chemicals it would likely come in contact with. Target's product is called EM8000cv. Pre-cat is a spray only finish, but I have brushed it with a foam brush on samples with good results. For a mantel I would recommend spraying.
 

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I would also start with shellac. There isn’t hardly a wood that isn’t made for shellac. 😁

For a newbie or anyone not wanting to fuss, a very nice, simple option is a 2-3 coats of shellac, followed by 3-4 coats of ArmRSeal (General Finishes).

Oil is the most bombproof there is. The key is apply liberally and rub in well, but also throughly wipe off. Many people advocate sanding the wet oil to get better penetration and some grain filling effect. The few times I’ve tried it, I think it is better. Depending on product, under normal humidity and temp, 24 - 48 hours b/t coats, or follow the mfg’ers recs. Drying time is a major drawback to oil, especially if you plan on a topcoat. Whatever you do, don’t use BLO unless you want your house to have BO for 2 weeks!

I have no experience with Odies, from what I know it is a good product, a little pricey, but goes really far. Danish oil is a nice option, too. That said, I’m not 100% sure about an oil finish over a fireplace. Hard wax oils need periodic freshening. Danish oil does not.

BTW shameless posting of pics is pretty much the rule here 😁😁
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks everyone! That is a lot of really good information for us, we'll try to get some shellac/topcoat and give that a trial on a drop piece.

Here’s a couple pictures of the project so far. We only had a plank piece to start rather than a large beam. We really liked this grain so we faced it out. The mantle it’s a u-shape and the top and bottom of the u are filled in with two more pieces. We made some corbel brackets the other night too. We have a friend that had some Odie’s oil and tung oil we could try on a small drop piece. There’s also a pic of that sample.
The way we put it together, we do have some end grain. We thought about mitering it, but weren’t sure we would get that perfect and so ended up doing it this way… we aren’t crazy about how extra dark the end grain oils up but not sure if there is much option there? Don’t mind if it ends up looking different than the rest, just maybe if we can bring them a bit closer together? The sample in the picture we did sand to 400 to see if that helped, but still very dark. We tried another sample with a real thin layer of titebond II and then oil over that. Definitely stopped it from darkening up but then we don’t get much of the warmth either.

Anyway, those are the updates so far. Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

Ann

Window Building Wood Fixture House
Wood Rectangle Wood stain Wall Composite material

. Brown Rectangle Wood Beige Floor
 

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I learned this many years ago from a gentleman woodworker now long gone to get a nearly fool proof finish.
I have used it on many pieces over the years, produces a super smooth buttery to the touch finish that dries in 3 - 4 hours to the touch. Application is wipe on and the finish color result on light color wood is to slightly golden the natural color. I have never used it on dark woods simply never had the opportinity. Have applied it over oil stain with great results.
Here is the secret formula ( don't tell anyone about it OK) 40% polyurethane varnish I use Minwax , satin or gloss your choice ( I use satin BTW) 40% tung oil good quality tung oil I usually use Formby's or better lastly 20 % mineral spirits.
The proportions are not super critical but you should be reasonably close . Stir it up as us usual with any varnish finish, wipe it on with a soft cotton cloth stand back and watch it dry practilly before your eyes. I typically add at least 1 or 2 more coats depending on how much the finish is absorbed. Buff it in a couple of days with a dry cotton soft cloth sit back and enjoy.
In time if it dulls over time simply do it again.
Only draw back is it is not very water resistant and has a relative short pot life after mixing usually about 1 month so mix only what you need.
As with any finish TEST TEST and TEST again before adding it to yor dream project.
Best of luck
mike calabrese
 

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I learned this many years ago from a gentleman woodworker now long gone to get a nearly fool proof finish.
I have used it on many pieces over the years, produces a super smooth buttery to the touch finish that dries in 3 - 4 hours to the touch. Application is wipe on and the finish color result on light color wood is to slightly golden the natural color. I have never used it on dark woods simply never had the opportinity. Have applied it over oil stain with great results.
Here is the secret formula ( don't tell anyone about it OK) 40% polyurethane varnish I use Minwax , satin or gloss your choice ( I use satin BTW) 40% tung oil good quality tung oil I usually use Formby's or better lastly 20 % mineral spirits.
The proportions are not super critical but you should be reasonably close . Stir it up as us usual with any varnish finish, wipe it on with a soft cotton cloth stand back and watch it dry practilly before your eyes. I typically add at least 1 or 2 more coats depending on how much the finish is absorbed. Buff it in a couple of days with a dry cotton soft cloth sit back and enjoy.
In time if it dulls over time simply do it again.
Only draw back is it is not very water resistant and has a relative short pot life after mixing usually about 1 month so mix only what you need.
As with any finish TEST TEST and TEST again before adding it to yor dream project.
Best of luck
mike calabrese
That is no secret cuz I know about it. And I love it,:D I have usually used a 1:1:1 mix, but that is part of the beauty, you can change the mix if you want to. Two further comments: be sure to use real mineral spirits (paint thinner) not the low odor variety. Second if you add a small amount of japan drier (according to directions), each coat will dry over night (at least) so that you can add subsequent coats more quickly.
 

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That is no secret cuz I know about it. And I love it,:D I have usually used a 1:1:1 mix, but that is part of the beauty, you can change the mix if you want to. Two further comments: be sure to use real mineral spirits (paint thinner) not the low odor variety. Second if you add a small amount of japan drier (according to directions), each coat will dry over night (at least) so that you can add subsequent coats more quickly.
Darn who let the cat out of the bag?????????:ROFLMAO:
 
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