Finish on a picture frame


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I am some what new to wood working and made a nice picture frame with cherry and walnut. I would like a finish that shows the grain and brightens things up but does not stain...

Suggest poly? How many coats?

Suggest something else?

Please be descriptive in the selection (reasoning, looks and advantages/disadvantages)and also the process of application.

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Honestly, something like a picture frame, I'd stay away from any build/coating products. You don't need the protection. I love the natural look of a good tung or BLO. If you feel like giving it more protection, go with dewaxed shellac. All of these add an amber tone, but really just bring out the best in any wood. Plus, they are all super easy to apply.

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You'll have some people diving in on this soon. Unfortunately, I only know off the top of my head, to search. And Marc has a great video on Simple Varnish...but, like I said. I prefer a closer to the wood finish than even that, when possible.

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General Finishes Arm-R-Seal Satin (available at WoodCraft) is my go-to finish because it is easy to apply and difficult to screw up. It is an oil/varnish mix that is thinned down so you can apply it with a rag. Sand to 180, wipe on with a rag, let sit for a couple minutes, wipe off with a rag until it is almost dry, repeat three or four times until you are happy with the build. If you can feel bumps from dirt or dust in the finish, you can sand with some fine steel wool between coats. A bonus is that it doesn't smell nearly as bad as some of the other oil-based finishes I've used.

Rory

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I also use arm-r-seal, except I apply it, let it dry overnight then lightly sand with 200/220? or 400 and apply another coat up to 4 or 5 coats. If you look at the ones in my gallery you will see some done with gloss arm-r-seal, I just made some for Christmas and used semi-gloss, not sure which I like better. Pat

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I'm with Pat when using Arm-R-Seal. Wipe it on and leave it, that's just me. :) Arm-R-Seal has more solids for a faster build. So wiping back Arm-R-Seal you will be removing most of the solids you have applied. If you take a look at the video, a gel finish was described and is what I would probably use. A little goes a long way and is a thin finish, Bartley makes a good gel and is more amber than the others (I think)

As mentioned above, picture frames don't require a ton of protection, such as a table top type finish which an Arm-R-Seal can be if you don't thin. :) But hey... I'm one guy no right or wrong here.

As to how may coats...follow the label on the can.

Shoot you could even buy a spray can of lacquer or shellac and spray it.

-Ace-

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I asked this same question about a cherry/bubinga frame a couple of days ago. The majority of the answers were Boiled Linseed Oil and Wax which is the way I ended up going. I'm pretty happy with it. The wax gives a nice sheen without making it glossy and the BLO does a nice job of enhancing the grain and highlighting the wood's color without changing the look too much.

I just rubbed on a couple of coats of BLO over a couple of days with a light sanding in-between and then put on a couple of coats of wax then buffed with a buffing pad on the orbital sander. It was my first foray into wax so I'm not sure I did it right but I like the look of it.

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Thanks Pat!

The angle was cut on the table saw with a high fence and a feather board.

The jointery was a very simple butt joint. I had a little movement in the clamping process but nothing a bit of sanding couldn't handle.

If I had access to a biscuit jointer I pry would have used that method. Just to keep things aligned properly. Overall they turned out great and I learned a lot.

By the way the last one on the right is for sale.

$70 + shipping.

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