Egraff

Finish for Curly Red Oak?

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Hello everyone,

I have a project that I am working on that uses curly red oak side panels. I would like to use a finish for them that is relatively simple.

I don't want to use any stains or dyes (ie. "pop goes the maple" ), etc., because other parts of the piece that are NOT made out of curly red oak (different wood species) would be changed, and I'd ideally like to use the same finishing proceedure for the entire project. It's very important that I don't significantly change the color of some of the other woods in the piece.

I'm thinking of doing a base coat of dewaxed shellac, followed up by several coats of Arm-R-Seal.

Does this sound like a good way of bringing out the curls in the oak (that's why I'm thinking the dewaxed shellac base coat would help) and still give a nice overall finish for the entire piece? I'm going for something that doesn't have a super glossy appearance.

Or do you have any different suggestions?

Also, any thoughts on satin vs semi-gloss Arm-r-Seal? I've never used either.

Thank you very much!

- EG

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Since I am not sure what your making I will assume most likely it's for indoor use most likely. Have you ever experimented with dyes?

. "pop goes the maple." Lol :)) that's classic :)

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GF-Seal-a-cell-clear-250px.jpg

Skip the shellac.

If this were me, I would use the above. Its a clear oil thinner than Arm-R-Seal so it will penetrate deeper getting into the figure. After, the oil has dried a few days, I like the satin Arm-R-Seal and provides excellent protection. Satin finishes are typically applied to furniture.

-Ace-

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Thanks to everyone who has commented so far.

Sorry I forgot to mention it in the original post... I'm building a chest / floor trunk (some might call it a hope chest.... you get the picture :-) ).

Ace, will the General Finishes seal-a-cell have any noticeable effect on the rest of the wood species on the chest? (red oak, leopardwood, lacewood, zebrawood, etc.)?

I don't know if I should apply the method you suggest to the entire chest, or just do it to the curly oak side panels, and then simply arm-r-seal the rest only?

- EG

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Sorry to reply again so soon, but in doing a little more research, I see that what I think I'm after is called "chatoyance", although I've never heard this term before. I don't just want the curls to be darker, I like the depth / shimmer look if that makes sense?

- EG

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Any topcoat will bring out that shimmer in the curl. Shellac is a great sealer and will help get more uniform results with any stain, dye or finish you decide to use. I may be wrong but it's been my experience that the more gloss in the finish the more chatoyance you get. Especially if you rub out the finish to a high gloss. The finer the scratches in the finish allows more light to penetrate to the curl in the wood giving it the shimmer or chatoyance.

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Sorry to reply again so soon, but in doing a little more research, I see that what I think I'm after is called "chatoyance", although I've never heard this term before. I don't just want the curls to be darker, I like the depth / shimmer look if that makes sense?

- EG

Take some mineral spirits in a rag and wipe the oak and other woods. That will get you "close" to what Seal-A-Cell will look like.

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