Is it necessary to finish raw pine?

Hi,
We have just bought some furniture for our kids' bedrooms and it is Scandinavian pine, fairly light coloured & quite nice. However the surface is slightly rough and it has a kind of unfinished look. Apparently the pine will deepen in colour with age and look warmer but we are worried that it is unprotected at the moment. Is it OK to leave it as is or should we wax it or something before assembling it?
There are two wardrobes and three chests of drawers so an answer along the lines of "it will be fine just to leave it" would be most welciome :) If we do need to finish it I would rather not use a paint-on varnish or hard coating - I would incline towards wax, or maybe a very light stain. Recommendations welcome.
Thank you for tolerating my extremely ignorant questions - I am very new to home decorating and we don't get along too well so far...!
Kate
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Stain won't protect the wood, just darken it. Wax on bare wood is usually not a good idea. Here in the US we have something called Tung oil, which is like varnish, but you can apply it with a cheesecloth.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
There is a pure tung oil that dries very slowly and offers almost no protection and tung oil finishes, mixtures of oil and a varnish that can be wiped on and do pffer some protection.
wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Ok It would be fine just to leave it :>) That being said, I would finish it to control moisture exchange. Perhaps a water base poly to retain the light look. Tony D.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Kate: Call the place where you bought it and find out if it is in fact unfinished. Some finishes are so flat that they are very hard to detect; e.g., an armoire of ours reflects almost no light and my wife keeps asking me to varnish it. If it turns out to be unfinished, follow Charlie Self's excellent advice.
Bob Schmall
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I would wipe on a few coats of tung oil. It will protect the wood and allow the wood to natually color.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Tung oil (at least the real stuff) wouldn't be practical for a bed that might get much use/abuse
--


"Rob-J" < snipped-for-privacy@nospam.com> wrote in message
news: snipped-for-privacy@corp.supernews.com...
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Neither stain nor wax is a protective finish. Wax, if done on a regular basis may help protect the wood from having some of the stickier stuff kids can find from, if not left on for too long, staying stuck to the wood. Other then that and any change in color wax or stain may impart to the wood you may as well not bother as far as protection goes.
With the furniture you describe and your stated preferences I would use three or four coats of a Danish Oil. Danish oil is a wipe on wipe off mix of curing oil with some varnish type resins. Watco, one brand of Danish oil, comes in natural and a range of colors. The natural will warm the look of the pine. I'd follow up the Danish oil with a coat of wax, again that will help keep some of the stickier things kids can find from sticking to the wood.
While not high on the protection scale it should do the job nicely on things like a wardrobes and chests. If there are any level surfaces at playing height, you know, low enough to land toy planes on or race match box cars on I'd consider having some tempered glass cut to fit those surfaces. That and add some little no slip buttons on the corners of the glass.
Further notes. If you do use a Danish oil I would not put it on the inside of any of the drawers. Leave the drawers, except for the fronts, unfinished. Danish oil does take awhile to cure fully and will have a distinctive odor that will take awhile to dissipate fully. Apply the oil as directed on the can and do not neglect to wipe it off the excess after the stated period of time. Another plus with Danish oil is that it can be easily renewed by application of another coat or two. The wax over the Danish oil should also be renewed occasionally for best appearance.
Good luck
--
Mike G.
snipped-for-privacy@heirloom-woods.net
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 3 Feb 2004 04:55:16 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@ucl.ac.uk (Kate J) wrote:

Is is not necessary to apply a finish, but a finish will protect it it and make it easier to keep clean. A finish will probably improve the appearance too. A wax is usually applied on top of something else, such as shellac, laquer, polyurethane, varnish, etc. A stain is usually applied before appplying shellac, laquer, varnish, poly, etc. Sanding is done before applying stain, and a light sanding between coats. You may want to borrow a library book on applying finishes to use the proper one for the particular use of your furniture. Pine may not take stains very evenly without a sanding sealer. Think of the wax as the very last step, and then applied a month after the last coat of finish has fully cured.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I don't know, I would never turn kids loose on anything that didn't have a tough washable finish. You don't want to leave it unfinished, one swipe with a crayon will be forever. Tung oil type stuff is ok but really it has no advantages over water-borne poly in this situation, and offers less protection. The water-based finish (use a fair number of coats) will provide protection and will not darken the wood AT ALL. You seem to be fond of "fairly light colored" so this should be no problem. It dries very fast (two coats a day are easily possible), sands nice between coats.
I finished all my kids furniture with either oil-based enamel (the good old days) or regular poly. It worked fine, but regular poly does darken some with age.
(Kate J) wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@ucl.ac.uk (Kate J) wrote in message

Based on your description, I am going to guess.....IKEA? (Assuming they have such things in the UK). If so, I will further guess that it really is finished, but is natural - i.e. no stain or other coloring, just a laquer sprayed on finish. If my guesses are correct, you don't need any further finishing. However, it you wanted a smoother finish then a scuff sanding with 220 grit sandpaper followed by a couple of coats of clear shellac (Zinsser, if available in the UK, is fine for this application) would be appropriate. If you want that older pine appearance, use amber shellac instead of clear shellac (same manufacturer - can be purchased in home centers in the US - don't know about UK). All this is just so much BS if this really is unfinished furniture, but at least here that wouldn't come as a assemble it yourself package and they would make something of a big deal about finishing it yourself. Also here you wouldn't tend to find unfinished in scandinavian pine ;)
Dave Hall
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 03 Feb 2004, Kate J wrote

I'd agree with David's response, and would confirm that the same basic situation applies here in the UK as it does where he is.
Unless it was labelled along the lines of "ready to finish", it's almost certainly got some sort of natural-looking sealant on it.
Where did you buy it? Did it say anything about having to finish it yourself?
--
Cheers,
Harvey
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Some years ago I built a couple of two-tier tables out of pine. It was my intention to paint them gloss white, but before I did so a house-mate asked me, "why paint them?" I had no answer and never did paint them. In fact, as I'd constructed them I filled in blemishes with fillers that are somewhat unsightly, so in that respect I suppose the pieces do beg for paint. Maybe someday.
Last year I constructed 3 large pine bookcases, and I again could have left them unfinished but I instead decided to finish them. I did a fair amount of research and decided on shellac. Actually, I'd gotten the idea from a fellow in a store that sold pine bookcases (unfinished). He recommended a white shellac, and I believe he was referring to a shellac that when dry looks like white paint (has white pigmentation). Shellac has the virtue of sealing effectively, so that resins do not exude from knots, eventually spoiling the finish.
I did further research before embarking on the project. I decided to finish the wood prior to assembling the bookcases (after cutting and sanding however). I also decided to do a preconditioning with boiled linseed oil - wipe on, let sit 15 minutes, wipe off thoroughly with rags, and let sit for several days or a week or more to cure (dry to the touch). This was said to accentuate the grain for a more pleasing effect after shellacing.
I chose an orange shellac and applied two full coats after a thinned (with alcohol) shellac initial coat.
Lastly, a couple of applications of furniture wax with 00 steel wool, followed by polishing with rags, gave a fine furniture look and feel. I'm very pleased with the warm look of the finished bookcases, which I just finished installing in their final location yesterday.
You may not want to do something like this if you are antsy to get these installed, and I figure you probably are. Anyway, maybe you are completely OK not finished them at all! :) I don't believe that it's "necessary," and that was your question.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.