Finishing of veneered mdf - help!

Hi Building home-entertainment centre/shelving area with maple veneered mdf, but need advice on finishing options. Want a finish that will not yellow the wood, and can be applied by pad/cloth rather than brushing. Dont like varnishes. Was considering Tung Oil, but read that this along with all other oil based finishes yellows with age, and water-base treatments would be better on light wood. The article does not go on to explain what water-based finishes there are.- can anyone advise ??
Thanks Harry
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On Sun, 9 Nov 2003 17:06:27 +0000 (UTC), "McLean"

According to Michael Dresdner in The Woodfinishing Book, the common wipe on finishes - shellac, Danish oil, Linseed oil and Tung oil - have an amber colour. Wax has a tan colour.
I suspect that the water based finishes will be either acrylic or polyurethane varnishes. Polyurethane is supposed to give a bluish colour and acrylic is supposed to be pretty well colourless.
I've used water based acrylic on oak, because I didn't want the amber colour, and the results seem fine to me. Using a paint pad produces much better results than a brush.
If the wood does not need any protection try wax (natural wax, not the furniture polish that contains silicones).
The best thing to do is to try the finishes on a spare bit of wood to see which one you prefer.
Bill
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On Sun, 9 Nov 2003 17:06:27 +0000 (UTC), "McLean"

Tung oil in a commercial mixture (I use Liberon's Finishing Oil) is barely coloured. There is a tint, but it's nothing like linseed, or even pure tung. The better your application technique, the lighter it comes out (i.e. don't leave excess oil on the surface).
For light use, I finish maple with a hard plain wax. I use Liberon's "Black Bison", which is the other finish I use in huge quantities. Use the "neutral" colour which is white, rather than "clear" which is a little yellowish.
Water based poly varnishes are water-clear. However they give the usual "Airfix kit" plastic sheen of poly.
If you want a truly invisible finish on maple, you're going to have to look at spraying it. -- Die Gotterspammerung - Junkmail of the Gods
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I've been quite pleased with the finish i've obtained on veneered board using 1. a coat of acrylic water based sanding sealer rubbed down with 400 grit. 2. two or three coats of water based acrylic finish (in this case Aqualac semi-matt) each coat again cut back with 400 grit. All applied with a foam brush 3. a light coat of wax. Gives a reasonably deep sheen without altering the colour too much.
Roy
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On 09 Nov 2003 23:18:07 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (Roy) wrote:

Very similar to how I have finished Maple veneer.
I hate the streaks water based finishes leave but love the easy clean up and the fast drying. I had tried various brushes, pads and foam applicators seeking a cure but all to no avail.
Recently I experimented adding more thinners (expensive stuff ) and found 10% helped cut down on this problem
I don't bother going down below 240g between coats when sanding but finish off rubbing the wax in with 0000 wirewool.
I use satin instead of semi matt and as you say it gives a nice finish.
The Liberon wax I use has a very pleasant odour which always pleasant odour swmbo.
Water based finishes IME are almost completely colourless. In the past when I wanted maple to look a little aged I found a standard oil based varnish gave a slight yellow tinge which seemed to do the trick
Paul Mc Cann
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McLean wrote:

Clear acrylic is best: Try watering it down a bit if using a pad.

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