I am about to start a project with bloodwood. I am looking to get a deep,
dark, red, high gloss finish but I am not sure how to do so. My woodworking
skills are geared more toward the carpentry aspect, and my refinishing
talents are mediocre at best. If someone could help me understand the
process of finishing off this beautiful wood, I would be very appreciative.
Thanks in advance!
I used it in a mesquite, ebony, brazilian cherry and bloodwood stool I built
as a prototype. I just used an oil/wax finish for a soft lustre. The
bloodwood aged over time to a dark red. I would assume a high-gloss clear
finish would give you what you want. Try to get one without the amber tint.
If it's a flat surface, finish with a finely tuned smoother (hand plane).
If this isn't feasible, sand to an extremely fine grain. Sanding above
400 grit does little for most woods and common finishes, but bloodwood is
extraordinarily dense and sanding to 1200 and even finer imparts a
noticeably deeper appearance. You may experience excessive clogging with
the finer grits (bloodwood can be waxy). To minimize problems, use 3M's
216U, aka "Sandblaster" paper to as high a grit as you can find, and then
switch to the wet-dry Silicon Carbide stuff.
Best let time do this work. An applied colored finish can do nothing but
diminish the natural beauty of this wood.
No choice there.
Finish preparation is the key (see above). A coat or three of tung oil
finish will produce a decent gloss. For an extremely glossy look, sand to
2000 grit and apply one coat of tung or Danish oil finish. Buff off the
excess oil thoroughly after 10 minutes or so, and again after allowing at
least one full day for the oil to cure (longer is better). Then, french
polish with a 2-lb cut of super blonde shellac. This yields an incredible
finish that has to be seen to be believed. It is particularly impressive
on turnings. (By the way, when sanding turnings, I get an improved finish
by sanding the last few grades by hand, with the grain, rather than by
turning on the lathe.)
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