Finish for a Walnut Mantle??

With about half the work done on our new Walnut Mantle I thought it a good time to think about the finish I will give it..I want the natural colors of the wood to come through so I will use no stains...I'm just looking for some suggestions about the sealer or surface finish. This is my first project with Walnut. Thanks All...Work Safe.............Chipsmith
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Clear varnish.

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Several thin coats of tongue oil looks good with walnut, the grain is quite pronounced without changing color. Just my .02 Mark
chipsmith wrote:

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chipsmith wrote:

Gadzooks man, I should hope not! Anyone who wants to stain walnut needs to be dragged out into the street and flogged with a sack of doorknobs! :)
I'm no finish whiz, but I really like what clear shellac does for walnut.
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God yes. Its dark enough. At the MOST, it might be okay to use an oil like the Watco Danish. And I supposed if you HAVE to darken it, maybe a "shaded" Watco danish. But never a "stain".
I HAVE a sack of doorknobs, so you'd better not stain that walnut.
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David Binkowski wrote:

<chortle>
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That example reminds me. A couple friends and I were walking around in the Chicago furniture show, and I noticed a gorgeous, Frank Lloyd Wright table. Quartersawn oak, some very intricate inlays in the corners. It was a stunning table. And suddenly I became a tad depressed when I remembered something about fashion. Somewhere, someone in the past probably had a table JUST like that, and painted the god damn thing because they got tired of it, or just didn't know better.
Anyway, I know you'll do the right thing...
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David Binkowski wrote:

Probably painted it *white* no less.
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When McIntyre speaks, the masses listen. What he said. Blonde shellac for accurate reproduction of walnut's color, garnet if you want to redden it slightly. (gak) Build it slowly, several thin layers as opposed to one that's brushed on.
Bob

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Bob Schmall wrote:

They're only listening because I'm swinging a sack of doorknobs.
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Thanks for all your input for the finish on the mantle......I'll post a pic when completed..35 years or so...lol...Actually, it has to be done before thanksgiving...I aint talkin next year either..Geesh...it aint even built yet!!..Ahhh... what we do for the little lady...just 13 more days and I can come out of the shop and breath dustless air...Perhaps then I'll get a life,or find one..DUH Work safe..........Chipsmith.
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chipsmith wrote:

Thirteen days? Are you going to stay in the shop for three days after it's finished?
-- Jack Novak Buffalo, NY - USA (Remove "SPAM" from email address to reply)
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else is just waiting." Ditto woodworking. Or any other passion.
Bob Was it Nuvolari?
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IME, just about any oil finish will darken Walnut. It does so to my taste, but may be too much for you.
I typically use an oil/varnish finish, a la Sam Maloof for walnut , but a tung oil finish looks gorgeous also if you're willing to spend the time.
As always, practice on scrap, not your projects, to make sure you get what you want.
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If the walnut was air dried, an oil finish is enough! If it has been steamed, I have found that a coat or two of orange shellac brings tones down the purplish color and brings out the warmth of the browns.
Swingman wrote:

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I would love a walnut mantle. Mine is crappy 70's fake fieldstone and I don't have the time or energy to take a sledge to it. Well, maybe some day... A while ago in fww Garret Hack did a bit on a three part varnish mix he uses. I have used it with great success on walnut. It sits very close to the wood and protects perfectly well for a mantel. I found that using a varnish with an amber tone like a spar brings out the colors in walnut. Don't use anything water based on walnut though. The blue tone, however subtle will grey the finnish out.
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