Finishing Help for Log Bed....

Hiya Folks, Been thinking long and hard the past few days about how I plan to finish a log bed I am nearing completion on. It's out of pine logs that were draw knifed and now being sanded. I don't want to stain it but was thinking that maybe a touch of amber to elicit that old pine look might be nice. Thinking I was going to try tung oil as I've never used it although I just read Flexner's piece on tung oil and it just doesn't sound very appealing (durability, etc...). Thought about shellac as that's just about my favorite finish but lord, I really don't want to pad a whole bed's worth :). Thought about Watco Natural (Varnish/Oil?) and that's probably still in the running. I've got a conventional sprayer that I've never used for anything other than latex and just got a Critter so thinking about trying to spray the shellac. How hard is this? Are there any other suggestions for how to finish this thing? I will be making matching end tables etc... so whatever I do will have to be repeated a few times. Thanks for any help. Cheers, cc
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Shellac. It'll protect against a coffee or one of those "other" stains, and since it does not share a common solvent with the resin, it'll help control ooze.
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I made a log bed (Douglas Fir) years ago and simply wiped some teak oil on it. If you like that aged, yellowed look, and have access to sunshine...leave it out side in indirect sunshine (well oiled/sealed end grain of course) and it will 'age' quicker. I knew a fellow who built a straw compost pit once to age his pine boards....that may be excessive.
regards...Ken

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Regarding color, with Pine you should add some color. It does not color as well as some other woods over time and some varieties go white to gray. You can try using a Natural Oak type color. Very suttle but ads some nice warmth. I assume logs with have uneven coloring, just like Pine boards so you should use a pre-stain or sanding sealer before straining. Also, prior to that, if you are going to color it, wipe it with Mineral Spirits, this will show you the sanding irregularities that will show up with the stain and giove you an opportunity to smooth them out befor estaining.
I think any film finish would be good. Not Tung. Varnish oil could be ideal. Or even just sealing with very few coats of wipe on poly. What ever you do, I'd do just a few wash coats (thinned), cause you really don't want any gloss or plastic look to you logs.
Depending on the look you want and the details of the design, I did a pine project, used minimal color stain (maybe Ipswitch or Antique can't recall), then I used a dark brown glaze paint, painted on and wiped off, just leaving it in the cracks and grain lines. I did very little of a very thin wipe on poly and then waxed it to a low luster. One of the best finisheds I've ever done. Problem was I did it perfect on the sample but put to much poly on the final piece.
Live and learn.
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Thanks folks for the responses. I definitely am not looking for a thick surface finish hence I was considering oil. I don't mind a bit of a surface so will probably suck it up and go the shellac route. Any other advice out there? If I shellac, I guess that means I gotta buy an expensive HVLP...haha. Seriously, can't afford one but I really don't have the time to pad the entire bed just now so I figure I'll give spraying a go. I will also look at running a few samples with some dye to see what looks best. Thanks for the help! Cheers, cc
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Didn't you say earlier that you had a Critter sprayer? Shellac does pretty well with that gizmo, and you can wipe it if you need. Use a light cut, however.
Patriarch
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I sure do. I haven't had a chance to use it but my impressions from reading is that it is very good for very small pieces. Of course, with a log bed, I really wouldn't want a big pattern anyway given the logs are at most 6-7" in diameter. I think once I get the sanding done, I'll make up a few samples and see what I can do! I assume a light cut is 1.5 or so? That's typically what I pad with. Cheers, cc

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That works.
Patriarch
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