How to achieve this kind of finish?

Hi,
Please take a look at this fragment:
http://freeboundaries.com/NiceFinish.jpg
How does one achieve a finish like that? I imaging this piece is stained, but I am not asking about that part. The feature that I'm trying achieve, but have never been able to, is let the texture of wood to show through the finish. I'm not talking about the grain, but rather the subtle roughness that one feels when touching the wood. That said, the grain seems to show through a little bit as well, which is nice. Finally, there is this warm (almost creamy) feel.
I'm guessing that one of the keys is that there is a very thin layer of finish. But even when I tried that with wipe-on type finishes, I always get something that looks and feels a little filmy and plasticky.
Many thanks in advance,
Aaron
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Aaron Fude wrote:

Based on the very small photo, I can guess it might be a sprayed lacquer, which is then rubbed down to a duller sheen, or a well-applied Danish Oil finish.
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What would you use for the rubdown?
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Aaron Fude wrote:

0000 Steel wool and wool lube.
Practice on scrap, it's not difficult to screw up and cut through the lacquer, as you aren't starting with a thick finish.
Personally, I'd spray a dull lacquer.
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I've had good results on cherry with a 33/33/33 mix of spar, (tung|blo), turps.
Many of the "filmy" or "plasticky" finishes can be rubbed out using various rubbing compounds to get a 'silkier' finish.
scott
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While you "can" get a satin look as you see on that piece by rubbing down lacquer, you will likely also have a very smooth finish and loose the wood "feel".
I think what you are looking for is an oil finish. Tung or Boiled Linseed Oil (BLO). You build it up with many coats. It It is not very protective. It will start to "build" and actually does plasticize or polymerize (my made up terms) as poly finishes are just oils with certain plasticizres. You can also try some custom formulas by mixing in some film finish varnish or shellac but that style will quickly build to to tick and loose the wood feel.
Look on google for a "hand rubbed oil finish" formula and technique that uses a mixture of BLO and Turpentine or Mineral Spirits and succesive wiped on coats. You will get what you are looking for. If you apply enough coasts it will start to gloss up but fewe coats give a nice natural look. Here is a nice example
http://awoodenbox.com/db2/00179/awoodenbox.com/_uimages/a-Urn1_02copy.jpg
(make sure to look at it at full size).

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"Aaron Fude" wrote \

Impossible to tell from the photo, but a rubbed oil/poly finish, a la Sam Maloof, will get you close to what can be seen.
Many of the methods on this site will get you similar results:
http://thewoodshop.20m.com/finishing.htm
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Last update: 3/8/08
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