Is it necessary to finish raw pine?

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snipped-for-privacy@ucl.ac.uk (Kate J) wrote in message

Based on your description, I am going to guess.....IKEA? (Assuming they have such things in the UK). If so, I will further guess that it really is finished, but is natural - i.e. no stain or other coloring, just a laquer sprayed on finish. If my guesses are correct, you don't need any further finishing. However, it you wanted a smoother finish then a scuff sanding with 220 grit sandpaper followed by a couple of coats of clear shellac (Zinsser, if available in the UK, is fine for this application) would be appropriate. If you want that older pine appearance, use amber shellac instead of clear shellac (same manufacturer - can be purchased in home centers in the US - don't know about UK). All this is just so much BS if this really is unfinished furniture, but at least here that wouldn't come as a assemble it yourself package and they would make something of a big deal about finishing it yourself. Also here you wouldn't tend to find unfinished in scandinavian pine ;)
Dave Hall
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On 03 Feb 2004, Kate J wrote

I'd agree with David's response, and would confirm that the same basic situation applies here in the UK as it does where he is.
Unless it was labelled along the lines of "ready to finish", it's almost certainly got some sort of natural-looking sealant on it.
Where did you buy it? Did it say anything about having to finish it yourself?
--
Cheers,
Harvey
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Some years ago I built a couple of two-tier tables out of pine. It was my intention to paint them gloss white, but before I did so a house-mate asked me, "why paint them?" I had no answer and never did paint them. In fact, as I'd constructed them I filled in blemishes with fillers that are somewhat unsightly, so in that respect I suppose the pieces do beg for paint. Maybe someday.
Last year I constructed 3 large pine bookcases, and I again could have left them unfinished but I instead decided to finish them. I did a fair amount of research and decided on shellac. Actually, I'd gotten the idea from a fellow in a store that sold pine bookcases (unfinished). He recommended a white shellac, and I believe he was referring to a shellac that when dry looks like white paint (has white pigmentation). Shellac has the virtue of sealing effectively, so that resins do not exude from knots, eventually spoiling the finish.
I did further research before embarking on the project. I decided to finish the wood prior to assembling the bookcases (after cutting and sanding however). I also decided to do a preconditioning with boiled linseed oil - wipe on, let sit 15 minutes, wipe off thoroughly with rags, and let sit for several days or a week or more to cure (dry to the touch). This was said to accentuate the grain for a more pleasing effect after shellacing.
I chose an orange shellac and applied two full coats after a thinned (with alcohol) shellac initial coat.
Lastly, a couple of applications of furniture wax with 00 steel wool, followed by polishing with rags, gave a fine furniture look and feel. I'm very pleased with the warm look of the finished bookcases, which I just finished installing in their final location yesterday.
You may not want to do something like this if you are antsy to get these installed, and I figure you probably are. Anyway, maybe you are completely OK not finished them at all! :) I don't believe that it's "necessary," and that was your question.
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