Is there a finish that doesn't change wood color?

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I've been out of the woodworkin circle for a couple years and have gotten back into it. For Mudder's Day, I made my SWMBO a nice jewelry chest out of some exotic wood I'd had for about 15 years... either Tarara or Mirabau, can't remember... anyhoo, it's a nice light reddish color with darker streaks and wifey likes it the way it is, unfinished. I worry about it picking up fingerprints, stains, etc. and I'm wondering if any of the new finishes out there protect the wood without changing the color or darkening it. I've not tried any of the water based urethanes, etc. My favorite finish is Deft semi-gloss in the spray can but even that darkens the wood considerably.
Any idears?
Thanks,
Will
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None of them change the color. They merely impart some of their own characteristics to the light returned to your eye.
Your lacquer is one of the clearest finishes available, but since it provides a smoother reflective surface, it appears to have darkened the wood. Note how much lighter a piece of wood sanded to 150 looks versus one sanded to 320 to prove this is true. It's the eye of the beholder.
The shellac boys may chime in, but with alcohol in so many colognes and such, I'd go with lacquer.

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Further to George's comments, specify 'water white'.
Bernard R
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And what is "changing the colour" then?

Wood flour reflects more light -- changes the colour.

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Dye?
What's the problem with correct information?
posted:

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Ray, Me, Far, So, ....

Nothing at all, but "imparting some of their own characteristics to the light returned to your eye" is what "changing the colour" can be. Dying something is just that.

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I have never seen anything that won't change the color (okay, refracted light smart ass). For minimal color change on exotics I would try Trewax or Johnsons Paste wax, on scrap, and see how you like it.
-- Bill Pounds http://www.billpounds.com/woodshop

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Of course, your distaste for precise knowledge might get in the way, but wax and oil are points on the same line. Note, they share the same solvent (s). Both will reduce surface scatter, though some huge molecule types, like paraffin, might scatter enough inside themselves to look a bit lighter if you lard 'em on the surface. Sort of like matte varnishes.

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But different in that the first is any solid with a "waxy" consistency, and the latter is any viscous liquid.

Not true, actually. There are myriad waxes and oils with myriad solvents.

Called "clearing" in scientific circles.

Which paraffin? Their molecules are not that big. Much bigger wax molecules than paraffins.

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I'm pretty sure he was just interested in what a finish would _look_ like. To the eye. Get it?
-- ******** Bill Pounds http://www.billpounds.com

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The closest you will come is water based finishes and even those will darken the wood to some extent.
--
Mike G.
snipped-for-privacy@heirloom-woods.net
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Do you still have any of the scraps of wood? Maybe you could find someone that had some of the different finishes and you could try a little on some of the scrap.
Wayne

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Try out some of the different finishes on some of your cutoff scraps. You should be able to find one that is to your likeing.

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posted:

None that I know of. My fave finish is paraffin wax, but that pops the grain and darkens. I'm just about to put the third thick coat on my jarrah kitchen floor. I just slap it on as a paste with mineral turpentine, and then let the two brush polisher "work" it in. Comes up as a rich glow. Cheap as chips and a cinch to repair with our sandy soils which play havoc with plastic finishes. Jarrah is harder than any known finish, so it needs no protection, just waterproofing and improving the appearance. My hallway has no finish yet, but has been worn to a burnished glow from dogs and foot traffic. The dogs used to slide down it with their claws out trying to stop :)
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Will,
I have just finished a craddle with Sam Maloof's Poly/Oil and Oil/Wax it is just what you are looking for. It is a lot of worrk but well worth it.
Rob http://www.torkomian.com

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Thanks for all the input. I do have some scraps to test on, I just didn't want to go out and spend a fortune on different finishes to try.
Thanks again.

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Bring a scrap or two to a good hardware/paint store and tell them what you're looking for. They should be able to apply samples of what they have for you. If you're not happy with anything repeat at another store.
HTH, Jeffo

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brought forth from the murky depths:

Super-blonde shellac, deglossed with 0000 steel wool, then waxed to a satin finish with Johnson's paste wax. Shellac is the least- darkening finish I've ever seen and used.
--- - Sarcasm is just one more service we offer. - http://diversify.com Web Applications
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Larry Jaques wrote:

Super-blonde, French polished. Apparently, if it's applied to just the right thickness, it'll actually *lighten* the wood color due to refraction.
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On Mon, 17 May 2004 01:07:43 -0700, Father Haskell

And when viewed obliquely against a clear sky, it will turn the wood sky blue, with, if you are lucky, a gibbous moon and a wisp or two of cloud :)
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