Most unobtrusive finish


Hi,
Generally speaking, what is the most unobtrusive finish? I'm talking about for furniture such as desks and dining room servers. I've been using poly exclusively and I'm getting a little bit tired of the plasticy finish that it leaves. What are good ideas for minimizing that effect and letting the wood show through as much as possible ans naturally as possible.
A very specific aside: if you are familiar with Nakashima tables, that's the kind of feel I'm looking for.
Many thanks in advance!
Aaron Fude
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My preference is an oil like an unscented baby oil or mineral oil. It might give a little bit of a gloss, but it protects well in my opinion.
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Arron, it would help if you could refine your question somewhat. Specifically what physical properties do you require? Chemical resistance water resistance wear.
BLO or tung will definitely not look plasticy, but they offer very little in wear and water resistance.
Sure, poly can be plasticy... particularly if applied with a brush, out of the can. Have you tried wipe-on poly? The lower viscosity makes it easier to apply with less build and it is easier to avoid drips and dust contamination.
There are lots of trade-offs. Can you tolerate a finish with a modestly amber color? What is you preferred method of application.
Understanding wood finishes by Flexner is an excellent resource to have on hand to help you sort through those trade-offs and I think it's less that $20.... cheaper than a quart of Waterlox.
-Steve
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Hi,
Thanks to all who responded!
Water and wear protenction is important. I can very much tolerate a bit of an amber feel.
Thanks!
Aaron Fude
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

You might want to try rubbing out the finish on one of your polyurenated pieces with steel wool and mineral oil. That will cut back the glpss, making it look less plasticy.
As usual, you can either practice on scrap, or practice on your project.
--

FF


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Because snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com could, he/she/it opin'd:

In similar circumstances I've been pleased with Minwax Wipe-On Poly, especially in satin . . . .
http://www.minwax.com/products/protective/wipe-on.cfm
-Don (newby to rec.woodworking)
--
"What do *you* care what other people think?" --Arline Feynman

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