I made a desk from solid hard maple (no plywood). What finish is best
for it? So far I only worked with oil stains and boiled linseed oil on
white oak. I prefer not light finishes that would withstand abuse from
my kids whom I built the desk for.
Another question. I am on NE. It is winter. Where can I apply the
finish? I have a heated basement. Is it OK to apply finish in one
sealed room in basement with open basement windows for ventilation?
I have only had luck staining Maple using water based stain. To get
protection from kids you will probably need to go with Poly or Varnish
(some say it is the same thing). To make the grain look amazing on
Maple you can apply 'natural' Danish Oil, I find it dries quicker than
BLO then you can cover it with something more durable.
Don't bother trying to seal a room. Unless you have a negative
pressure room the smell will permeate every corner of the house.
Don't worry, it only lasts a few days after the final coat is
applied. Opening a window does help somewhat but those with a
sensitve nose will smell it throughout the house.
I've found tha I can just wipe on a light coat of Danish or Teak oil and
almost immediately wipe it off. Seems to work just as well as flooding
it and I don't have to wait nearly as long before applying the top coat.
I wouldn't try to stain Maple, it is really hard to get a good
result. Maybe a penetrating oil like tung or boiled linseed to yellow
it up a bit, then yes as the other poster suggested a poly finish to
make it tough. You can use a wipe on poly and it will have very low
fumes but take several coats to build up a nice. Sand or steel wool
between every few coats, or as the can suggests.
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