I'm finishing up a piece that is multi-species, a hall table with
walnut legs, apron, and accent scrolls, and very light maple top and
In order to get the amount of contrast I would like, the maple needs
to stay as light as possible. I'm looking for a sprayable finish that
is the least yellowing or most clear.
I'd use (and I have used) a super-blonde, dewaxed shellac for a piece like
that. Sprayed with a Critter gun, if I had to spray, and rubbed out after
a whole bunch of coats. But I usually pad it on, because I do this as a
hobby, and hate cleaning up the spray setup in my crowded (former garage)
Good shellac is available from Jeff Jewitt and/or Ron Hock, and elsewhere.
While the maple loves the superblonde shellac, the walnut may appreciate a
warmer toned finish. At least the California walnut that I have does.
YMMV, of course.
You run into any grain raising issue with the water based?
I've avoided it because about ten years ago I finished an oak tonge
and groove floor with water based poly. wanted to finish it quick
with no fumes. It was quick, I got five coats on in a day. But it
raised the grain fairly significantly, even the last coat.
Maybe they are better now?
Frank, I think they are a lot better. In fact, lots of cabinet shops
are changing over to the Target and Oxford coatings sold (at least in
one place) by Jeff Jewitt over at homesteadfinishing.com.
You can call and actually talk to him to get squared away on this.
BTW, just because the finish is water based, don't forget the mask.
Instead of oil based solvents they are using a hybridzed alcohol mix as
a solvent/carrier and it is quite nasty to have lungs full of that.
Just my 0.02.
I work for Sherwin Williams and we have several products you could use.
Try using a water white lacquer or SW also has a CAB acrylic lacquer
that will work as well. Hope this helps.
p.s. If you want to stay away from excessive raising of the grain,
water based poly is NOT the way to go. I know it's been out some time,
but if it's water based it will raise the grain significantly.
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