I am planning on building a built-in bench and paneling for our small
entry hall which we use for putting on & taking off shoes and coats.
I plan to finish the bench and paneled walls (up to a height of about
5 ft) with stain and poly.
This may sound like a stupid question... but I like the look of oak
paneling; however, as a newbie, I don't know the difference or
pros/cons of using Red vs. White Oak or Flat vs. Quarter Sawn for the
Any suggestions or is it just a matter of tast.
For an interior application, you could use either red or white.
Red should be less expensive.
To compare the difference between red and white, take a look at the
end of freshly cut pieces and you will see the red has open pores,
white does not.
Personally, I like white.
SFWIW, white oak treated with BLO/turps followed by a 50/50 cut of
bees wax/turps rubbed out has a fond spot for me.
Doesn't offer much water protection, but looks nice to me.
Taste, dimensional stability, availability, and "budget":
Flatsawn is generally not as dimensionally stable across the grain as
Quartersawn wood is usually more expensive than flatsawn wood.
Red oak is generally cheaper than white oak in most areas.
Red oak is even available at the BORGS, while white oak generally has to be
obtained from a hardwood dealer/lumber yard (which are often closed when you
need them the most).
(As there are generally a few quartersawn boards cut out of every log during
milling, you can often pick out quartersawn red oak boards out of the bin at
a BORG, but it may take some time to get enough as it is a hit or miss
As a general rule, quartersawn white oak is always much more expensive, both
in paneling and in lumber form.
IME, quartersawn white oak paneling is easily obtainable at a good sheet
goods dealer, while quartersawn red oak is not.
As far as "taste", the medullary ray flecks of quartersawn oaks is generally
considered visually appealing.
With white oak _specifically_, this comes from the old practice of "fuming",
either with animal urine, or ammonia, as the ray flecks, with less tannin to
react to the ammonia, tended to stay lighter and more pronounced, therefore
visually appealing (to most).
As a footnote: You can mill your own "quartersawn" stock to a limited extent
by buying the thickest flatsawn lumber you can find and ripping it to the
desired project stock thickness.
The principle behind this can also be used to good effect by specifically
using _flatsawn_ wood when making parts in cabinets and where the primary
material is quartersawn, but where you want the "quartersawn medullary ray
flecks" to show on any visible edge grain, as can be seen in the horizontal
3/4" board below the drawer in the following picture:
Thanks ... so did I. :)
That is nothing but one coat of Rockler "Mission Oak" gel stain, before the
topcoat of shellac. This particular stain, IIRC, is actually made for
Rockler by the Lawrence McFadden Company. It lately has become my stain of
choice, in place of fuming, for QSWO projects that I want to look more
"period". Just dark enough for my taste, probably too much for others.
Here is almost the same shot with an amber shellac top coat, yet to be
rubbed out ... camera flash sucks and brings out more "amber" than is
apparent in ambient light:
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.