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Finishing a wood mantle

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Guys, I'm putting a 8"x10" piece of pine or spruce on for a mantle. This is my house. It is about 5'-6". I'm trying to come up with a good finish that is easy to apply and will really soak in to the wood. I want it to darken with age, so oil base is ok, but I don't want it to smell forever. Also would like something that doesn't build up, but really soaks in. Any suggestions? Thanks, Nick.
Tung oil
OS hard wax finish
Linseed oil mixed with something

It will see some heat so that is something to consider.
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Is it a smooth surface? Or is it rough sawn? How about the wipe on Poly? It may take a few extra costs, but it is real easy to apply.
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Yeah it's smooth. I was able to joint two sides to get a corner. Them I'm going to run the others through a band saw. Hand plane and sand. I would like something that I can be really liberal with without it biting me in the arse. Wipe on poly that forgiving?
Kent Whitten said:
Is it a smooth surface? Or is it rough sawn? How about the wipe on Poly? It may take a few extra costs, but it is real easy to apply.
Oh yeah. It's super simple. Soak a rag and wipe it on. Come back in 4 hours or so and reapply. Just don't leave the rags in a pile. Spontaneous combustion and all. I don't know how liberal you can apply it, but I just pour it out of a can onto the surface and grab a rag. It may take awhile to build up some, but it leaves a nice smooth surface if you sand lightly in between coats. Let it dry good though, it's oil based after all. Not even sure if it is still available at HD, but that is where I have seen it. Minwax, quart cans.
I've used it before on a cherry table. Took me like 9 coats to get the right finish.
Wipe on regular poly if you want. I've done it with good success. I wouldn't use high gloss though, semi gloss is plenty shiny.
Sand it to 1000 grit, Briwax finish.

Tom
The wipe on poly is a perfect base for brush on poly---

However, usually 3 to four coats of wipe on is all it takes for a nice finish----
I had a custom furniture and cabinet shop fo around 14 years.Did not care much for the refinishing end but did it for some of my better customers.I would use a mix of 1/3 tung oil-1/3 spar varnish some mineral spirits and a little japan dryer for that old look.
Have it on some of my pieces and it looks and ages very well if that's the lok your after.
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Could you be a little more specific on the mineral spirits and japan dryer? Do you think I could skip the japan dryer all together?
I had a custom furniture and cabinet shop fo around 14 years.Did not care much for the refinishing end but did it for some of my better customers.I would use a mix of 1/3 tung oil-1/3 spar varnish some mineral spirits and a little japan dryer for that old look.
Have it on some of my pieces and it looks and ages very well if that's the lok your after.
Keep it simple. Brush on some varnish or poly. Thin the first coat a little. 2nd and 3rd less and less.
You can skip the japan drier if you want.It helps it cure faster and is available at Sherwinn Williams or HD.The other ingredients are 1/3 each.A coat of Johnsons paste wax is nice on top to keep it looking good.
...wipe on poly is just brush on poly thinned 50% with thinner...there is no magic here.
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