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Livin the dream...
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a nice job coming up. All I know at this point is it is going to be some type of mantle/entertainment center. The job is for my neighbor who has some walnut that was logged out of one of his woods.

They are going to do craftsman style walnut trim throughout the house that is in the process of being built. He brought me in a couple pieces today and wanted some stain samples. I told him that walnut will lighten a great deal over time when exposed to direct sunlight.

What are some good options for combating this? Is there any way that the samples I give them could look the same in 10 years?

Any recommended finishing techniques for american walnut?
 

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Never heard of walnut lightening...most wood darkens over time, unless bleached by direct sunlight.

Personally I wouldn't stain walnut, just a clear finish. I don't like stains in general. But spar polyurethane should have some uv protection. Plus poly darkens over time
 

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Stain.........:eek:........why would they want to do that...:blink:

It's not going to lighten up and will pretty much retain its character...


Sounds like they want it lighter...it's .not going to happen....:no:





B,
 

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If you're worried about sunlight affecting the color, use an exterior finish with UV protectant in it.

Don't stain it what ever you do. Try oil, let it dry for a week the clear over it.

Tom
 

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Never heard of walnut lightening...most wood darkens over time, unless bleached by direct sunlight.

Personally I wouldn't stain walnut, just a clear finish. I don't like stains in general. But spar polyurethane should have some uv protection. Plus poly darkens over time
Water based Poly won't amber over time. But almost any oil based finish will.
 

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I really like penetrating oils like Formby's tung oil, a couple coats of that with oil based polyurethane on top really brings out the grain and color. I haven't had much trouble with oil based darkening too much, but I've never put it on very thick either. Sometimes I'll even apply it with a rag so it's not too thick
 

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I don't know that walnut will get lighter, havent heard of this. But if you want the true craftsman look, you need to fume it with ammonia! That will darken it up. :thumbup:

Actually the traditional wood for craftsman style is quarter sawn oak, fumed.
 

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Livin the dream...
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Look it up about walnut lightening. I never knew it either until recently. Looking back it makes perfect sense as I've had to try and match some 10+ year old walnut cabinet doors that looked like oak with golden oak stain. Walnut is a rare wood in the lightening aspect. Tomorrow when I get by the computer ill try and post a couple links on the subject.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'm copying this post off the sawmill creek forum:

For what it is worth, here are some pics of a scrap of freshly planed walnut (air dried) against a 20 year old clock case finished with Danish Oil (no stain), and against a nightstand (pic with drawer pull) that is 7 years old, and a bed that is 1 year old. Both the nightstand and the bed were stained with a warm cherry to blend out some veneered plywood, and wipe on poly.

The clock has been exposed to light more than the nightstands, but you can still see a good deal of color change between the bed and nightstands and they were finished exactly the same way.

I used the same scrap in all pics as I figured the lighting would cause some perceived change - and it did. The pic with the bed looks more brown and less of the purple on the scrap.




 

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It does get lighter with age, especially exposed to sunlight. And like cherry darkening you can't stop it.

A UV coating will slow it down. A walnut pigmented stain will slow it down because the pigments stop the light from penetrating the wood. A dye, not so much.

It's one of those things, it is what it is.
 

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Stain.........:eek:........why would they want to do that...:blink:

It's not going to lighten up and will pretty much retain its character...


Sounds like they want it lighter...it's .not going to happen....:no:





B,
Walnut does go blonde with time. I stain walnut with walnut stain. My bathroom vanity gets direct sun every morning for over 3 years. The stain is preventing the blonde so far.
 

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As a lover of wood's natural beauty... just kills me to stain anything...except maybe poplar and pine. I like the natural color variations.

Most walnut bought in lumberyards is steamed to make the white sapwood dark like the heartwood, which also deadens the color of the heartwood. It allows them to get more "heartwood" from a log, even though some of it is sapwood. Walnut that is not steamed has a wider variety of colors, purples browns reds and greens.
 

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walnut does lighten

I live in Los Angeles and walnut does lighten up pretty quickly here. I used to live in Chicago and I did not notice it as much. Did a kitchen here with clear finished conversion varnish walnut complete and it lightened up in around three years. The house had a full wall of west facing windows so quite a bit of indirect sunlight.
In Chicago, it didn't seem to be an issue
I did a lot of walnut in my own house and used an oil finish with wax on top and if anything it has gotten darker
 
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