Varnish for wood cabinet

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Building DIY' started by steve-j, Sep 28, 2004.

  1. steve-j

    steve-j
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    I have finally finished constructing the body of my av cabinet. It is made from maple veneered mdf. I now need to apply a finish to the maple veneer but am not sure what to use to acheive the desired effect.

    The maple is a very light colour, almost white, and I want to keep that. I tried a test with some acrylic satin varnish and it went a much darker yellow colour and ended up looking like pine which is the last thing I want (I hate pine; I've spent years ripping out all the pine cladding from my house and don't ever want to see anything like it again!).

    So what can I use that will keep the nice light/white colour of the maple? I want a matt finish. Is there a varnish that wont darken the wood too much? Or should I look at a plain wax? What about oil?

    Thanks,

    -Steve
     
  2. pemberto

    pemberto
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    Steve, Best bet is go to your local timber merchant and have a chat with them. Take a sample if you can. You might want to look for a clear Polyurethane as this provide a tough protection to your wood finish.
    Pemberto
     
  3. theritz

    theritz
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    Polyurethane will yellow with age, so if you want to maintain the pale colour of the maple I wouldn't go that route. You should look in the like of B&Q for an acrylic based clear matt or satin varnish - these do pretty well, don't yellow with age and generally don't smell quite so foul whe you're applying it. The alternative is to have a root in the Yellow Pages for a local furniture factory - they usually have spraying facilities and you could ask them to spray ot for you as a one off - you never know 'til you try... and the finish would be far better than you could achieve (unless you're experienced at this sort of stuff. If you do end up doing it yourself, I'd advise lots and lots of thin coats very lightly sanding with ultrafine sandpaper between coats - this way you end up with an extremely durable and even finish. If you Google "furniture finishing" or similar you're bound to come across blow-by-blow instructions - do a search on Regmarch - Dave has posted pretty good instuctions here quite recently, IIRC.

    Good Luck....
    Sean.
     
  4. theritz

    theritz
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    Another thought - Rustins make a two-pack clear finish - can't recall the name, - I've used it on floors, it doesn't yellow with age and it's as tough as nails. It finishes gloss, but you can use fine wire wool to bring it back to satin or matt - it's super stuff, but being epoxy based it stinks a fair bit (plenty of ventilation needed).

    S.
     
  5. steve-j

    steve-j
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    Thanks for the replies. I will investigate some of these and give them a go.

    -Steve
     
  6. danburbridge

    danburbridge
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    What i used on my maple veneered speakers i made was:

    1 - Danish Oil - applied with a cloth and then cut back with very very fine metal wool (Grade 0000) - repeated x3 - this helps bring out the grain and slightly deepens the colour.
    2 - Liberon Fine Bison Paste Wax - applied with cotton cloth - left and then buffed off with a lint free cotton cloth.

    This has produced a lovely finish (shiny but not in the same way as a varnish) and also surves to protect the veneer from drying out.

    Hope this helps :)

    nb - before applying any of these finishes it is always a good idea to use a tack cloth to get rid of any traces of dust :)
     
  7. Mat-Moo

    Mat-Moo
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    I noticed that waxing hasn't been sugested. This will preserve the original colour and give a lovely finish, I've used it on a few peices.
     
  8. SimonD

    SimonD
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    I would recommend "Liberon Finishing Oil" it is really easy to use. It soaks into the grain and hardens the surface, gives a lovely satin finish, is essentially clear and child friendly (just in case that is important to you) Even better is, if you get any marks you just sand sown and re apply to the affected area as it blends in without any problem.
     

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