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Advice for finishing english beech

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Deadeye

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Hello again

My blanket chest has finally become a reality. Lots of mistakes on the way but looks like it will get "higher authorisation" to come into the house.
It needs a coat of something.
"Higher authority" doesn't like the smell of beeswax (my go-to finish).
So, I need a matt finish that either
- makes the most fo the grain I have; and/or
- approaches the dark cherry of the dining room table.

I did some googling and it's just made my head spin, although I did pick up that oil-based stains direct onto beech are a bad idea (which explains why my "cherry" tester was so awful).

My perfection list is:
- good looking
- durable (ok to stand plant pots on for example)
- straightforward
- able to retouch as/when

Speed and cost less of an issue but always welcome
 

thick_mike

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A Matt finish will not make the most of the grain. Usually a Matt finish is milky due to scattering of light from the surface, so I’d recommend a 20 or 30% satin finish as a compromise.

Osmo poly-x is a good durable non-fussy finish...not sure about stains for beech though.
 

Trevanion

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I'd try something like one of Fiddes' NGR stains so that it doesn't play too much havoc with raising the grain of the timber. Then perhaps some kind of Shellac or french polish on top to really bring out the colour. Not quite matte but shouldn't be too shiny so long as you don't go over the top, but it's also not overly durable or easily touchupable so might not be the best choice.

But as T_M above said, Osmo Poly-x or Topoil is a very good choice for a finish as its good looking, durable, straightforward and fairly easy to touch up. Basically, everything you want in a finish :wink: I'm not sure what would work as a stain underneath of the Osmo, I suspect it's fairly forgiving and most stains work well with it but you might want to ask Osmo if you go down that route.
 

marcros

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[/attachment]do you have a picture of the unfinished item?

I used Rubio monocoat, but the only beech that I used it on was spalted. It really did bring out the colours, but they may not be representative of what you have, because there was a range of colours within it. it was very matt.

I have no experience with this finish and stains. it is available in colours though. I have only used the "pure".

The colours on the pictures are a bit washed out. there is more warmth than there looks. I dont have any plain beech to try it on, but if you wanted to post me a small piece, I would happy apply a bit of finish and send it back to you. alternatively, if it looks suitable, tester pots are available, as are most of the Osmo products.

coasters.jpg
 

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ED65

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Deadeye":2yh5zfag said:
"Higher authority" doesn't like the smell of beeswax (my go-to finish).
I see from lower down that a wax finish wouldn't be suitable anyway but say you were using it, couldn't you just wait for the smell to dissipate before bringing it into the house? Or does SWMBO not like the smell of beeswax itself, rather than the solvent added to make it a paste consistency?

Deadeye":2yh5zfag said:
- durable (ok to stand plant pots on for example)
Well this really is your key requirement here, everything else becomes secondary.

Do you need it to withstand water drops that don't get noticed and wiped up, and be tough enough to resist scratching? If so it narrows the list of consumer finishes that don't look like plastic down to just one. My favourite finish: oil-based varnish (poly specifically). This is relatively unretouchable but there's always a tradeoff.
 

Deadeye

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Thanks all.
I bought some Osmo Top Oil (expecting to put plants/cups of tea on it).
Now the Higher Authority has said - and I agree - that it's rather pale wood, in a room where the table and sideboard are cherry.

Would a water-based stain be ok prior to applying the Osmo? they sem to have a very narrow range of colours. Or is there another tint I can use either before/after?
 

woodbloke66

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Polyvine Acrylic Wax, available in dead flat matt, satin and lots of other shades. Each thin coat takes around 10 minutes to harden off in this warm weather, then de-nib and apply some more. It's easy to apply four coats within the hour. This is part of my linen chest build in Olive Ash...

IMG_3109.jpg


...finished using two coats of satin followed by two coats of matt, cut back between each with 0000g wire wool and it won't discolour lighter shades of timber - Rob
 

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Bm101

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Deadeye":h8bcosrq said:
Thanks all.
I bought some Osmo Top Oil (expecting to put plants/cups of tea on it).
Now the Higher Authority has said - and I agree - that it's rather pale wood, in a room where the table and sideboard are cherry.

Would a water-based stain be ok prior to applying the Osmo? they sem to have a very narrow range of colours. Or is there another tint I can use either before/after?
I can't help other than post a link to this thread but I found it fascinating and it seems it's relevant. :wink:
ripple-maple-finish-osmo-or-morrells-shellac-t118211.html
 

Bodgers

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Deadeye":32q9e3fp said:
Hello again

My blanket chest has finally become a reality. Lots of mistakes on the way but looks like it will get "higher authorisation" to come into the house.
It needs a coat of something.
"Higher authority" doesn't like the smell of beeswax (my go-to finish).
So, I need a matt finish that either
- makes the most fo the grain I have; and/or
- approaches the dark cherry of the dining room table.

I did some googling and it's just made my head spin, although I did pick up that oil-based stains direct onto beech are a bad idea (which explains why my "cherry" tester was so awful).

My perfection list is:
- good looking
- durable (ok to stand plant pots on for example)
- straightforward
- able to retouch as/when

Speed and cost less of an issue but always welcome
Fiddes Hardwax Oil
 

ED65

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Deadeye":232lcogc said:
I bought some Osmo Top Oil (expecting to put plants/cups of tea on it).
Given what you want to use and the full requirements I think you'd be well served by doing some testing on a scrap so there aren't any unpleasant surprises down the line. The scrap should be finished exactly as the chest will be. And don't skimp on the testing, e.g. leave a small puddle of water to evaporate on its own and place a damp-bottomed mug of boiling tea until it has cooled to room temperature.

Deadeye":232lcogc said:
Now the Higher Authority has said - and I agree - that it's rather pale wood, in a room where the table and sideboard are cherry.
Are you familiar with the colour changes beech will naturally go through over time? An oil finish will already darken it a step as oils always do, then the wood itself will darken further, and change hue, with light exposure. I'm glancing over at one of my gauges which was pretty pale and slightly pinkish when first made (typical for freshly worked steamed beech) and darned if it isn't quite close to the colour of cherry now.
 
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