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Favourite Finishing Process


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Established Member
21 Feb 2015
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County Durham
In the countless youtube videos I've watched, the turners apply a series of products to their workpieces, oddly enough, often ones made by their sponsor. For those of us without the benefit of a sponsor, what are your favourite finishes and the order in which they are applied?


Established Member
11 Aug 2016
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It depends on what you're making,for small objects like lightpulls,eggs or wooden fruit,a cellulose based sanding sealer such as melamine,buffed off with 0000 wire wool then a wax finish buffed off is fine.For bowls which are purely for decoration I tend to spray the same melamine and finish off the lathe with a wax buffed to a sheen.For salad bowls an oil finish is the way to go,I have used danish oil for many salad or fruit bowls or some turners use a nut oil but there can be problems with allergies of course.Morrels will stock Melamine and I tend to thin mine with cellulose thinners .Buy by th e gallon and it will last for ages,buy from turners supplies and you will pay through the nose for small quantities.It all depends on how productive you are and if you are selling your work for profit.As you say demonstrators will be promoting a product they don't pay for,I know I used to be one of them back in the 90,s.Dont fall for the sales patter!


Established Member
18 Sep 2008
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Canterbury United Kingdom
I don't have a favourite finish as it all depends on the piece I am making. I have a cupboard full of finishes and other things like stains paints and other bits and pieces there is enough to make a beginner cry.
For a very basic and simple finish sander sealer followed by a wax then there are oils which are another simple finish but can take a little longer to apply there are two types one being food safe especially if the item is for food

Paul Hannaby

Established Member
1 Sep 2011
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Gloucestershire UK
I don't have a favourite finish or a sponsor but I do have a cabinet full of all sorts of things. What I use depends on the intended use of what I'm making and what else I do with it.

That probably doesn't tell you a lot so here are a few examples -
Simple plain turned bowl - sanding sealer & Renaissance wax
Food/salad bowl - boiled linseed oil
Coloured with spirit dyes - sanding sealer & gloss lacquer
Coloured with acrylic airbrush paints - Satin lacquer
drinking vessel - melamine lacquer or Rustins plastic coating
Tool handle - no finish at all, not even sanding
Stuff for outside - Danish oil
Arty hollow form with zero shine - Lemon oil
Hollow form with natural colour - lacquer
Wet turned bowl turned to a finish - Hard wax oil
Wooden pens - Finishing oil
Boxes - Melamine or SS & Ren wax
Chopping boards - No finish
Dodgy bit of wood - blowtorch then wire brush
Wormy / spalted bit of wood - Wire brush then lemon oil

I think I still have other finishes not on the list above but they are there because I use them somewhere!