Finish recommendation for BlackWalnut and Maple Coffee table

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Established Member
11 Jun 2015
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I am in the process of making a coffee table which has Black Walnut legs/rails and a Maple top.

I’m looking for finishing recommendation for both if possible. I’d like to try and keep them both looking as natural as possible so don’t really want to use any stain etc. on the Walnut and not keen to lose the lightness of the Maple.

Any recommendations gratefully received!


Tricky to get them both to look their best.

An oil like Liberon finishing oil will do the walnut justice and have a nice deep colour but this will slightly yellow the maple. Acrylic varnish looks good on pale wood but can make walnut too pale IMO. Probably your best bet is Osmo which should leave the maple natural and will be OK on the walnut but not have the same depth of colour you would get from an oil. Not sure how Osmo reacts to other oils but I might do a test to see if you could oil the legs with Liberon finishing oil first and do the top in Osmo.
Thanks for the info. I should have probably made it clearer that I can leave the top and base separate until after they are finished so using two different products probably wouldn't be an issue.


MattRoberts":2nl0alrl said:
Personally I'd use a clear Danish oil on them both, but you could oil the legs and varnish the top too

Danish oil yellows wood as much as Liberon finishing oil IME so not ideal if you want the maple to look natural. Admittedly if the piece is going to get any exposure to sunlight yellowing will happen in time anyway unless you use UV protective finish.
i would go with an oil for the walnut, and a blonde shellac for the top. it does depend on how careful you can be with the top- using coasters etc.
Thanks again for the advice. In relation to the blonde shellac I'm not sure it would stand the rigours of two kids who may occasionally forget the rules and put their drinks/ice lollies down on the table! So probably something more robust like an osmo or similar might be a better option. Would prefer it not to yellow excessively over time though..