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oil over sanding sealer

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Mister S

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Looking through previous posts, I see that sanding sealer, then oil, then wax polish is a popular finish with some people. But when I was looking through the info sheets for Chestnut oils, they all say not to use them over a sealer, but don't say why.
Maybe because the oil doesn't get the chance to soak into the wood because it's blocked by the sealer?
I need to use a sealer, so wax straight into the sealer looks to be the way to go.
Any problems with this approach?

Cheers
Steve
 

CHJ

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Correct most oils require to penetrate into the wood surface, both to add 'life' to the wood, prevent moisture absorption and provide the surface sheen required.
Some 'oil' blends have more hard waxes etc, more on to the road of a Varnish and will form a skin over the top of a sealer but then may not have the robustness of finish as when used on bare wood because they will not have the in depth key and may peel off as a skin with wear if they are not bonded well to the sealer.
If you use a "Hard Wax" oil as a sealer and then build up the sheen level required by extra coats then you have the best of both worlds in my experience.
Never leave surplus unabsorbed oil on the piece more than a few minutes else you can end up with a sticky mess of un-cured deposits.
Sanding sealer followed by wax is fine, soft wax blends are OK for items not subject to a great deal of handling or moisture splashes, mainly because they are nearly all based on Bees wax which melts at hand warmth temperature and will dull rather quickly. Hard waxes based on Carnauba are far better at resisting handling because they have a higher melting point but do need a little more friction heat generation to apply. Micro-crystalline wax although supplied as a soft paste is also a much higher melting point and resists handling and moisture splashes, applied very sparingly and given a few minutes for solvents to disperse it buffs up to a high gloss with ease.

That's my take on the subject, using the finishes as an amateur turner, no doubt there will be half a dozen differing views and experiences, pet methods etc. coming forth, like most subjects you read the proffered views and takes your pick, then by trial and error end up with the method and finish you prefer and maybe over time feel confident enough to voice your own opinion.
 

Mister S

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Thanks CHJ - a pretty comprehensive reply! Lots of things in your answer that I wasn't really aware of, but will definitely help me to decide what to do.

At the moment leaning towards a sealer, followed by a microcrystalline wax.
This is going to be used on some oak that has previously had a varnish finish. I can get most of it off, but not all - some will probably be left in the pores, hence the need to use a sealer first rather than oil.

cheers
Steve
 

Jensmith

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I have tried the shellac sanding sealer and microcrystalline wax approach on a few of my small items but it doesn't bring out the colour of the wood as well as using an oil finish would. An Oil finish was a bit too slow on drying time as I need to get orders done quickly when they come in.

Is there a way to enrich the wood and still go down the shellac sealer and wax route or is using a french polish the only way?

Also, can you use water based paints over shellac sanding sealer?
 

Mister S

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I think I have managed to sand back past the original varnish finish, so I will try a sample tomorrow with some oil to see how it comes out. It's oak with some good ray flecks so it would be nice to let them stand out by using oil rather than sealer as the first coat if I can.

From what I have read, shellac is a good universal base for pretty much any finish, including water based ones. However, I haven't tried it myself - book learnin' is a wonderful thing, but no substitute for first hand experience. :)

I'm sure somebody more knowledgable will confirm if it's true.

Cheers
Steve
 

RogerS

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Jensmith":5s34gswx said:
I have tried the shellac sanding sealer and microcrystalline wax approach on a few of my small items but it doesn't bring out the colour of the wood as well as using an oil finish would. ....
But that will depend on the wood type you are using. Stick oil onto ash or any light coloured wood and watch it go yellow.


Jensmith":5s34gswx said:
Is there a way to enrich the wood and still go down the shellac sealer and wax route or is using a french polish the only way?
Aren't they one and the same? Just a lot more coats in the latter.
 

Jensmith

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Ash, walnut, oak and cherry. The walnut is especially noticeable in being lighter coloured.

Yes, but sanding sealer us basically neutral and French polish has various colours from pale to dark brown. I prefer the sanding sealer as it's quick and gives a great finish but a bit more enrichment of the wood would be good too.
 
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