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Pine wood Box food safe finish

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Letszepp

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I bought a pinewood box online, it looks lovely, however it is a bare wood finish which hasn’t been treated. Can I apply a varnish to this to make it a little more resistant to splashes etc and if so what could i use. It will be housing snacks so needs to be something that is food safe!
 

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sunnybob

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Exactly how will it be housing snacks? If its tupperware sandwich boxes and plastic bags, theres no contamination to be concerned over.

If apples are going to rolling around loose for hours then you might need to watch out for splinters :shock:
Any standard varnish will stop the wood getting marked by handling or containers rubbing.
 

CHJ

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If the food is wrapped or in individual containers then I don't think most finishes would be any more risk other than any lingering odour than from anything used in the construction of the box.

For a simple to apply reasonably hard wearing surface that can be touched up if needed I would suggest a Hard Wax Oil such as this or its equivalent.

I would suggest any product used is tested as Child Safe as a means of ensuring it does not contain excessive amounts of noxious substances, although Child Safe does not mean it's suitable for liquid containment it should not be a problem with skinned fruit such as apples etc.
 

ED65

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You can take it as a given that all finishes are food safe. So you can use anything you want, and varnish would be a superior choice here, particularly oil-based poly.

That said, it's not common to varnish the interior of boxes. If you do varnish the inside you'll need to leave the finish plenty of time to cure before use or in the closed box the smell of the finish will persist for ages. So you may need to leave it open for a good couple of weeks, possibly longer, after the last coat.
 

CHJ

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ED65":1dxehxjw said:
You can take it as a given that all finishes are food safe.
I'm sorry but that statement regarding Food Safe needs caution.

My understanding of the legal definition of Food Safe as far as the standards tests are concerned is that it can be consumed in its raw or cured state without causing harm. Sorry don't have the EN Test Nos. to hand for coatings but I believe it involves extended period exposed to various liquids at elevated temperatures to measure contamination.

Not all finishes are even certified as Child Safe as defined by EN71-3 or would meet it, EN71-3 ensures the level of contaminants likely to leach out of the surface of the cured product is below a harmful level a child is likely to get exposed to.

The fact that you are not likely to ingest anything harmful leached in a high enough quantity from putting food products on a painted or lacquered surface is not the same as that finish being legally classified Food Safe.
 

thetyreman

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I definitely would not finish the inside with anything other than shellac, on the outside you can finish it with anything it doesn't have to be foodsafe because the food is on the inside.
 

ED65

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CHJ":3ccvrvnf said:
ED65":3ccvrvnf said:
You can take it as a given that all finishes are food safe.
I'm sorry but that statement regarding Food Safe needs caution.
Not as much as people tend to think :)

The legislative definition is one thing, a reasonable definition is another. As in, what would a reasonable adult understand 'food safe' to mean? That would be safe for direct contact between the food and the finish, and if pressed they'd say yeah, with the 'fully dried' (i.e. cured) finish. That's what I presume applies here (as opposed to in this thread).
 
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