What suggested finish for Oak?

Discussion in 'Carpenters' Talk' started by KD, Jan 8, 2004.

  1. woodsmith

    woodsmith New Member

    KD, If the surface will only get the odd splash I would use Danish oil, as it is quicker and easier to use. If it is going to get wet I'd use Tung oil which is Wolfs choice. As for going grey its sunlight and weather that causes oak to go gray. Using either treatment will help it keep its colour.
  2. bodget&scarpers

    bodget&scarpers New Member

    wot about hammerite(smooth finish) ]-)
  3. woodsmith

    woodsmith New Member

    Wolf you havn't come back about my use of p/u I would be interested to know what you think about my use of the finish that all despise.
  4. scrit

    scrit Guest

    Personally I reckon hat oil finishes are the least protective of finishes - they have the big advantages that they are easy to apply and repair, but that's about it. French polish is the traditional way to finish oak (well, one traditional way....) but it doesn;'t like water, alchohol, bright sunlight - just about everything. So what's left - people have done the PUV (sorry, Wolf) bit, personally a lot of it looks horribly plastic - and I assume that one of my faves, precat (precatalysed cellulose lacquer), is out 'coz it's potentially explosive and requires a spray booth. So what about water-base acrylic lacquer? Dulux do a really good one called Diamond Hard (trade suppliers only, not in B&Q) which has the advantage of being brushable. Looks horrid when applied (milky grey-blue-white) but dries to a hard, impervious finish. Only downer is you won't get a deep gloss in this one, eggshell is about the shiniest you'll see.

  5. WOLF

    WOLF New Member

    SCRIPT!and it is also not long term stable, any HARD coat on to timber, will eventually crack/craze, and drive you completely potty!!!! when the timber moves around!
    now then, WOODSMIFF (or should that be smiph-oh heck!!)WOODSMITH(ah that's better) how rude of me not to reply, to the question of poly-uri... well to be completely honest with you, a guy that i use from time to time, treats his hardwood that needs a bit more protection in exactly the same way..thinning down the polyu, and building up the coats..( i keep a tin hidden in his locker for him!!) -(i know "VARNISH" in my workshop-well not quite, the store!!), so yes it does have it's uses, but note that i actually get a guy in to do it for me!!!! sad i know...
    Right now...sorry in advance for this BUT!!.. SCRIPT; dear chap, i'm afaraid that i am going to blow your thoughts out of the water and into the next millenium... WHY? i hear you ask!!.. well because, like stated on a previous posting i will let you all into a secret..and the time has now come folks...da..da.. daaaaa..!!!!

    FRENCH POLISH is NOT a POLISH.. it is actually a VARNISH!!! there said it out loud too! why, well french polish is a varnish and modern spray lacquers are direct decendants of the early varnishes of 300 years ago, This is because we classify as a varnish, any solution of a gum or resin in a solvent which dries to produce a hard and transparent finish,and french polish is a solution of shellac(the resin) disolved in alcohol,
    sorry about this bit to poly users...
    Polyurethane varnish:
    heralded as the significant breakthrough of the 1960's this polymer was marketed on the basis of it's extreme hardness and durability,
    in fact these very properties are it's main weakness-brittleness.Polyurethane is not very elastic, and if subjected to conditions in which the expansion and contraction of the material applied to takes place routinely, then the varnish will ultimately crack and flake away. it follows from this that p/u is there fore only suited to INTERNAL useage, even those formulated for use outdoors, these are still not as durable as oils..
    Other problem area's are window boards(internal), which are subject to condensation running on to them from the glass, and strong sun light(or more specifically, the sun's heat) as the extreme fluctuations in moisture levels with in the wood and the expansion and contraction due to the temperature changes will cause rapid breakdown of the varnish film...

    taken from a report published in 1998, by I.C.I, the inventers of P/U varnish, the studies were long term(from the conception of the polymer)to studiy it's longevity..

    so there you have it folks, even the makers do not reckon it is better than oils... Yes it does have it's uses as woodsmith will testify, along with Tom , my bloke. but the truth is out!!!
    sorry woodsmith and you script..
    regards and sorry about the long post...
  6. Dewy

    Dewy New Member

    1960s with poly?
    I well remember the adverts for Kingston Diamond. "Remember paint?" It was new when I married & bought our house. I used Kingston Diamond on the front & back doors & on the window sills.
    Sky blue was all the rage then.
    I repainted all the outsite white with it too. Did it last without cracking? Did it hell. The wife also got me to paint the kitchen cupboard door in sky blue kingston diamond. Later both outside & kitchen doors were changed to bright orange.
    Whatever happened to bottle green & brown for all paintwork outside. Too much lead I suppose. :)
    Eventually all doors & windows facing south rotted away from sun & rain ingress & had to be replaced. The only thing I would consider using poly on is my desktop as its pine & needs a harder surface but its well oiled 1st. (like me)
  7. ban-all-sheds

    ban-all-sheds New Member

    Nobody has thought of the obvious - cover the wood up with Formica!!
  8. Dewy

    Dewy New Member

    Burgger formica. My wife wanted that on a corner kitchen cupboard I made. Its still there after over 35 years but now I want to remove the formica & return it a decent timber finish.
    Anyone got any idea on removing contact adhesive? groan
  9. kesh

    kesh New Member

    well funnily enough, I was recommended by these here very forum's to use cellulose thinners (but for a different condition), but you will have to work it under the surface & strip in small stages at a time.

    I wonder if ironing the surface may soften the glue a bit?
  10. WOLF

    WOLF New Member

    yep! it is a late night idea though.. JUST NAPALM IT!!!take it out into the garden first....sorry!
    formica, now that is worse than VARNISH!
  11. ban-all-sheds

    ban-all-sheds New Member

    Well - how about Fablon then?

    I'm sorry - I shouldn't keep doing this...

    DEWY - I'd have suggested cellulose thinners as well, or, if you can get hold of any, MEK (methyl ethyl ketone). Not a chemical to use on a regular basis - it was originally billed as a safe replacement for Benzine, it is nowhere near as dangerous as that, but isn't 100% safe. See http://physchem.ox.ac.uk/MSDS/ME/methyl_ethylketone.html.

    It's an excellent solvent for contact adhesive. And vinyl floors, so be careful. If you can take the item outside, that'd be good, otherwise open the windows, turn off pilot lights, turn off the boiler and no smoking.
  12. scrit

    scrit Guest

    Wolf - which finish do you reckon is hard and inflexible? Cellulose (precat) has been used on furniture since at least the 1920s and I've had cellulosed 1930s Art Deco pieces in the shop which have fared just as well as French polished pieces from the same period. There are brushing cellulose finishes on the market, but personally I've never used them so I couldn't recommend one. If you were talking about water based acrylic, well I still have one piece I made more than 20 years ago and finished in an early WBA obtained from the States (couldn't get them in EU then) - it still looks pretty good to me and is still impervious to water.

    Let's face it, no finish is perfect, but if your workpiece is indoors, it shouldn't suffer from that much movement if it is properly sealed to start with. The biggest killers for many finishes are ultra violet and excessive changes in temperature and humidity levels - which is why museums are so careful about air conditioning and indirect light.

  13. scrit

    scrit Guest


    To remove contact adhesive you could always try Evo-Stick Contact Edhesive Solvent - available in big friendly red cans (or smaller one) - just keep the stuff away from heat and flame as it is very inflamable. I believe it also contains MEK (methyl ethyl ketone - probably spelt that wrong, but what the heck) a known carcenogen.....

  14. ban-all-sheds

    ban-all-sheds New Member

    I don't think it's a carcinogen - there's no evidence for that. If it were me I'd worry about using it daily as part of my job, but now and again at home is of no concern.

    But it is very volatile - it evaporates over 10 times faster than water and nearly 3 times faster than alcohol, and highly imflammable - its flashpoint is -3 C. Hence the advice (probably repeated on the Evostick Remover can) about good ventilation and sources of ignition.

    Works very well though, and I'm not surprised that it is in that glue remover.
  15. WOLF

    WOLF New Member

    SCRIT, the biggest killer for all types of finish's is bloody cntral heating!!!!!!!man just keeps screwing up timber...shame!
  16. Millyfish

    Millyfish New Member

    Back to the finish for oak then chaps..
    I have just laid 50 sg m of solid oak floor boarding. (kiln dried to 12%)and had planned to finish it as follows:

    1 coat 50/50 Danish oil/white spirit
    2 coats Danish oil
    1 coat Danish oil applied with wire wool
    Finished with Briwax clear (as many coats as it takes before the lady-bat says I've done enough)

    Any objections ??

    I also wondered what the difference would be by replacing Danish oil with teak Oil since it's half the price.

    BTW www.birdbrand.co.uk does mail order on all these oils
  17. KD

    KD New Member

    Wow, all, thanks for your help.

    To throw another spanner in the works, how about an alternative to using Oak? Has to be something thats available from Jewson or Travis Perkins though unfortunately.

    I think I shall look through what TP say they can get, on their website, and will probably choose Oak, with Danish Oil to finish. Is the SF danish Oil any good??

    Was going to finish it several times by putting it on with a rag!
  18. woodsmith

    woodsmith New Member

    MR WOLF, if a man pays another man to undertake illegal activities he is as guilty, under the law, as the guy he uses to do the dirty deed. Therefore sir YOU ARE A VARNISHER]:) How do you like that!!!! You are OUT!!!

    Please address yourself in future as Matt (Varisher by proxy) Wolf

    Keith (The phantom varnisher) Woodsmith
  19. woodsmith

    woodsmith New Member

    Millyfish, back to the oak then.

    Oak is variable in its density so there are no hard and fast rules as to how many coats of oil to give. I prefere to give more coats(3or4) of diluted oil, particularly on a floor with 2 coats full strength. It is a lot easier to apply than wax so spend more time oiling and it will save you time and work in the long term.

    I never use wire wool with oil, because the wood is not sealed with a hard finish like varnish, the fibres of the wood will pick up strands of wool and, what a mess!!

    The wood should be as smooth as possible before you start finishing it, if you want to give the wood a really smooth finish use wet and dry paper soaked in oil and don't remove all the slurry as it will fill the grain; but this should not be really necessary on a floor.

    Another invaluable tip is to get some kneepads.

    Yet another tip don't use Teak oil on oak.

    Good luck
  20. WOLF

    WOLF New Member

    spot on WOODSMITH, and wire wool with d/oil, what ya doing.......... the dishes...ooops sorry that's a brillo pad is it not....siily me!!
    matt(VBP)-happy now WS

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice