My general finish

Whether it’s a bowl, platter or table my finishing process is the same. As I use native slab timber cut from locally sourced hardwood logs I rarely use colouring. After running through the grades of sandpaper from 80 grit to 600 grit, I put on a drenching coat of mineral oil to feed the wood and bring up the grain. After it has dried for a couple of days I give it a coat of sanding sealer. Once dry .it gets a light sand and wipe down with a damp cloth. Next step varies depending on the item. Furniture pcs get 3 coats of high build lacquer, bowls get buffed through red, white and hard wax. And that’s it.


Thanks for posting Brad. You get the honors for being the first to post in a new category. Sounds like a really nice looking and solid finish.


I’m dubiously honoured, I think. After years of trial and error its my current favourite and I’m set up for it which makes it easy to apply. And I know how it will turn out which gives me piece of mind, nothing worse than expecting one thing and getting the exact opposite and it taking hours to get right.

It’s good to know it’s a technique you’ve used for a long time. That means it’s tried and tested. Any particular brands or mixes of chemicals that you would recommend? Most of us are in the US or Canada with a smaller percentage around the world so obviously not everyone will have access to particular brands. I, for one, have not ventured into the world of finishes and finishing very much so these techniques and products are very helpful. I can basically sand and paint and some staining but that’s about it.

Brad, after the mineral soaks for a couple days, do you have to remove it from the surface before applying the sanding sealer, or does the sealer go on directly over the oil?

Bill, I wait until the oil has dried on the surface and only then do I cover it with sanding sealer. I let the sealer dry and harden before laying on the lacquer. Rubbing lightly between coats. I favour high build lacquers as they fill imperfections nicely. My personal favourite is a hard oil wax, osmo or the like. Most clients want hard wearing high gloss finishes,who am I to argue.

Thanks Brad. I’m basically a metal guy and I’m way behind in developing wood finishing skills. Your technique sounds easy enough for even me. I’ll let you know how I do.

@Br5d Brad: Do you use a shellac-based or lacquer-based sealer? I’m guessing lacquer, since your top coat is lacquer, but my guess could be wrong. Is your lacquer a post-cat product?

I used to use shellac as a sanding sealer but found that I had to put on too many coats to get a sufficient base for buffing. A mate suggested I try a product from Sherwin Williams that is/was a high build lacquer based sanding sealer that is a sufficient base for buffing after one coat. And with 2 coats the sheen would blind you and 3 coats of lacquer, beauty personified. Once upon a time when I did high volume production runs we used catalysed lacquer for an extremely hard wearing finish coating but those days are long gone for me. I follow an easier path these days. I’m sure that’s as clear as mud but kinda answers your question Grant.