Wrapping up the community table on a hot weekend afternoon was not the most pleasant, but I wanted to keep my delivery promise! In keeping with the rustic and industrial feel, I didn’t want an overly dark stain or to wash out the grain too much; but my client wanted something darker. I stuck with my favorite finish for wood, Danish Oil, and found a Dark Walnut from Watco that I really liked the look of on the white oak. The open grain of the oak had me a little worried that normal paste wax would leave light colored flecks, so I also picked up a can of Special Dark Finishing Wax from Minwax. I’m really happy with how that product worked out, and excited to try it on some traditionally dark woods, like walnut and maybe cherry.
Using oil finishes is easy, just brush or rag on the finish and wipe off the excess. It dries quickly, and deals with high humidity well. I find the color to be more stable and durable than stain, and it ages beautifully. To keep the opening on the can clean, I pour what I need into a disposable mixing cup. Lately, though, I’ve been using a glass beaker. The 600mL beakers are large enough to get your hand into, and I can pour the unused finish back into the can. And anything that’s reusable is good in my book! The only thing to be wary of with oil finishes (and polyurethane, too) is the solvent in the finish will eat through latex gloves, so spend the extra dollars and get some good nitrile gloves.