Walnut Plank Countertops, I want to illuminate the wood grain and protect from steam? Also... to finish Ash but keep the light wood color, not turn yellow.
I am doing 2 kitchen projects.
1. Walnut plank countertops--I would like a food safe , easily repairable finish for these plank tops. I don't really want a finish like a lacquer. More of a natural rub on finish that I could then easily sand down a scraped up section of wood and rub some new finish on.
2. I am making a range hood cover and the "skin" will be with reclaimed white oak planks. For this I just want a clear finish but I need something that can handle the steam and heat from the stove and can be wiped down clean.
What do you recommend for these two applications?
For the Walnut countertops one of the rubbing oils and Looking Glass Beeswax Polish is what I use. If the first coat is rubbed in at about the 80-100 grit sanding stage it will get deeper penetration and pretty much stay in the wood long term although you'll want to do maintenance coats periodically. This product is super pure. I use it on cutting boards, cribs as well as wood floors and furniture.
Walnut can be prone to color change when water stands on it. Not all walnut but some. So we have seen this over the years. I would test this out with whatever finish is used to make sure you don't get any surprises.
I have a 10 year old walnut slab with Bio Poly NT on it and it handles water fine. I think it could only take about 3 coats initially. My kids stomped all over with muddy shoes one year and I wiped it down with some Looking Glass Beeswax Polish to freshen it up. That was about 5 years ago. It's still glowing.
Mountain is probably the most waterproof and heat resistant resin we have. This isn't a fast dry product but it might be what you want for the top. I guess if I was doing the project I would rub Mountain into everything until the wood fiver cell is completely saturated and won't take anymore.
For the hood an additional few very thin coats could be applied. I use a lint free rag and a badger hair brush for that kind of stuff. You may want to experiment on a sample board and expose it to heat and steam and all that after it has dried. Mountain is made from our cashew resin. It's the only 100% natural urethane I know of. No isocyanates are ever used. It has a mild amber caste that looks cool on reclaimed wood but sometimes people want a to preserve the lighter tones of wood. If so, then NanoTech is a perfectly clear finish. It is fast drying, super easy to use and only slightly subordinate to Mountain as far as durability.
Summary: for a walnut and oak kitchen finish I would:
1. Sand to 80-100 grit
2. Mountain (or Bio Poly NT) rubbed x 1 coat
3. Sand in gradation up to 320
4. Mountain rubbed x 2-3 coats
5. Polish with Looking Glass Beeswax Polish.
6. Hood: Mountain wiped thin x 2 or 3 coats to build a film.
Future maintenance would be the Looking Glass Beeswax Polish which is a paste and easy to do without having much downtime in the kitchen.
Sample pints are the best way to test in advance.
All of your products worked great for our last project. The hood turned out perfect and is holding up very well. still looks brand new a year later and imagine it will stay that way for years to come.
I am now working on refinishing an Ash table. I am stripping off the old lacquer and then need to figure out what to put on it new. I want to maintain as much of the light natural wood color as possible. Would prefer no yellow tint. What would be the best option for this?
Great. Thank you. Glad to hear it.
The best way to keep the light tones of Ash is with the Aqualine Satin. This is an excellent polyurethane replacement that doesn't yellow.
It will also work against the natural ambering of wood as it ages. Nothing stops it completely but this is pretty close.
It works best on raw wood so getting that old lacquer off will help. Sometimes NanoTech is used if there's a problem coating to solve, such as an old oil poly, lacquer or toxic smelling coating but in this instance it'll be best to strip the old coating. This way we can get down to fresh, raw wood and maximizes that nice light wood tone of the ash.
I would try a sample pint and see if it's what you are looking for.
Tom Rioux founded Earthpaint after becoming severely ill as a professional paint contractor.