best finish 4 American White Oak

3 Jul 2007
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United Kingdom

Any suggestions for the best finish for American White Oak?
I want to keep the original colour as much as possible and am thinking of using an oil finish.

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All oil finishes tend to darken the wood.

The least darkening will be caused by using a waterbourn lacquer such as dulux diamondglaze of Screwfixed Aqualac.

Hi Mark,

What is the American White Oak being used for, furniture, floors, doors etc?

Woodfinish Man
I was thinking about using a briar wax -clear -does that keep the light colour ?

Is there any preparation needed prior to waxing or oiling?
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Briwax clear as it's name suggests has no stainers in it. If you wet the surface with a damp cloth this will show you the natural colour of the wood and what you will achieve if you apply Briwax.

Prior to waxing you should clean all previously waxed surfaces with Joynes Wade Waxless Cleaning polish and then apply the wax. If the surface has been lacquered or varnished remove this with a paint stripper something like Nitromors or MC paint Remover.

If the surface has never been protected apply a couple of coats of Shellac Sanding Sealer (SSS) 2.5lbs - Sand between coats - and then apply a coat of briwax. The SSS is designed to be sanded and in essence fills the grain of the wood preventing numerous applications of wax.

I hope this helps but if you have any questions please just ask.

Woodfinish man

I've built an oval enclosed coffee table and have had to pin all of the lats on to make the casing which is where i now have the problem of finding the correct colour of filler (to cover the pin heads) to match the wax/stain/dye.

The nearest I've come so far is the natural briwax with a Liberon Light Oak wax stick as filler.

Any better idea's?


Don’t forget that you can mix different colours of wax filler stick together to get a closer match, also don’t forget the filler will need to be a little darker so it blends in better when the timber darkens with age.

Another little tip if you heat a metal decorators knife over a naked flame, hold it just above the hole you want to fill but not touching the timber, while doing this melt the wax with the hot decorators knife and you will find the hot wax will make its way into the hole a lot better and deeper
Great advice from awbcm, especially the bit about melting the wax into the surface, as mentioned you will achieve a far better result if this is carried out.

Liberon wax sticks only come in a range of 16 different wood shades, you may wish to invest in some Konig softwax, they work in the same way but there is a far larger range of shades to choose from.

Hope this helps, good luck

Woodfinish Man

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