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What type of wood and how to finish

Help with choosing the right coloured milkpaint to slather all over your new project.

What type of wood and how to finish

Postby John64 » 07 Mar 2019, 15:55

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Pic 1.jpg
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Hi to all from the new 'kid'.

We bought the set of drawers about 3 years ago.
My intention was to strip them down, but unfortunately I had a stroke.
As you can see, I've finally managed to make a start.
The dark base isn't done yet, but that's how it all looked.
I wasn't sure how it would look and was quite surprised how 'white' a lot of it is.
(Still not finished preparing it)
My wife likes this brighter look to it and wants it to stay that way.

So, my questions are -

Anyone able to hazard a guess as to what the wood is? It's quite old, I was told, and was a bespoke piece.
It's 42" x 15", possibly imported.

What would be the best finish to use to try and keep the colour as much as possible?

Thanks for any advice.

John
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Re: What type of wood and how to finish

Postby Robert » 07 Mar 2019, 16:03

Can't answer your question but welcome to the forum :)

Unusual looking piece that.

Some varnishes change the colour quite a lot so you may need to go for one of the more expensive ones to keep it light. I'll leave it to others to suggest brands.

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Re: What type of wood and how to finish

Postby John64 » 07 Mar 2019, 16:14

Thanks for the welcome, Robert.

Regards,

John
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Re: What type of wood and how to finish

Postby TrimTheKing » 07 Mar 2019, 17:11

Hi John

Where did you get it from? To me that looks very much like some mass produced pieces we have that come from the East somewhere, made in, I believe, Mango. The colour variations are masked by the finish but I would lay money that is what it is, and also not old, but that's a guess.

In terms of a finish to keep the colour, there are loads of clear finishes available but a go to one round here is Osmo PolyX which is tough and clear.

I'm sure others will be along soon with more ideas.
Cheers
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Re: What type of wood and how to finish

Postby Mike G » 07 Mar 2019, 17:14

I'm tempted to say it's yew, but it is more likely some exotic tropical timber. I'll bet there are workshops in Indonesia or the Philippines churning those pieces out by the hundred.

Welcome to the forum, BTW.
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Re: What type of wood and how to finish

Postby RogerM » 07 Mar 2019, 18:21

TrimTheKing wrote:Hi John

Where did you get it from? To me that looks very much like some mass produced pieces we have that come from the East somewhere, made in, I believe, Mango. The colour variations are masked by the finish but I would lay money that is what it is, and also not old, but that's a guess.

In terms of a finish to keep the colour, there are loads of clear finishes available but a go to one round here is Osmo PolyX which is tough and clear.

I'm sure others will be along soon with more ideas.


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Re: What type of wood and how to finish

Postby Andyp » 07 Mar 2019, 20:21

Dunno about the wood but could a clear wax be an alternative to varnish. Are the drawer sides the same wood and could they be used to test a few finishes?

And welcome to the forum.
cheers

Andy


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Re: What type of wood and how to finish

Postby John64 » 07 Mar 2019, 20:50

Thanks for the replies everyone.

It was bought from a second hand shop. The guy said it was 'bespoke'. Having looked on the internet I can't find a 7 drawer one like this, or as tall, which makes me think he was telling the truth?
It certainly looked old. The dents, scratches and cracks looked aged. The black drop swing metal handles were well rubbed from being pulled open over the years.
That said, the wife likes it, so I've got to!

I've looked at the Osmo range and the one that doesn't alter the colour, and they recommend, is Osmo PolyX Raw. But in the specs it says - Specifically formulated to retain the natural appearance of untreated wood. On dark/reddish wood species, Osmo Raw is likely to produce a slightly 'milky' finish.

So, it maybe looks like a clear wax? The drawers are still dark, but if it ever stops raining again I'll sand one down and see what's underneath.
Any recommendations for a decent clear wax?

Many thanks once again.

John
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Re: What type of wood and how to finish

Postby Mike G » 07 Mar 2019, 21:36

All the common woodworking waxes are fine. Wax obviously isn't resistant to water, tea/ coffee etc, so just be a little careful with how you use this piece of furniture in future. That said, I'd go for wax over Osmo, which I've taken quite a dislike to recently (and boy, the price!!).
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Re: What type of wood and how to finish

Postby RogerM » 07 Mar 2019, 23:33

Osmo Raw is formulated to keep pale wood looking pale, which it does by including a pale white pigment which offsets the darkening effect of the oil, and it does this very effectively. The downside is that it can give a milky look to darker wood, and this piece has quite a lot of darker wood. Which is more important - keeping the pale wood pale, or having a clarity of grain on the darker wood because I think it will be difficult to have both?

Personally I like Osmo Top Oil which gives darker wood a golden look without darkening pale woods excessively. Fiddes Hard Wax Oil is similar and if anything darkens pale wood even less than the Osmo Top Oil, although the satin sheen is less reflective than the Osmo Top Oil.

As Mike says, wax will give a lovely look to the wood, but will be prone to damage if someone spills water or coffee on it. We've all seen those unsightly white rings on old waxed furniture which has had a hard life. Hard Wax Oil (whether of the Osmo or Fiddes variety) will be far more damage resistant, and any damage is easily repaired without having to strip back the entire piece, and that is the way I would be looking. Both Osmo and Fiddes do 5ml samples for around £1 so why not try a few of those on some scrap, or somewhere it won't show like the back of a drawer? I use Woodfinishes direct who are always very helpful.
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Re: What type of wood and how to finish

Postby RogerS » 08 Mar 2019, 08:17

Mike G wrote:All the common woodworking waxes are fine. Wax obviously isn't resistant to water, tea/ coffee etc, so just be a little careful with how you use this piece of furniture in future. That said, I'd go for wax over Osmo, which I've taken quite a dislike to recently (and boy, the price!!).


With you all the way there, Mike. Never liked oils and definitely not from any company that forces you (like Osmo) to join Faecebook if you want to participate in their user forum.
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Re: What type of wood and how to finish

Postby Moteyi » 08 Mar 2019, 09:33

I would use osmo, possibly the raw however in my experience it would appear not to have the uv protection of other products on lighter timber. Some office furniture I made in white beech changed colour significantly on the parts exposed to light - not even direct sunlight as there was only one shaded window with blinds in the room. Therefore if you use osmo raw don't leave something like a coaster on the top unless you move it regularly, for at least 6 months.

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Re: What type of wood and how to finish

Postby John64 » 08 Mar 2019, 12:47

Thank you very much for those considered replies.
Very very helpful.
Having weighed up what you've said, I think I'll go for the Fiddes.
It's going in a conservatory so lots of sun!
I'll have a look now on Woodfinishes Direct.
Thanks to all once again.
Best regards,
John
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Re: What type of wood and how to finish

Postby will1983 » 08 Mar 2019, 12:59

For wax finishes i usually use the Black Bison Wax from Liberon, I find it brings out the warm in the timber nicely and and it smells amazing!
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Re: What type of wood and how to finish

Postby Moteyi » 08 Mar 2019, 15:51

Just to clarify my above post, I have used osmo polyx on dozens of pieces of furniture for numerous customers and have never had any problems. It is only the osmo raw I've had an issue with on white beech. I would never use anything other than osmo on my furniture with the exception of drawer boxes which I spray with a waterbourne lacquer from morrells.
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Re: What type of wood and how to finish

Postby RogerM » 08 Mar 2019, 15:58

Moteyi wrote:Just to clarify my above post, I have used osmo polyx on dozens of pieces of furniture for numerous customers and have never had any problems. It is only the osmo raw I've had an issue with on white beech. I would never use anything other than osmo on my furniture with the exception of drawer boxes which I spray with a waterbourne lacquer from morrells.


Interesting Moteyi. When you used the Osmo Raw on beech, how many coats did you apply? I'm looking at a finish for a Birds Eye Maple table at the moment and I was considering one coat of Osmo Raw to maintain the pale look, and then finishing with 2 very thin coats of Osmo Top Oil. A test piece shows this combo darkens the wood significantly less than Top Oil on its own. On the other hand, Osmo Raw absolutely killed the lovely honey brown colour of Cherry, leaving it looking slightly milky compared to Osmo Top Oil on its own. .
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Re: What type of wood and how to finish

Postby Moteyi » 08 Mar 2019, 18:27

RogerM wrote:
Moteyi wrote:Just to clarify my above post, I have used osmo polyx on dozens of pieces of furniture for numerous customers and have never had any problems. It is only the osmo raw I've had an issue with on white beech. I would never use anything other than osmo on my furniture with the exception of drawer boxes which I spray with a waterbourne lacquer from morrells.


Interesting Moteyi. When you used the Osmo Raw on beech, how many coats did you apply? I'm looking at a finish for a Birds Eye Maple table at the moment and I was considering one coat of Osmo Raw to maintain the pale look, and then finishing with 2 very thin coats of Osmo Top Oil. A test piece shows this combo darkens the wood significantly less than Top Oil on its own. On the other hand, Osmo Raw absolutely killed the lovely honey brown colour of Cherry, leaving it looking slightly milky compared to Osmo Top Oil on its own. .


Two thin coats of Raw. I've since discussed this with a specialist furniture polisher and he suggested 1 raw and 1 or 2 polyx - I've no experience of top oil. FWIW I contacted Osmo and they were as much use as Anne Franks drum kit.
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