We cut down a walnut tree, dried it, had it cut, dried it, milled it, and now my husband is making a bathroom vanity. Our question revolves around the finishing. I understand the merits of “drying oils” such as walnut, tung, or linseed oil. Also linseed oil with driers, I’ve learned, is called, “boiled linseed oil” and heat-bodied tung oil, also called polymerized tung oil, is thicker and dries faster than its raw counterpart. My question is this: If we used an oil product like the ones mentioned above, would it be possible to put a final coat (or 2 or 3) of resin-laden oil on top of the drying oil to get the water, scratch resistance, and stain protection? I love the look of the oil on the walnut, but would like to add more protection for the final coats. What do you recommend? — Elaine Waldon
Rob Johnstone: Your plan for putting final coats of resin-laden oil on top would work, or, for about the same effect, you could also wipe on a couple of thin coats of gel-based polyurethane to get the good protection without a thick, plastic-y finish.
Chris Marshall: For readers who would like to learn more about drying, non-drying and resin-laden oils, Michael Dresdner covered the topic in our February 2012 print issue (“Finishing Thoughts,” p. 70).