In my last post I talked about the various densities of Redwood and how they effect finish sheen. In this post I want to go over a few finishes we use at our shop, and the benefits and draw backs of each finish.
Likely the most used finish in our shop is lacquer. The downside of this finish is that it’s a tough finish for the DIY, but most professional facilities have some kind of finish room or spray booth. Though lacquer can be applied by both spraying and brushing, we recomend spraying. It is by far the most smoth and consistent way to apply lacquer. If you don’t have a professional spray booth, a quality lacquer finish is not necessarily out of reach, you just need to be sure to use a well ventilated area with no dust and lots of space. You will also need a spray gun and air compressor, along with a water trap air regulator.
The good part about lacquer is that its one of the smoothest, cleanest, and easiest to repair finishes around. It also holds the true color and grain of the wood without yellowing and helps to protect Redwood from unwanted movement and cracking.
Several other, and far easier finishes for the DIY we use are: Wipe on polyurethane or Danish oil finish. Both these finishes can be applied by hand and are affordable, durable, and easy to repair. The downfall is that they can take a very long time to fully cure, and in order to get a glossy sheen or hand rubbed finish on Redwood, one has to apply a lot of coats.
These are the most common finishes we use to finish our Redwood tables. However, there are lots of other finishes people use for Redwood. Conversion Varnish, Tung Oil, Linseed Oil, Bee’s Wax, Shelac, and Envirotex are other popular finishes that are used for Redwood.
Our recommendation is to always sand your project out to a minimum of 220 grit, so to close the pours in the wood, and then apply polyurethane, Danish oil or lacquer.
We recommend Watco Danish oil, Deft brushing lacquer, and wipe on polyurethane.
Thank you for reading, and feel free to post your results on our blog!