Finishing without darkening the wood
OK - I've tried a 50/50 poly/white spirit rub. Nice finish but still darkens the "Wenge" considerably.
I think I may have found the answer...
Sanding to > 320 grit and then Renaissance Wax. At first it darkened the wood and I was sad but when it dried the magic happened and we're almost back to the original wood colour. I think it'll seal the wood and, when buffed, has a nice satin sheen.
If this doesn't work I'll try (water-based) white chalk paint then sand back to just reveal the lovely grain and seal with the poly rub.
any thoughts most welcome...
I wish I could help you Herb but I don’t have any experience with any of these products.
Is this a wipe on poly then? What make of poly do you use?
I want to make a good wipe on poly and if I mix it with white spirit so it is thinner, this will then be ready to wipe on?
Carpe Diem and build your dreams
Anything that soaks in is going to darken the wood be it wenge, cherry or sycamore. You are trying to achieve something that every finishing company and the vast majority of instrument/furniture/cabinet makers are trying to avoid. That there isn’t a massive database of suggestions of how to make finished wood look dry and the grain display no depth really doesn’t surprise me. Maybe some kind of limed wax finish could help lighten some areas of grain to compensate for the darkening of others. How about just leaving the surface sanded and let it pick up a patina through handling and age. Could be an interesting process to document over the years.
Unless I get alarms from you guys I think I'm going to fine sand and rub in a few coats of Renaissance Wax. That seems to retain a lighter colour in the wood, maximising the contrast of the grain and should seal the wood and give some protection... anyone throwing their hands up in horror?
Thanks for all your input
Hey Herb - It would be great to see some pics? 🧐
Don't be surprised if it gets darker with more coats... 🙄
Measure twice, cut once...