Finishing the pine cladding

This pine cladding is too white. I want a boat look rather than a sauna look. I’m after a  glowing semi gloss sheen effect but it was really difficult to find a product that would give me the image I had in my head.

Finding the right wood finishing product is confusing and finding the best method of application is difficult.

Why is the world of wood finishing so confusing?

There are too many variables to stick with just one rule so I guess its just trail and error until I find the best method and product…

I started doing some experiments. I bought some ‘quick dry’ antique pine varnish and applied it on two samples. It gave a very flat look so I thought I’d do a coat of clear gloss (oil based). Both finishes are crap!

A few products and experiments later I realised that water based varnish (aka quick dry varnish) is not what I want to show the depth and grain of the wood. This stuff really does dry quick; so quick in fact brush marks are easily left.

Oil wins this one!

Here is my method

I realised why the world of wood finishing is so confusing; everyone has their own method. Here’s mine:

  1. sanded up to 400 grade sandpaper
  2. applied a generous clear coat of natural danish oil
    and wiped off excess after 15 minutes
  3. applied antique pine danish oil (like the natural but with antique stain colour). I could only find this in Homebase
  4. buff with denim – old jeans
  5. repeat 3 and 4 until I got the colour I wanted
  6. finished with a thin clear coat for buffing
  7. buffed again with denim (this is technique I discovered when making my guitar)
This is 3 coats of antique pine danish oil then buffed and finished with 1 very very thin clear coat. Why would anyone want to cover this? now I know the main difference between oil and water based finishes – oil actually makes wood look better
I sanded with 320 grit and then 400. This gave a super smooth finish to the touch although it wont get rid of larger scratches
The coats need to be applied seriously thin with a coloured oil otherwise blotching will occur, especially in pine. The tin says it can be applied with a brush but it cant if you want an even finish. A cotton T shirt seemed to work best as usual
My method was to apply very sparingly to the point where i was basically wiping it on then attempting to wipe it straight back off
The colour gets dark very quickly. This is 4 coats of antique pine danish oil and thats where i'll leave it
The colour gets dark very quickly. This is 4 coats of antique pine danish oil and thats where I’ll leave it
I’m so glad i spent the time on this. The colour changes depending on where the light is angled so it is difficult to photograph


What I learned

  • oil sinks right into the wood and makes it look like better wood
  • to avoid blotching when using any coloured finish, a generous clear coat should be applied first
  • buffing with denim in between coats really gives the finish a smooth sheen
  • I will never apply any stain based product onto bare wood with a brush ever again
  • Wire wool on bare wood is the worst thing you can do. It will get right into the grain and give it a grey colour which may turn rusty if wet
  • don’t listen to the back of the tin. I will always do experiments first to find my own method

I hope this helps anyone that is looking for similar results for their wood finish. It can take a lot of trial and error to get the finish you want but it’s worth it!

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let me help you with that



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