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Frequent Contributor
Cameron Wood1
Posts: 40
Registered: ‎01-13-2011
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Final finish on Kitchen cupboard doors

So my cupboards are almost finished. (much thanks to many of you). I have a white oak veneer with a simple coat of boiled linseed oil over it. My only worry now is that it may collect cooking grease,etc. Should I put a coat of this, and if so please recommend to me what. Thanks again to all.

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Steve Mickley
Posts: 1,567
Registered: ‎10-21-2009

To be sure that I understand …

Cameron;

 

… are you saying that the only finish on your cabinets is BLO (Boiled Linseed Oil)?  If so, that is about as close to no finish at all as you can get, especially in a kitchen environment.  Straight oil finishes, whether BLO or Tung Oil, offer virtually no resistance to moisture (water-vapor) or even liquid water.  Neither does a straight oil finish offer any meaningful resistance to heat, abrasion or household chemicals.  Oil finishes oxidize quickly and need to be renewed frequently.  If not constantly maintained they will literally crystallize and be wiped from the surface with nothing more than daily use. 

 

It is important that you apply a suitable topcoat before putting the cabinets in service.  My suggestion in a kitchen environment would be Waterlox Original.  Waterlox is a phenolic resin varnish made from tung oil.  Phenolic resin produces the hardest varnish and varnish made from tung oil is somewhat more moisture resistant than varnish made from either linseed oil or soya oil.  A coat of shellac applied ahead of the varnish will also add to the overall moisture resistance of the finish.  A two-pound cut of shellac mixed fresh from flakes would be the best choice; but, you can also use Zinsser SealCoat® which is pre-mixed shellac in a two-pound cut.

 

Steve

 

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Frequent Contributor
Cameron Wood1
Posts: 40
Registered: ‎01-13-2011
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Re: To be sure that I understand …

Steve,

 yes the BLO is the only finish on it right now. I understand that your recommending a oil varnish over top of this now, the only problem I have is the ability to get certain brand names. The one you recommended is not likely available to me. Do you have a list of others that may be available in the far north of Canada. I had really hoped that I was close to being done with this project, but it appears that I'm a long way from that. How many coats of varnish are you recommending please. Again thanks for the input. It would have been a shame to do all this work and let it waste away because of a lack of knowledge/finish.

Respectfully Cameron Wood

Senior Contributor
woodenbird
Posts: 194
Registered: ‎10-24-2009
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Re: To be sure that I understand …

Cameron,

Up here in the white north, you are pretty much limited to water based varnishes(marketing?) and shellac or lacquer. I have only been able to get real varnish on trips to the USA.

Glenn in Regina,SK
Frequent Contributor
Cameron Wood1
Posts: 40
Registered: ‎01-13-2011
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Re: To be sure that I understand …

What is the spar varnish I have been buying? Helmans and Varathane oil based spar varish. And if these are appropriate varnishes to finish my cupboards will they make them darker. I really don't need them any darker I'm told.

Honored Advisor
Steve Mickley
Posts: 1,567
Registered: ‎10-21-2009
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I can think of no worse finish …

[ Edited ]

Camron;

 

… for kitchen cabinets, millwork and furniture than spar varnish.  Even a first generation waterborne acrylic would be a better choice.  This article will help understand why.  Further, as “spar varnish” goes, Helmsman’s Spar Urethane by Minwax is perhaps the worst possible choice one can make, even in applications where spar varnish is appropriate.

 

I don’t know where you are in Canada but this link will give you the name of three sources for Waterlox Original in Canada (click the View Canada link on the page).  I suspect any of the three will be able to ship to you for far less than you would pay for product out of the US.  I also suspect that there are other varnish products available in Canada other than polyoneverythane; perhaps we can combine our efforts to compile a list of products and sources.

 

And yes, Glenn, the term “water-based” when applied to varnish is most definitely marketing with no foundation in the chemical composition of the finish.  These products are all waterborne acrylics; the closest they get to varnish is the word “varnish” printed on the label…

 

Steve

 

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Frequent Contributor
Cameron Wood1
Posts: 40
Registered: ‎01-13-2011
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Re: I can think of no worse finish …

Steve I looked at the addresses of the dealers and they are a long way away. I'll make contact with them and see the cost to ship it to my location, thanks. One more question, I have already oiled theses cabinets, by putting a oil varnish over it now, will it not yellow on me. Any was there ever a need to oil them to begin with. Seems to me that an oil varnish would do everything the BLO has done and more. As always thanks for your time and knowledge.

Respectfully C.Wood

Honored Advisor
Steve Mickley
Posts: 1,567
Registered: ‎10-21-2009
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Your oak is going to amber …

Cameron;

 

… no matter what finish you apply; and, so will the application of any oil-based finish, whether oil or vanish made from oil.  You probably would have been better served had you not applied the BLO, but it has been done.  So, the issue now, is to apply an appropriate protective finish…

 

Steve

 

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