Oak finish

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    Martin Hawkins

    hi everyone I’m a novice woodworker and I’m thinking of making that corner shelf unit that Paul has made but I want to make mine out of oak what would be the best finish to use as I understand oak has open pores. can you use sanding sealer on it ?

    Larry Geib

    Oak isn’t a species, but rather a term for one of about 25 species , with ageing variants like Brown Oak and bog oak.
    The two main groups in the United States are the white and red oak groups.
    Europe has similar, but different groupings,. Search the wood database.

    The oaks come in colors from very blond o almost black, for peat fossilized bog oak.

    How you finish them depands on the effect you are going for, but sure you can use sanding sealer or shellac to seal the pores, if that’s the effect you want.
    Some people like the effect staining the pores give and choose oak for that reason.

    Also, tastes are different on different sides of the pond. In America fuming white oak is in fashion, especially if you go for an arts and craft look.

    Google “finishing Oak” to see the dozens of possibilities. Add Paul Sellers to the search for his expertise. He seems to favor oil or shellac finishes.

    He even has a video and post on finishing red oak furniture with shellac and highlighting the pores with dark wax.


    Experiment with some scraps first.

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