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Best DIY method for at home semigloss finish?


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my current build is moving allong rather nice and I am to the stage where I can start planing the finish.

Up till now I only used handrubbed oil finishes to matt finish. And one time Acrylic rattel can Satin, which was not really a good solution.


Now I am looking for a good way to achieve a Semi-Gloss finish, I dont have a spray gun or a spary booth. The workshop where I work most of the Time has now Finishing area, so I have to clean the workbench after I am done, If I get a good slot I can maybe leave it over night.


At  home I could only use the Balkonie. So 2K Is out, anyting with a long drying time till I can set it down or keep dust free is out.


So what are your recommendations to achieve a semi gloss finish?

Rattelcan Lacquer?


Whipe on varnishes?


Any EU / Germany sources for your recommended finish would be nice.




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11 hours ago, mattharris75 said:

I think Birchwood Casey's Tru Oil would be a good option for you.

I was thinking similarly, although I can't name any brands. I've used Crimson's Guitar Finishing Oil for some of my builds and for what I've heard it's counter-engineered TruOil. They make two variations of it, the penetrating oil enhances the grain pattern and the thicker one builds up faster.

TruOil is basically just a brand name which has spread from the original manufacturer. The basic recipe(s) used to be known by every country boy but after people moved into towns and lost touch to any maintenance woodworking many skills vanished. That opened a market for ready mixed finishing products for hobbyists. Same stuff under a fancy name giving the illusion that only <add name here> is the real and true product to be used for that very purpose.

Anyhow, the basic recipe is simple: Boiled linseed oil, Turpentine and Poly/Lacquer/Varnish/Whatever you call it in your whereabouts. Boiled linseed oil will eventually level but it takes a million layers until all grain is filled. The lacquer is more substantial, it builds up much faster but getting it level with a rag or brush is challenging. And the turps just makes it more fluid and shortens the curing time. The mixture is easy to wipe on and as you wipe any excess off after every layer it will level nicely. One version has 1/3 of each but by changing the proportions you get either a more penetrating or more building version.

Should I mix it myself, I'd choose a linseed oil based lacquer that uses turpentine for thinner. That should make the ingredients mix and match.

If you choose the TruOil route, check the ingredients in the Safety Data Sheets of the products you can find. That should tell you how much solids there is which correlates to how fast the finish builds up to a level surface.

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