I offer a wide range of finishes. Generally I favour clear
finishes, but can add colours as requested. I fume oak when
requested, and I enjoy designing multi coloured real milk
paint finishes once in a while too!
"Penetrating" (oil and wax), finishes show colour and grain
better, allow cherry to darken more quickly, require slightly
more time to apply and subsequent care, but can be maintained
far longer and repaired far more easily than "surface" finishes.
I recommend them for most of my pieces.
"Surface" finishes (lacquer, varnish), are convenient and
extend the cherry darkening process, but in the long run will
need to be stripped and replaced as generations go by. Surface
finishes often involve toxic chemicals in production and application.
My oil finish could be poured directly into your garden compost.
(Not recommended at $80 a gallon!).
My Oil and Wax Finish:
Linseed and Tung oil mix, with beeswax. Quintuple distilled
citrus thinner. Absolutely no petrochemicals involved. Polymerised
- heated without oxygen present to speed drying. The linseed
remains flexible, the tung adds hardness which increases as
time goes by. Thousand year plus track record! I top coat
with a carnauba / beeswax blend - lovely, deluxe furniture
waxes by Liberon. Prices listed with this finish.
My Surface Finish:
Alkyd Varnish, hand applied. Excellent track record, very
hard, shows a soft lustre, incredibly smooth to the touch.
I rub out the top coat with 600 grit pads and furniture polish.
Costs 5% more than the listed prices. (I can rub out with
rottenstone resulting in a "piano" style finish, but this
is very expensive).
Shellac is the environmentally friendly surface finish. I
can do a simple version of French polish or the real (expensive)
Nitrocellulose or "NC" spray lacquer has a good half century
track record, is easy to repair, comes in 35% or "satin" sheen.
Can be stripped.
Pre-catalyzed "varnish" is very modern, somewhat harder than
NC lacquer, super convenient, very washable, difficult to
strip. Formulations change yearly as companies strive for
market share by adding features convenient to finishers.
Milk paint is of course opaque, can be built up in multi
colours and distressed, and is a safe, 200 year minimum super
durable finish. You can even paint walls with it if you are
looking for non toxic natural paint.
So Many Choices!
Basically, for dining tables, bathroom counters, and other
high use items, I often use Alkyd Varnish. For everything
else, especially cherry pieces in the oil and wax tradition,
I would suggest the linseed and tung with the Liberon wax.