Ben’s custom subwoofer table

Hi Ben – Because of your wood selection we would suggest a hybrid finish, using both Seal-A-Cell Clear (oil base) and High Performance Topcoat (water base). In order to bring out the natural color of the cherry and walnut your project needs a penetrating oil like Seal-A-Cell. This will seal the grain and provide depth and color. Let it dry overnight, sand lightly and you are ready to brush on the waterbased top coat. Two or 3 quick coats of water based Top coat will give you a durable film with just the right build. A water based finish alone is not going to provide the same depth of color to woods such as cherry, walnut or mahogany.  WoodSmith Magazine did an article in 2005 that follows this process on woods such as cherry, walnut, curly maple. We have reprints available. However, this is not completely the “green” low VOC solution you were asking for. However, it is the wood and the objective of your finish that may dictate your choice. Even though our water base finishes are our top sellers, I just finished my own walnut kitchen using a wipe on oil base gel because of my color management objectives. The rest of the house was completed in a water base finish using a spray application. If you want to continue with an entirely waterbased finish, you can try using dye stains and shellac, but that process is a little more challenging to a novice finisher.

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