Finishing a Black Walnut Slab Table Top
From contributor P:
If it's air-dried, I like all the little red and green and blue lines, and darker oils tend to make them go away, so I prefer walnut oil or any other light colored oil. If it's been kiln dried, then I tend to try to richen it back up, using a darker oil or shellac. I'm no big fan of wrapping wood in plastic, especially with a live edge, so oil and wax would be all I'd do. You might consider taping off the bark and spraying that with lacquer or poly, though. It makes it a lot easier to keep clean, if that's important to you.
From contributor D:
I am with contributor P. I don't like plastic looking either. I would hand scrape the slab with a card scraper, then oil and wax. Below is a picture of a matched walnut crotch table top we hand scraped, beveled edges, lightly dyed, tung oiled, and then waxed with a mixture of citrus solvent and pure carnauba wax.
Click here for higher quality, full size image
From contributor C:
Being an old timer, I would recommend a friction polish finish which is very thin but looks a mile deep, easy to repair or maintain. The type of finish done on fine antiques. Not using shellac, but sandarac, a clear, light colored resin tempered with spike lavender oil for elasticity.
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