I have covered a wall with beech boards and was planning to finish them with a tung oil finish. I tried this out on some test pieces and the contrast between light and dark areas of the boards was too great. How can I even out the color of the boards without obscuring too much of the grain? I don't want to use a sprayer because the overspray would get on other surfaces in the room.
From contributor C:
Simply add some pigment(s) to your tung oil finish to make it a transparent/translucent coating. You can control the degree of obscurity to get the best possible look while cutting the contrast to acceptable levels. Do some practice samples to get the feel for it and test your mixes. Multiple layers of finish are an option and you can apply an untinted topcoat for extra wear protection if you want to.
If you're just trying to get an oil look, shellac does wonders to darken this stuff without losing any clarity. My standard finish for this beech is simply two 1lb cuts of Zinnser's Seal Coat and three sprays of the Target 9000 poly. It's a very nice, warm look and couldn't be any simpler to apply. This wood also does quite well with Transtint in water. It colors very evenly.