Replicating a Sam Maloof Varnish

How to mix your own formula to obtain that "warm glow" finish look. January 24, 2010

I'm looking for others who have used Sam Maloof's finish. I have a client who wants that "warm glow" on a table and set of 6 dining room chairs.

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor R:
I think that many people have used a Maloof finish without even knowing it. The reason I say this is because it's really a thinned out varnish that probably has some drying oils in it (Watco) and some thinners. Anyone can make this type of finish from readily available materials from the big box stores. If you're not interested in conjuring up your own homebrew, I'm sure the Maloof Varnish is available from an online dealer or a specialty house.

From the original questioner:
Thanks. There's no way that would hold up on a dining room table with food, wet glasses, etc. The chairs would probably do well, but I can't see thinned out varnish for a tabletop. Your thoughts for a better tabletop finish?

From contributor R:
Some other finishes to consider for the table top would be, but not limited to, a catalyzed lacquer/conversion varnish or a 2K poly.

Something to take into consideration is the kids or no kids factor. I get a kick out of that TV commercial where the kid is banging the fork handle on the table because he didn't get his favorite breakfast treat. That kind of stuff happens when you have little ones. If you're in doubt about the finish, apply the best one you possibly can.

From contributor J:
I have used Maloof mixtures quite a bit. One was equal parts poly, tung and linseed. You can start off with a more even mixture of the parts. On the later coats mix it heavier with the poly for increased durability. For table tops you can even go with a more durable form of poly too.