Walnut table top and bench

By Dr. T. in Algonquin, IL.

Matched maple and walnut to complete a kitchen table and bench.  I repurposed the kitchen table legs and chairs.  I milled the walnut, figured out my dimensions and built the aprons and supports  I milled the custom bench out of 8 quater walnut and sprayed 2 coats of Behlen Hickory Dye.  I did not want to risk having too much overlap and spill marks using a rag to dye, so spraying was much more effective in getting the results I wanted.  I originally purchased the American Walnut color by Behlen, but was disappointed as it was much more red than walnut is naturally.  The Hickory seemed to match the walnut color I was seeking much better.  I implemented the best products available to create a seamless match with the maple chair seats.  Used maple on the lower tabletop and chairs, and walnut for the tabletop and bench.  I added three coats of Old Masters Wood Grain Filler on the table top and it created a super smooth finish.  I used one coat on the bench and chair seats as I wanted it to be rougher than the table top.  I used Behlen's dye to color the walnut and maple seats as I did not want to have any fading from the sun on this wood.  Behlen dye has a uv protective in the solution to keep the color as is.  The match was nearly perfect, but took a few more coats on the seats to get a similar blend of color.  General Finishes Arm R Seal Gloss and Satin were used on the bench, tabletop and seats.  The ArmRSeal really popped the grain on the walnut.  I can not be more happy with the results.  I added the dye and sprayed 1 coat of the gloss, then the 3 layers of grain filler.  It is worth mentioning, reading the instructions on the can, I did sand up to 320 then applied the dye and ArmRSeal gloss.  I felt this did a better finish then following the sanding suggestion on the can.  I followed the directions on the can when I was building the bench and the finish was not as impressive as the tabletop.  I also added some mineral spirits as the gloss seemed to dry much smoother.  I sprayed all of the dye and all of the finishes at about 25 psi with a gravity feed gun.  Husky was the brand I used.  Overall the General Finishes products were fanastic on the walnut.  I used dye on the walnut as I did not want to color the wood, but enhance and try to keep it the brownish color it was when I milled it.  Regardless of what you read and get sold on, the walnut color does fade in the sun and will turn blonde very quickly.  The Behlen dye also did not raise any of the grain as other dyes have a tendency to do.   

Project Category

WoodworkingTables & Desks

Products Used

  • General Finishes ArmRSeal Gloss
  • General Finishes ArmRSeal Satin
  • Old Masters Wood Grain Filler
  • Behlen Dye and Reducer
  • Minwax Wood Conditioner
  • Sherwin Williams Pro Classic

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