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Woodworking/Finish options - antique oak side by side cabinet



Hi Greg-

As a complete novice, I just finished sanding and re-staining an antique oak cabinet.  I used Minwax Wood Finish (Provincial).  I love the new color and don't want to add any sheen.  The product label says it seals.  Does this mean I don't need to add a top coat to protect the wood?  I was considering options to poly (satin), such as Howard's feed-n-wax or Paste wax, because I really don't want additional sanding.  I have a bottle of Wipe On Poly (satin) if it is necessary.  I will be using this as a liquor cabinet in my Parlor.  

Do you have any suggestions or recommendations?

Hi Lisa, sorry about the late reply. The Minwax stain is a sealer, but not really a protective finish. If you want no sheen, then you could leave it...but it really should have a protective finish to protect all your hard work though in my opinion....the wipe on Poly's are an easy, goof proof way to add some protection, and if you got a Satin product,(I don't think they make a 'flat'), and are careful to stir the contents well, before and during application, then you can apply 1-2 thin coats with a soft pad made from Polo or flannel shirt material. The other foolproof option is Formby's Tung oil in a Flat sheen.

You apply either of these to wet the wood, and then wipe them off well leaving a very thin coat. They will not "build" to a film type look, unless you exceed two or more coats...and will leave the wood grain open, yielding a soft sheen.
Wax will tend to shine quite a bit,and will not add much protection, so waxes or anything with wax in it should be avoided.....I think a little sheen would be fine, and it also prevents soil better and leaves the surface more clean-able...hope that helps a little- regards- Greg


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Greg Scholl


Questions on Woodworking, wood finishing and refinishing of all kinds, repairing furniture and wooden objects,Architectural details, Woodturning, carving, tool usage, product usage, some chemistry as it applies to woodworking and related interests,cabinet making and furniture construction/design, etc. I have experience with all manners of colorants, finishes, paints, stains, dyes, glazes, and coatings,wood species recognition,usage,etc.


Fine furniture restorer and cabinet maker for over 30 years,serving high end Antique dealers, Interior designers, Collectors in the CT area. Sold, built, serviced, setup Home,Industrial and Commercial stationary woodworking tools for a major tool retailer in CT. for three years, sold hand and power tools, and offered instruction on use and care as well.I even have some Trade show Demo experience.

none at this time.

Published in Fine Woodworking Magazine (12/97), included on Fine Woodworkings first "Best of Fine Woodworking" CD-ROM (2002)-("27 year compilation of expert know-how"),Multiple times in Family Handyman Magazine, local newspapers as well.

Art School at Silvermine Guild in Norwalk, CT., 9 year apprenticeship in a European run Cabinet and Restoration shop in CT., various classes on subjects having to do with the field. Seminars by Major tool manufacturers, Delta, Powermatic, Performax, Porter Cable, Skil/Bosch to name a few.

Past/Present Clients
Many varied clients including work on Martha Stewarts' Westport, CT. show house, many fine Antique dealers and private collectors in and around Fairfield County and in Woodbury, CT.(the Antiques capital of CT.)
Consulting for area Painting/Decorating and Building contractors on non painting issues..(staining, wood prep.,clear finishing, floor restoration and architectural detail restoration and repair, etc.), local Museums and Historical Societies.For the last two years I have been employed with Schwenke Auctioneers Inc.- Woodbury Auction LLC., as a staff photographer,IT tech,and doing restoration and repair work as well.

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