Made a new project - Not sure how to finish it

Hello everyone,

This is my first time using hardwood on a project and I know there are a lot of posts about finishing, but I don’t know which options to choose.

I’d like to oil these woods (wenge and padauk) so that the wenge darkens and the padauk turns more red.

I’d also like to seal and protect this piece.

I did design and make these myself. Any help is appreciated!

Thank you,


First of all, nice design, but especially that planchette is outstanding.

I’m a big fan of wipe-on clear satin polyurethane.

It is very forgiving, very tough, and will bring out the colors like you’re hoping.

Here you go, a project in walnut and padauk finished with satin poly.



and more:


Thank you!

Those turned out beautiful!


That’s really fine work there. Congrats on your first hardwood project. I love that moth, and the gems on the board.


Those are fabulous! That the grain on your wenge points to the alphabet on the ouija board is :chefskiss:

Definitely try out finishes. I’ve fallen for a ~50/50 mix of pure tung oil and mineral spirits (the addition of spirits makes it soak in & dry faster)

This was the box that cinched it for me - I was really hesitant to do anything because the wood already looked lovely but…


I keep hearing about this tung oil and mineral spirits combination; I am going to have to try this!

Is it best for hardwood, or is it just as great for plywood?

Can it be applied before the cut, or is it best for after?


yeah, I’m going to try evan’s method and the tung oil method on some scrap pieces today after work. Looking forward to it. Right now I’m sanding down the edges and the top of the planchet


I’m gonna have to try and make one myself now, probably won’t be as nice as yours because holy hell that is gorgeous!


my favorite is watney’s walnut oil. i’ve used that for a number of things and i love the finish it gives.

now, keep in mind, an oil finish would eventually need to be reapplied, depending on environment, how much you handle something, etc. a poly finish will take much longer to wear off. but it also gives a different type of finish.

none are necessarily “wrong,” there are just lots of options to try and see what you like the best.


If you’re going to play with these, then I’d go with a bar top resin finish which will stand up to a lot of use. I would “paint” it on the bottom sides first then when cured, do a flood coat on the tops & edges. That will seal the bottoms and provide a glossy hard finish on the top & edges.


This is a beautiful piece of work, two suggestions from me:

  1. Rubio monocoat
  2. I have never done this but a neighbour of mine does it, it’s amazing and I will be trying it in future. He collects the little brown berries off pine trees, blends them up in a food processor, squeezes the oil out using a muslin cloth and then uses that to coat the wood. Of course this would depend on your local trees.

I have no tips for the finishing, but those are beautiful!


That is a truly amazing piece. I don’t know if I ever saw wenge so light. I might suggest Tung oil if the cat had not run off with it. on the other hand, If UV resin is not exposed to UV, it will flatten out and sink in to everything at which time when set into the sun it is like armor plating.

More light exposure is not a good thing as such brightly col.ored woods as Paduk lose their best color with exposure.


Actually, yeah, I was a little annoyed when I got this and it was so light. I really wanted it to get to that near black darkness. I’ve been oiling it with tung oil and then I’ll put a finish on it. So far its gotten a lot darker, but still not as dark as I had hoped.


@jotinpro IMHO it´s stunning as it is now! I would feel very pleased with the result.


That is about as light as I have seen, but regard that as a good thing as it is much more interesting than what I have or have seen. I have some of the three most “black” woods including Gabon Ebony, Wenge, and Katalox. Of the three I like Katalox best, though few know it and thus are less impressed than the other two, and I have yet to come up with a design to commit any of them.

PS that moth is even more stunning than before and would not look as good or interesting in even Gabon Ebony because of the color variation.


I’ve used it on both, it soaks in just fine, but most of my plywood doesn’t have a lot of grain to it, so the change is nowhere near as dramatic.

I’ve only done after so far. I keep on telling myself to try it first since, if nothing else, it would make cleaning SO much easier…but I can not get masking to stick to it, so if you want to mask do it after.

If you try it before, tag me in I’d love to see how it goes!


Katalox looks much more like what I wanted compared to what I got. I was hoping that this would basically turn red and black.

This was my original design, which I changed a little bit :

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I’d also like to sell these online, but the inlay process was kind of a lot of time and material cost.

What do you guys think I could sell these fore?