Need to treat my wood mantle

kalindi615September 6, 2013

Hello Everyone. This is a cross post. I posted in the woodworking forum and in 4 days I have received not one answer. I am hoping that someone here can help me out.

I have a great old hunk of wood for a mantel. It is just a straight piece of wood about 4" thick that sits on brick supports that protrude from the wall. My hubby thinks it is either walnut or mahogany. It is in serious need of a coating of something. When it is wet (say from dusting with a damp cloth), it is beautiful. However it dries quickly to a dull boring piece of wood.

Normally I would put tongue oil on it or polyurethane and call it a day. But about 5 " from the front of this mantle sits our very large (5 1/2' tall) base burner coal stove which is our only source of heat in the winter, so it burns very hot all winter long.

I want to treat it with something to bring back out the natural beauty of the wood, but I am not sure what with because of this constant heat exposure.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

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Not sure what can withstand that heat, but be sure to use a PENETRATING kind of finish. DO NOT USE poly or lacquer - those just sit on top and your exciting hunk of wood will just be dull and boring.

Oils, such as tung or linseed, and Shellac will give you the best finish. They can also be top coated with that mystery heat resistant finish (though the heat will affect them.)

Maybe change the position of the mantle - or dont coat the bottom - best of luck.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 7:11PM
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I googled >high temp wood clear coatingCan you build a decorative heat shield?

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 8:21AM
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Thank you both for answering. I was beginning to think no one would.

I did finally get an answer from my other post and someone suggested using danish oil or tongue, which is along the lines of using an oil that would soak in and not top coat to bubble up as old_house suggested. I did buy some, but haven't had a chance to pull the mantle down and work on it yet (hopefully this weekend).

I will try it and if it all fails we get a new piece of wood to use as a mantle. I was just trying to save this one as it s a nice looking piece of wood, but it does have a bit of warp in the back, so if I loose it the world will not end.

mxyplx, there is absolutely no room for any type of shield. We have a huge stove in the front of the mantle. It is not under the mantle it is actually in the front standing above the mantle. It is an old base burner coal stove which stands 5 1/2' tall. The part that is about 5" from the mantle is the hopper so it is not the "burning" part of the stove and does not get nearly as hot as the lower part of the stove, but it is still made of metal so the heat transfers up the stove and radiates outward. It is more of a slow baking heat rather than an intense need to block it heat. I have just learned from re-doing projects around here more than once, it is better to ask the good folks here at GW if I am in doubt, get some good advice, and decrease my chances of re-doing the same project twice in the future because I choose my materials wrong the first time.

Thanks again for the advice.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 9:39AM
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