Return to the Woodworking Forum | Post a Follow-Up

What finish for fireplace mantel?

Posted by franksmom_2010 (My Page) on
Fri, Nov 23, 12 at 22:28


I'm going to be finishing our mantel shelf. I suspect that it's either cedar or redwood, based on a small sample patch that I sanded. It's currently a "rustic" raw slab of lumber that was rough cut. I don't care for the splintery rustic look, so plan to sand it smooth, add a stain of some kind, and a finishing coat. I have no idea if it's original to the 1970's house, but it's aged to a bland tannish-gray.

For stain, I was going to start with a clear or natural stain (oil based), and see how we like it, and see how it looks with the brick.

For the finish, I see a lot of retail mantel stores use poly. Is that the best finish, or would you choose something else? Water based poly, or oil? Any particular brand? Wipe on or brush on?

I've done a lot of furniture refinishing, painting, etc., but have never worked with either of these woods, so is there anything else I need to know?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: What finish for fireplace mantel?

If you use water based poly, build up a pre-finish on your stain with a sealer in selected sheen, so the water based poly doesn't soak right into the stain and be bland looking. Also, may be wise to stay with the same manufacturer throughout the job as they perform the QA tests on only their own products.

There's a new polyurethane which is UV cured for decreased drying time. That sounds like the best of both worlds: sheen and quicker drying and a nice durable product which should hold up to time. GL.

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Woodworking Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here