Professionals and Amateurs Together

Slowing Down Darkening White Oak


How do you prevent or slow down darkening of white oak with a clear finish?—Alfred Spitzer, Jr


Richard Oedel replies: White oak usually is not the problem but the additives in the finish that darken over time. So try a finish advertised as “water white.” In general, they stay water white and don’t impart any extra color cast to the piece. If you want it white-white-white oak, you have to bleach it multiple times and then coat it with something. A soap finish here would work. For examples, see John Makepeace’s bleached white oak pieces—

Tags: Finishing, Wood