Ever finished a bit of elm?

Wolf (& Rabbit!)
576 posts and 16 followers
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This is English Elm. It’s the first time I’ve used it. It’s really beautiful and this picture doesn’t do it justice. It’s taken a long time to get the fur off it, many hours of scraping, sandpaper is of no use. It’s now a lovely smooth and very touchable bit of wood.

I intend to eventually mount this under a wall mounted television to hold a sky cable box and probably her dvd player.

I want a satin or semi-gloss finish, not too glossy and I’d really not like to colour it too much.

Any ideas?

-- Alec (Friends call me Wolf, no idea why)

Elm is beautiful. I have a dining room table that I made out of spalted elm; I used Minwax “tung oil” for the finish; the oil accents the grain and gives it a soft luster. If you want a perfectly clear finish though, I’d use something like water based poly although you’ll miss out on the warmth that an oil gives.

Rob, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

good to know. Those butterscotchy colours…mmmmmm

-- Alec (Friends call me Wolf, no idea why)

She’s a beauty!
I concur with Manitario, I love the
Minwax “Tung” oil, even though it contains 0 tung oil, it is a really nice and forgiving finish.
I usually really flood it on the first coat, allowing it to soak the first 10 minutes, then buff it up using a cloth as lint free as I can get.
If any of the coats get too dry, recoat it again, and buff it out right away, it really is just easy.
You can nib off any imperfections first and then sand that first coat with 220 grit.
I never go any lower than that, when I nib
Sand, just hitting only the imperfections with the 220 grit.
I have gone up to 9 coats and all the way up to 1500 grit, which leaves an incredibly
Beautiful shine.
Then I have been using Jeff Vanderburgs
Beeswax and tung oil finishing wax to give it the ultimate shine, and waterproofing.
Good luck! It would look great with a shine as well! It’s beautiful!

Steve Tow

This birdhouse is Elm. It is finished with a two part expoxy and then a topcoat of UV resistant oil based polyurethane. For indoors use the poly would be ok on it’s own.

Mike, an American living in Norway

Sounds like some good advice, love to see how you make out. Beautiful piece of wood, good luck.


7 coats of Tung oil and three of beeswax…The Tung oil was diluted with mineral spirit 50/50 for the first three, then 20/80 for the next, the 10/90…fat on lean, as they say…

Thanks for the input…I’ll post a better pic of it in situ next week.

-- Alec (Friends call me Wolf, no idea why)

Blonde shellac topped with some satin waterborne poly.
If you have scraps I recommend you do a test on them no matter what finish you select.

woodworking classes, custom furniture maker