I'm building a fireplace mantel from rough sawn cedar. I would like to enhance the grain, but I don't want to sand the cedar smooth. I want to keep the rough sawn look. Is there a way to do that?
Jan 25, 2013, 10:52 AM
Not sure what you mean by "enhancing" the grain, but assuming that means you want the contrasting shades to be more visible, that should happen nicely if you use any kind of oil-based finish. Unstained, unsealed cedar that is coated with clear polyurethane is one of the prettiest woods around IMHO. However, if you use a water-based poly, you won't get the same effect. If you want all the rough-hewn look to remain, you could try using boiled linseed oil.This message has been edited. Last edited by: joecercone,
Jan 25, 2013, 11:35 AM
You are either going to get a grain, or rough-cut look, but not both. The rough-cut surface will hide most grain patterns - in cedar, about the only thing that will show through is if your piece has a band of extreme light or extreme dark. While there are these kinds of color changes in cedar, most of the time it's pretty uniform in color and grain size.
Keeping the rough surface trumps any efforts to enhance the grain.
Jan 29, 2013, 10:50 AM
I took some scrap rough sawn and sanded it. Jaybee, I see what you mean. Sanding, in and of itself, "enhances the grain." I also agree with Joecercone that the sanded cedar is really nice. I think I'll sand it, "distress" the wood, but keep the color close to the natural cedar. Many thanks for the advice.
Jan 29, 2013, 04:10 PM
I recently had to contact minwax regarding coloring a cabinet that I'm making. I needed to enhance the grain on red oak , but didn't want to stain it. The info they gave me was to use minwax natural #209, found with the stains in the minwax section. They told me that two coats will enhance wood grain without adding any color, they also said that you can add any minwax stain to it to lighten the color of stain if it's too dark I had to match the color of another cabinet that was made commercially. It's color was a very light red oak. I tried many different ways to match the color, but none worked until I did what they suggested, worked like a charm