Your weekly Q&A Session with Chestnut Products

Hello again, some more questions and answers…

A nice easy one for us to start with, we were asked if Melamine Lacquer can be applied over an oil finish. The answer is no, for two reasons; firstly it’s unlikely to adhere properly and could peel off, and even if it did stick the oil is relatively soft and wouldn’t be tough enough for the lacquer, so the lacquer would eventually crack.

Someone making salt and pepper mills asked which finishes to use. We’re not sure it’s essential to use anything on the inside, it won’t be seen and salt crystals and peppercorns are dry so there’s no danger of them soaking through the wood, but if preferred Food Safe Finish can be used to give a good finish. The outside would be a different matter and would need a tough, hardwearing finish and our Acrylic Gloss Lacquer or Acrylic Satin Lacquer (depending on the required finish) would be great for this.

Talking of Acrylic Satin Lacquer, we were asked if it can be used straight onto bare wood. We strongly recommend using a sanding sealer first, it makes the job easier, provides a better foundation for the lacquer and also works to make sure that the lacquer sticks to the wood. Having said that, it can be left out if you absolutely have to, but you will need to use more of the lacquer and the process won’t be quite so easy.

Someone doing what we think is a renovation project asked about a finish for the exposed beams. They want to change the colour and finish them as well, and only want to do the job once because they’ll be on a 3 metre high platform – and they don’t like heights!
The beams could be stained but this would be difficult and messy, so we suggested Finishing Oil. It has a light colour and will take away the ‘newness’ of the timber and seal and finish it at the same time, although two coats would be best. If a more dramatic colour change is required then a stain will have to be used. Carefully!

And we’ll finish this week with what is a relatively easy question that is more complicated than it seems. We were asked about using a water based polyurethane over our Spirit Stains. Technically this should be fine but it’s a classic example of where a test is vital. Sometimes products made by other companies don’t do what we’re expecting!


Here’s a little addendum to a question we mentioned a few weeks ago. We were saddened to hear from a lady who’d spoiled the finish she’d achieved with Melamine Lacquer by using the wrong thinners in the last coat. We sent her some Cellulose Thinners and we had a lovely card from her this week thanking us for our help and advising that the table is now finished and looks (and I quote) “extremely respectable. (I would say more – it’s absolutely great! but that would be bragging!).”

Always good to have a happy ending!

More in seven days!