When it comes to timber, Brazilian walnut ranks close to the top on the hardness scale. Called an exotic species, it’s tougher than oak or maple. It is used on specialty items like knobs, handles, medallions, tables, stair treads and handrails, plaques, veneer and flooring. The deep rich texture and colour of Brazilian walnut is comparable to teak, and for this reason, usually doesn’t need blot.
Chemical strippers are caustic. Don rubber gloves, breathing and eye protection and put down a dropcloth before you start. Apply an even coat of chemical stripper to the timber with a brush. Permit the stripper to gel the initial end and start scraping the finish off with a level stick. Do not use sharp tools since they can scrape. Scrape the finish off from the inside out. Use sharpened sticks to get inside tight spaces and corners. Fold a sheet of sandpaper into a sharp edge to receive gelled finish out of tight spots.
Because this is a refinishing task the surface of the walnut has previously been sanded, so go straight to higher-grit sandpapers to your last prep before completing. Orbital sanders can leave small swirls in walnut, whilst belt sanders depart lines, therefore sand the surface of the walnut employing a hand block with 180-grit sandpaper. It is more work, but pays off in the long run. Sand the wood smooth with strokes parallel with the grain. Brazilian walnut is tough and will withstand the attempt so be patient. It should produce a fine powder during sanding. If the hand block begins to slide or polish the timber, change the paper. Brazilian walnut can be slightly fatty, therefore wipe the surface using a cloth dampened with acetone to clean off the tacky feel and remove dust or residue. Permit the wood to dry.
To Seal or Not to Seal
Brazilian walnut is prized because of its colour and texture and doesn’t need blot. But, oil-based stain is sometimes employed as a sealer or to tint the walnut marginally. Choose a colour that you prefer, wipe it liberally and wash it off. Oil stain takes up to 72 hours to cure, so follow label instructions and give it considerable time. If you skip the stain, apply a coat of sealer to the walnut with a soft brush. Sealer dries fast so work accordingly using strokes parallel with the grain to cover the timber until it dries.
Gloss or Satin
Satin polyurethane works well on Brazilian walnut. Other options include varnish or lacquer. Glossy clear coats detract from the beauty of walnut, but should you want, gloss is also an option. Apply a single coat of the clear finish to the wood with a soft brush with strokes parallel with the grain. Permit the finish to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Some goods take days, others just a few hours. When the initial coat is dry, apply a couple of additional coats using strokes parallel with the grain. Two coats are often adequate, but additional coats can be applied if desired to get a deeper appearance.