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I need advice. I have finished a 30x17 room in my basement with cedar car siding out of an old barn (75 years plus). I'm using the back side of the wood. I want something to bring out the grain without much darkening of the wood. Using scraps I've tried Minwax Wipe On Poly, Lacquer, Fast-Drying Polyurethane and shellac all of which ended up darker than I want. I also tried some Wolman RainCoat sealant which produced exactly the effect I wanted but in conversation with their support staff I was informed that it is very inadvisable due to odor issues. Do you have any suggestions?

thanks,

Mark
 

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1/2 part processed/boiled--not raw--lindseed oil and 1/2 part low odor mineral spirits? One of the butcher block blends? I can see shellac being too yellow but I am surprised a clear poly ended up too dark.
 

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I finished a 13x18 room, walls and ceiling, with a large jacuzzi spa in it with T&G cedar boards. My grandfather, a painter and finisher all his life, recommended me to use boiled linseed oil to finish and protect. Came out great.
 

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Vsheetz. Sounds like your grandfather was of the same vintage as the painters that taught me the mineral spirits/boiled lindseed oil formula for priming raw wood. Obviously the mineral spirits are in the mix to provide a suspension and penetrant. It evaporates leaving the lindseed oil. You could put the lindseed oil on by itself or cut back on the mineral spirits subject to how you feel it is going on and how deeply you want the lindseed oil to soak into the wood.
 

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I think with any oil or sealer we suggest you need to test it out on a piece of scrap to see how much it darkens your finish and whether you can live with it.

As for how often you will have to apply? Certainly not as often for an interior wall as for one hung outside in the elements. But even indoors you will have seasonal temperature and humidity changes and wood feels such things fairly fast. A lot will depend on your initial application and how much the wood is offered from the start.

I know you said this was going in a basement but even with artificial lighting you are going to have some UV exposure going on. You may want to see want to see what kind of additive you might be able to add to the oil to minimize this.
 
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