How to Finish Black Walnut


American black walnut lumber has long been prized for its strength and hardness. It has a wide variety of uses such as top-end furniture, interior trim or gun stocks. Finishing is the process of adding paint or lacquer to protect the wood surface. It adds color, causes the wood to last longer and can add value to furniture.

Things You'll Need

  • Wood putty
  • Sanding block and sandpaper
  • Damp cloth
  • Stain
  • Paint brushes
  • Lacquer
  • Tack cloth
  • Prepare the wood surface by filling in any holes or imperfections with a wood filler.

  • Sand the surface of the wood with a fine sandpaper of 150 to 180 grit. Go over the wood with a damp cloth to remove any dust.

  • Apply a coat of stain to the wood surface with a wide and clean paintbrush. Sand with a very fine sandpaper of 220 to 240 grit. Go over the surface with a clean and damp cloth to remove any dust.

  • Apply several coats of your final finish. There are several different types of finishes such as lacquer, varnish, or even paint. Apply brush-on lacquer with a wide natural bristle paint brush using long and quick stokes. After allowing it to dry, clean it with a tack cloth and then apply another coat.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keeping the temperature around 70 degrees in your work area helps to ensure that the stains and lacquers dry correctly.

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  • Photo Credit furniture image by Vladimirs Koskins from
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