Questions on finishing a walnut and pine railing

Marc · Nov 7, 2023, 16:06

Hi ARDEC team,

I only just came across your website while looking for various items to finish my cottage railing.
I have very little hands-on experience with finishing. I've read and watched so many different options on finishings that I feel rather confused about what I need to do to get the finish I want and concerned that I'm going to apply the wrong product and have to redo the work. I've read through your forum and I'm impressed with your knowledge and product selection.
I've added images below for clarity of the project. I've used pine for the 8x8 railing posts as well as the plate and trim. The handrails are walnut with live edge underside, and balusters are 3/4" square black steel with one or two knuckles. I love the contrasting colour of the darker heartwood and lighter sapwood of the two walnut handrail pieces, and I love their variations in grain patterns. I want to emphasize both of those aspects in the finishing. I have a few questions, so please bare with this lengthy post.

Regarding the walnut handrails:
1. What to use to fill the upper holes in the underside of the handrail where the balusters insert, to hold them in place. I want something matte black to blend with the balusters, and since it is the underside it must be thick enough not to come out while it dries/cures. I could just use a black silicone, but wondering if a black wood filler would be better.
2. What to use to fill the imperfections (small cracks and holes - see pictures) on the vertical sides of the railing? A black or walnut coloured Epoxy? Timbermate wood filler? It will need to be thick enough not to drip out.
3. What to use to emphasize the intricate grain patterns. I've read and seen videos about using a darkened grain filler to help emphasize grain. What do you recommend?
4. What to use on the walnut handrails to add lustre and deepen the contrast between the darker heartwood and lighter sapwood, rather than reduce the contrast. Tung oil? Danish oil? Something else?
5. What to finish with that has a matte finish, feels smooth to the touch, and will hold up to use. I've read about paste wax for example.

Regarding the pine posts and trim:
1. There are similar cracks and imperfections. Should those be filled also, and with what?
2. Need a colouring that will complement the rest of the railing without taking emphasis away from the walnut handrails.
3. Need a similar matte finish that feels smooth to the touch, and will hold up to use.

That is a lot! Hoping you managed to read through all that and I was clear enough. I have included images to help. Thank you very much for any help you can provide.

Warm regards,

Marilyn · Technical Support · Nov 8, 2023, 11:25


That is beautiful!

For the handrail imperfections/cracks/holes we would suggest using the Mohawk Epoxy Putty Stick in the Walnut color. This should work as it is a putty so dripping. can also be used for the Pine but in a color more suited to the pine of course.

The Osmo product would be perfect for this project! For the walnut aspect of the project we recommend the Osmo Wood Wax Finish Extra Thin - 1101 for the first coat as it is specially designed for exotic woods. Then you would finish using the Osmo Polyx-Oil 3031the clear - Matte sheen.

Osmo also offers the Wood Wax Finish in a variety of colors that you will no doubt be able to accent with the walnut. Which will also require to be finished with the Polyx-Oil in the matte sheen.

We believe that the Osmo product will give you the look you are trying to achieve. Sample sizes are available for purchase for testing, which we highly recommend.

Hope this helps!

Marc · Nov 8, 2023, 23:04

Thank you for the recommendations, Marilyn!
I happen to have some Oslo Polyx-Oil 3031 clear matte left from a butcher block island top I did a few years ago, so that's great.
The Epoxy putty stick sounds perfect. I'll look through the Osmo wood wax finish an colours and order some samples to test out.
And just to be complete, there's no need for a grain filler, correct?
Thanks again!

Marilyn · Technical Support · Nov 9, 2023, 09:06

Hi Marc,

Correct, there is no need for the grain filler. However it is important to use the Wood Wax Finish Extra thin - 1101 for the walnut wood.

Kind Regards,

[None] · Nov 9, 2023, 09:17

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Marc · Nov 9, 2023, 10:02

Great, thanks again!

[None] · Nov 13, 2023, 10:42

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[None] · Dec 8, 2023, 21:46

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[None] · Dec 9, 2023, 18:20

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