Clear finish

Old 01-21-23, 08:23 AM
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Clear finish

I have a maple butcher block style island top that has yellowed over the years. It is not used for food prep. I sanded the finish down to bare wood and I like the appearance of the wood. I used a water based, clear, wipe on poly but it has darkened the wood more than I would like. Is there a protective finish that I can use that won't significantly change the appearance of the wood?
Old 01-21-23, 08:43 AM
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You've already applied a water based poly. Are you going to sand it down enough to remove all that?

Depending on the wood in your butcher block anything that seals the wood is going to darken it. The water based poly is probably one of the best for not darkening the wood. That is just the nature of sealing the wood. If you want light colored wood you need to start with very light colored wood so after it's sealed it ends up being the color you want.

If you want light color you can consider bleaching the wood before your next round of sealing. You could also do a white wash or light colored pickling paint finish then seal with top coats of clear.
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Old 01-21-23, 09:32 AM
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Or sand it down to bare wood and use a beeswax conditioner and wax... might still yellow it some. Mineral oil will be similar.
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Old 01-21-23, 12:22 PM
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I neglected to mention that the top is glued up strips of a very light maple. Removing the yellowed finish is not a big deal. I took it off with a belt sander and a random orbital sander and finished sanding it by hand with 220 grit.

I have not used anything but a wipe on water based poly over stained wood for years. I was hoping that there was a more recent product that would be less likely to darken.
Old 01-22-23, 02:44 AM
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I find it odd that a water based poly/varnish would darken the wood. I'd suggest going to a real paint store and discuss this with the paint rep.

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