I have some beautiful wormy maple barn doors that I want to finish.

I've tried Minwax oil-modified polyurethane clear satin and tung oil separately on a small corner and both turned the wood slightly orange.

I'm almost tempted to put nothing on them, but I was hoping to add a satin finish that would enhance the natural colour.

  • Hi Susan welcome to StackExchange. Why did you try the oil-modified poly? That's specifically intended to add the colour that's lacking in straight waterbased finishes (which is a clue to what you will probably end up using, waterbased poly). "I'm almost tempted to put nothing on them" That is in fact a viable option. The wood can and will get grubby where handled, brushed against etc. (so will need cleaning periodically if you find this ugly) but in general wood, particularly harder woods like maple, doesn't need finish to last in many applications.
    – Graphus
    Nov 20 '20 at 9:08
  • While I think you will eventually choose to use a waterbased poly (a "water white" finish, which are noted for not adding much/any colour) there are now many consumer finishes you might use here, including a large number of competing "hard wax oil" concoctions. The problem with the latter, while decent finishes as far as they go, is $$ plus you can't be sure how much yellow/orange colouring they will add to your wood. Sample pieces will only show so much, your wood might react differently. So a useful quick test to do now is wet the wood with just water and see what colour it turns.
    – Graphus
    Nov 20 '20 at 9:18
  • The oil modified water based poly was recommended at Sherwin Williams.. wasted my money sadly. I did wet it today and it turned the yuck pick colour again. Thanks for your input. I’ll look for your recommendation and then I’m done
    – Susan
    Nov 20 '20 at 19:02

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