Looking for finishing tips for old semi rough sawn boards in a living room. The wood is very dry and not very attractive as it sits now and I do not want to polyurethane it. Any suggestions?

  • I'm sorry but this is a bit too broad for here. Why don't you want to use polyurethane? It's one of the best finishes going, and one of the most versatile.
    – Graphus
    Commented May 10, 2018 at 18:13
  • I was not looking for a glossy type of finish, more of something to show the wood without a shine
    – Andrew
    Commented May 10, 2018 at 18:29
  • 1
    Well even gloss varnishes when thinned heavily penetrate well and don't give a decent gloss until multiple coats have been applied. But regardless of that, they make matt versions of most varnishes and waterbased finishes if you want a fully matt final surface. Matt waterbased poly might be a great option for you here.
    – Graphus
    Commented May 10, 2018 at 18:42

1 Answer 1


I just made a mantle out of an old barn beam. I used a wire wheel first, then sanded with 80 -> 120 -> 220 sandpaper using a random orbital. Wiped with mineral spirits and then two coats of tung oil, lightly sanding again with 220 between coats. It has a nice matte finish and tung oil doesn't build a film like poly does.

Sorry for the blurriness, it's a screenshot from a video I took. https://imgur.com/a/fwwXSYZ

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