It’s easy to assume that all wood products are made equal, but that’s not really the case. White pine is a softwood, meaning it’s a freshwater grain and mobile structure that easily absorbs any product applied. Therefore, staining and finishing efforts on white pine often result in a mottled surface and wasted material. Carefully apply multiple layers to ensure a smooth, even finish and protect the white walnut from wear and tear.
Sand the wood as smooth as possible, using fine grit sanding medium. A well-sanded surface can help to better control finish absorption.
Wipe the walnut wood surface to remove all surface dust and dirt. These very small particles will show through the varnish if you don’t remove them now.
Put the piece of walnut on a level surface. Working horizontally allows you more time to correct for any drips or uneven applications.
Apply a thin coating of varnish to the entire surface of the white walnut, spreading it evenly across the surface.
Drag the tips of a dry paintbrush along the grain of the wood, beginning at one edge and working toward the other. This eliminates excess varnish from the surface. Wipe off this brush with clean paper towels and then repeat the process along the entire surface, removing all excess liquid before the wood has time to soak this up. Continue to brush until you have created a smooth, even surface on the white walnut. Allow this coat to dry for 24 hours before continuing.
Sand the first coat gently with a fine grit, then apply another coat of varnish. Wipe off the excess. Clean off the sterile brush after every pass, or you will just be applying the surplus varnish you removed back into a different section. Let the second coat to dry for 48 hours before continuing.
Inspect the surface to areas like knots or missed spots that look flat and aren’t shiny. They didn’t consume sufficient finish. Apply another thin layer to the entire surface with exactly the exact same process as before. Do not merely place treat the regions, as you will be left with an uneven surface. This final coat must dry for 48 hours before you apply the walnut for anything.