Hi there. Thanks for this – so helpful. I have a white oak vanity being installed. I’m not crazy about the color when the finishers put a stain I really didn’t like it. I wanted to bring out as much natural wood Colors/ texture as possible – no sheen. Should I let it age first or use the dead flat low VOC water base finish coat by modern masters right away ? Do I need to sand it’s pretty smooth.
If you have a stain on the oak and you do not like it, then it is good to remove the stain to return to the natural color.
To emphasize the natural patterns of the wood, you can use a light-colored oil like this one by Watco.
When you rub the oil, it emphasizes the annual rings, and then it becomes darker in the pores and lighter on the smooth areas.
The next application should be with clear oil or wax so as not to further darken the color. Before application, it is good to sand with fine sandpaper P220. This is not necessary if the wood is smooth, but it is recommended, after sanding, the coating absorbs better.
Of course, you can apply a water-based matt varnish that will protect the wood and emphasize its patterns (the wood looks wet), but the effect will not be as strong as with oil.
It is always good to protect the wood, you can apply a patina or other vintage effect beforehand, but it is good to protect the wood.