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sealing a walk in pantry?

ive just finished a large walk in pantry. 3/4 oak sheeting framed in 1x4 oak.bottom of shelves covered with 1/8 inch oak paneling.i have filled and sanded all.i would like to keep it in its newly sanded red oak finish without staining.what can i use to seal it all and not be sticky or tacky during the humid portion of the year here in kc missouri.it will have a louvered oak door to allow air ciculation but again it gets humid here bad.any help would be sincerely appreciated.

Re: sealing a walk in pantry?

You could use an oil-based polyurethane finish. This is a film type finish and is very durable once fully cured. It is very resistant to many chemicals, including alcohol. Lacquer thinner would be a problem, but no one uses or stores lacquer thinner in a pantry. It can be washed down with dish detergent, etc.

However, being a film type finish, it is subject to chipping if, for example, the edge of a can strikes it hard. The same is true of all film type finishes.

(Waterborne urethane and polyurethane finishes are not very alcohol or ammonia resistant. Wouldn't personally use those in a pantry for that reason........amongst others.)

Or you could use a penetrating type finish. These won't chip, but aren't really as durable as quality film type oil-based finishes when it comes to chemical resistance, detergent cleaning, etc. They can be easily renewed though. (apply additional coats as needs be) Enough said for the moment concerning those. More info to come if you should choose to go that route.

The really important thing to realize/know ............ is that no finish (even epoxy) will be immune to the creation of iron oxide rings from the bottom of your canned goods. When water or atmospheric humidity comes in contact with iron bearing substances, oxides form and those oxides WILL penetrate thru any finish......making ugly black rings on the underlying wood.......beneath the finish. If you shuffle all the cans about every few days.....you *might* delay/avoid this problem. Not very practical though.

Therefore, my recommendation would be cover the top surface of your shelves with a sheet of plastic laminate or plexi-glass or similar. Doesn't have to be adhered; just lay them on there loosely......so that replacement is easy. Do this after the finish of choice has cured fully. (4-6 weeks)

Knowing that you'll also need to clean the other surfaces periodically......I think I'd personally opt for the oil-based poly. It will stand up to the cleanings and be pretty resistant to any spills that may occur. Two coats of finish.......or maybe even three. Depends.

Re: sealing a walk in pantry?

i went with the oil based poly.and will use some type of laminate that wont hide the detail in the wood to much.great advice very helpfull, detailed easy to understand info.thanks again very much first time user, who will be staying long term now.:)

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