I’m working on a kumiko wall hanging, made completely from reclaimed wood with high sentimental value. I know that normally, kumiko is left unfinished, but I’m planning to add a light finish to mine. The project is largely unstained, except for the outer frame in which the completed panel will rest. The frame is made from oak, while the kumiko panel is made from Honduran mahogany. I needed the frame to be black, so I treated a test piece with some Sumi ink, which worked fabulously. I’m planning to finish the project with two coats of BLO, because I don’t really need a hard finish protection, and I’m not interested in a glossy finish at all. For the test piece, very little of the ink came off when I applied the BLO, but I know it’s not 100% sealed in. The backing for the project will be traditional washi or rice paper, which leads me to my concerns. Right now, I plan to tape up the wall-facing surfaces of both the panel and the frame when I apply both the ink and the BLO, so that the surface to which the paper will be applied is raw wood. My concern is whether the paper will, over time, wick BLO or ink/BLO along the edges where the paper will have some minimal contact with finished wood. Does anyone have any experience with this? Can anyone recommend a finish that I can apply to either the back of the piece, or potentially over the whole piece in order to seal in the ink and BLO to prevent it from bleeding into the paper over time?
I have a few parameters that I’d like to stick to:
-I chose BLO because it’s easy, does what I want, and won’t have drip/brush marks that I need to worry about. The panel is quite intricate and made up of very small pieces – something that requires precise application or many coats for a good finish is not feasible.
-I’m more interested in applying this “sealer” coat only to the back of the piece rather than the whole thing, as I do not have the time to wait for the BLO to fully cure and would prefer to let it cure on the wall at its final home. If there is a finish that will accomplish the objective of sealing, leave the wood with a natural look similar to BLO, and is super easy to use, then I could consider that.
-It needs to be a finish that is easily obtainable or mixable.
-The paper will need to be adhered to the back surface, so whatever finish is used there will need to accept an adhesive.
Thoughts/ideas are most welcome!