Fragile earrings / pendants: how to finish these?

I’m really pleased that these came out so well. This is 3/16" walnut. They are fragile; I broke two just getting them free of the tabs, which I did with a scroll saw. Now, how to put an attractive finish on these guys? I have an alligator-clip clamp to hold them, but I don’t know if hand-painting with a tiny brush is a good idea, and I doubt that using a spray can would come out very nicely. I don’t have much experience or knowledge with finishing and don’t know what would be best. What would you do?

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Have you every tried wood hardener? It will make those stronger. Not sure the finish it leaves on that
Oh and those are beautiful.

How about a tung oil finish?
I have used it on walnut before with good results. (The stuff from the local hardware store, I haven’t managed to pick up real tung oil yet.)
It also hardens in the wood to add strength.

I agree on the tung oil finish. I use it all the time, it will soak in and harden the wood a bit, leaving a nice matte/satin finish. It really protects the wood and brings out the wood grain and color.

Thanks, all. On the way to get some tung oil now.

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I found this.

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I second the boiled linseed oil recommendation. Easy to use, easy refresh at a later date and nearly impossible to do wrong. Only thing is on open pore woods like oak, and to a certain extent walnut, it can seep for awhile and should be wiped off to prevent it drying “goopy”.

Thanks for all your help. I went after tung oil and wound up getting Danish, as it was half the price. I have the first batch drying now. I will also try boiled linseed oil. This is a good chance for me to have a learning experience, since the “test products” will be identical. I’ll show results on here.

I’ve had great results using a mixture of tung oil, spar varnish and turpentine. Boiled linseed oil will also work, for the initial coats I mix 50% turpentine 25% varnish and 25% oil. Soaks in better/faster. Later coats I mix about equal parts. On open pore woods wet sanding with 220 or finer produces a slurry that fills the grain somewhat. Apply with a rag, brush, or dip small parts, Let dry till the surface starts to look dry in spots, then wipe remaining finish off.
Always dispose of the rags properly, spontaneous combustion is real.

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