Polyurethene? ? ?

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I'm refinishing a mahogany dining room table top. I plan to strip the old varnish, sand thoroughly, stain, and cover with a high-gloss polyurethene.
Question: Which is better, oil-based or water-based polyurethene?
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If you really want a top notch finish, use the oil base. If it is mahogany, no stain is needed, just the natural beauty of the wood.
Thin the first coat about 25% with mineral spirits Sand with 220 grit Apply second coat, then sand with 220 grit Apply third coat and sand with 20 Apply fourth coat, let it cure a minimum of 2 weeks. sand with 400 grit Sand with 600 grit Rub with pumice Rub with rottenstone Wax Admire
Yes, it is worth the time to do it right
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Water base cures faster, oil has more time to level out smoother. Water base probably wont be as impervious to a stain from a wet cup sitting. Gloss oil is a harder finish. Gloss is the right way to go as the dulling agent to make satin finishes makes the product cloudy, not as clear so it will hide grains beauty, and the dulling agent makes it softer. For a table I would use gloss poly over water base and do as Ed says. Or do the final coat in satin if you wish.
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Ray wrote:

Oil. It will enhance the natural color of the mahogany and is harder. Skip the stain, mahogany is too pretty to stain. IMO, you would also do better with semi-gloss ...high gloss will show every imperfection.
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On 8/7/2010 8:05 AM, dadiOH wrote:

Besides which, it's difficult to do a good stain job on something that's already been finished before.
IMO, you would also do better

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wrote:

It's a crime to buy or use semi-gloss or satin finish polys for furniture, cabinets, etc.
Always apply full gloss poly. Let the last coat cure fully and then you can add a semi-gloss finish -- the quick way to do that is simply by rubbing the surface with #0000 steel wool and wax.
The gives a semi gloss effect on the surface. If you use those other products, you'll have the semi-opaque effect through the entire depth of the finish which masks the natural beauty of the wood.
I always prefer to use oil-based poly UNLESS the natural yellowing of the poly over time is going to be a problem. If you really need that color stability, start looking for a good water based poly. Of course, the yellowing is not going to be an issue on mahogany.
I highly recommend applying the poly with a Woosters foam brush. They're inexpensive and you can find them at Lowes. They are an idiot-proof way to apply nice thin, even coats without streaks. They are simply brilliant!
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Malcolm Hoar wrote:

Do you mean - seriously - that you can tell the difference between a piece of wood finished totally with semi-gloss vs. one finished with gloss except for the last coat? Sorry, I don't believe it. Not unless you put on scads and *SCADS* of semi-gloss coats.
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Anyone that is serious about nice finishes can. Really, they can.
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wrote:

I can see the difference, and my eyes are pretty old. I build guitars out of exotic woods as a hobby. I don't use poly on them, or course, but I use it elsewhere. The same rule applies.
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4-6 costs of semi-gloss? Yes, I can see the difference easily.
3-5 costs of gloss followed by one coat of semi-gloss? It's doubtful if I can see the difference in the finish.
But why buy two types of poly? One can does it all!
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On Aug 7, 6:47pm, snipped-for-privacy@malch.com (Malcolm Hoar) wrote:

Hardness. The flatteners in semi-gloss affect the hardness of the poly.
If the OP wants the most durable finish, he should go with a two part catalyzed water based polyurethane meant for floors. Traffic and Trek Plus are two brand names.
http://woodworkersjournal.com/forum/archive/index.php?t-8392.html The last post in that thread also addresses the apparent sheen of gloss with final semi gloss vs all semi gloss.
R
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om> wrote:

Thats expensive stuff, is it even sold in quarts.
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.com> wrote:

Hey, it's my job to spend other people's money. ;)
As far as I know it's only sold in gallons.
R
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id.com> wrote:

So probably 100$ and he will have 7 quarts left.
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On Sun, 8 Aug 2010 04:12:46 -0700 (PDT), ransley

That's a substantial profit! He'll be a millionaire in no time.
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alid.com> wrote:

So he'll have enough to do more furniture, his foyer floor or whatever, and the table will be finished in a day. Someone else was suggesting multiple coats and taking weeks to do the work. There are always trade offs in life.
R
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nvalid.com> wrote:

Or he is like me, and it will sit in his basement till the can rust away.
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On Sun, 08 Aug 2010 07:27:07 -0700, Smitty Two

But his profit is in polyurethane. Try to spend that when your shopping.
If it's too heavy to carry you can carry a Polyurethane Debit Card.
But the store has to have a Polyurethane Modem or it won't work.
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I think we're talking about different issues.
With regular poly, I see no advantage to buying semi-gloss. Applying full gloss oil-based poly and knocking down the shine with wire wool or similar is a proven technique that has stood the test of time.
Now, if you want to use specialized polys with Aluminum Oxide for a harder finish, that's potentially an option. It works on factory finished hardwood floors, for sure. I'm less convinced that it works well on hand finished furniture.
Maybe it does? But I wouldn't consider this a normal and customary approach to finishing home woodwork.
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I can and have on doors I used to restore with 5-6 coats of woods like walnut and 1/4 sawn oak. I regretted the color and depth andd clarity that I lost on a job using a satin on all coats, look in the can, satin is cloudy, maybe what I had was more so than others.
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