advice on table top finish

I have a dining table top with a repaired veneer finish. It has had three coats of waterbased Ronseal called 'Diamond hard varnish' put onto to it. Trouble is, that if water is not wiped off staight away from this varnish (and say gets trapped under a flower vase of water); it creates a white ring stain.
I want to put on an *oiled* based coat and phoned ronseal technical help line to see if it was ok to paint their oil based 'ultra tough varnish' on top of the water based diamond hard varnish. They said it was ok to do so.
I forgot to ask them if the oil based ultra tough is a *polyurathane* varnish or not, and their office is now closed for the weekend. (i want to do it this weekend). I cannot find whether it is or not a polyurathane varnish from their website.
Is this ultra tough varnish likely to be more *scratch resistant* than the diamond hard varnish already on the table or not, would you say?
Also it comes in three finishes; gloss, satin and matt. I would prefer to use the matt, but have been told by someone that usually gloss is more hardwearing than matt paints. Do you think that it would make much difference between gloss and matt with this ultra tough varnish? Thanks for any advice.
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You may have made a poor choice of finishes for your table top. For really tough and scratch resistant coatings, research bar varnishes. There are few environments that take more abuse than a bar does, so what works there should be perfect for your table. As a general rule, most water based polyurethanes are somewhat less durable than oil based.
Joe
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You might want to post this on the wreck (rec.woodworking). You'll likely get some good expert advice from there.
John
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Whoops, I feel sheepish, this already is on the wreck... Should have checked if it was crossposted. (and again, I have nothing actually useful to say on the actual topic of the post....)
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Generally I would not use water-based varnish if there was a choice: especially in an environment where water is likely to be spilt. Also, a table top is one place where I would break my usual rule of 'diamond hard is best' (other types tending to be rather tacky and difficult to sand). The surface of your table *is* going to get scratched, and the harder the finish the worse it will look.
I think that, before trying any drastic varnish treatments, I would try it with linseed/Danish/teak oils, or French polish. At least when these get marked you can just wipe over with white spirit or meths and fine steel wool, before repolishing, and can also add extra wipes of polish/oil whenever you like. Varnish itself is easy enough to put on but sometimes leaves you wishing you hadn't.
S
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Generally I would not use water-based varnish if there was a choice: especially in an environment where water is likely to be spilt. Also, a table top is one place where I would break my usual rule of 'diamond hard is best' (other types tending to be rather tacky and difficult to sand). The surface of your table *is* going to get scratched, and the harder the finish the worse it will look.
I think that, before trying any drastic varnish treatments, I would try it with linseed/Danish/teak oils, or French polish. At least when these get marked you can just wipe over with white spirit or meths and fine steel wool, before repolishing, and can also add extra wipes of polish/oil whenever you like. Varnish itself is easy enough to put on but sometimes leaves you wishing you hadn't.
S
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On Fri, 4 Jun 2010 18:06:40 +0100, john hamilton wrote:

Just finished a small table with the Ronseal Ultra-tough varnish. 2 coats, allowed 48h to dry, went to rub lightly to put a 3rd, coat just on the top and the foam block (the sort with medium and fine grit) didn't do anything for a start! Had to press hard, then gave up and changed to proper paper.
It is PU; resists 'most household chemicals' and boiling water, so if you want to cook the flowers... I used satin and it has a medium, deep sheen to it.
--
Peter.
2x4 - thick plank; 4x4 - two of 'em.
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The additives to dull finishes make them softer so yes gloss is harder but they also make them cloudy, for floors or any wood I always have the first coats gloss then the final coat satin is put down, this gives more wear and more grain is visable. 5 coats of satin and woods beauty of the grains colors will be masked. I would use the gloss then hand rub out the finish for a real smooth hard clear look. If its nice wood you build layers, up to 7 total with the old finish, you can just use 0000 steel wool or use Rotenstone and oil, If they said you can use Their oil poly over Their water base thats great but I have had issues changing products before a near 6 month cure time of the old finish with using poly over oil Varnish, nightmare issues. The oil base is much more solvent than the water base and can seriously affect whats on the table now, But they said its OK!!, so you should be fine [ I hope]
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On Fri, 4 Jun 2010 18:06:40 +0100, "john hamilton"

What did they say about your problem/how to fix it? Did they ask you why you put a commercial floor finish on your dining set? ;)

That's good.

Yes, it is. It's hard to find anything -without- poly in it nowadays. <http://www.decoratingwarehouse.co.uk/attachments/948_Ronseal%20Ultra%20Tough%20Varnish.pdf (Sorry, I couldn't TinyURL it.)
I'm liking the newer acrylics, though.

I doubt it.

If you want matte, use matte. Most people aren't too rough on their tables and most any finish would likely stand up to 90% of the tables out there. I used Behlen's Rockhard Tabletop Finish and don't really care for the gloss, and it scratches.
Of course, I use that table for overhauling tools and equipment, as my soldering station, and I very occasionally eat there. I just can't understand the mild scratching. ;)
G'luck with the new matte tabletop finish.
-- It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. -- Charles Darwin
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