I'm approaching the finishing stages of a coffee table I'm making for
my sister. It's walnut with cherry trim. I'm leaning toward Behlen's
Rock Hard Tabletop varnish for a warm look and a hard,
My plan is to thin the varnish using the recommended thinner and wipe
it on with a rag, doing about 5-6 thin coats.
The only problem is I want a satin finish, and this varnish only comes
glossy. I've never rubbed out a finish before and I'm afraid or
ruining it. So would it be a bad idea to mix the varnish with
something else (say another brand of satin varnish)?
I've mostly been using Tried and True finishes, but I don't think they
will cure as hard as I want for the table top.
Oh, and I really only have a week for the finishing process, so I have
to rule out anything that will take longer than that.
Looking for opinions, thanks!
Don't mix chemistries. Instead get some 0000 steel wool and if that
isn't to your liking go over it with 000. You aren't likely to screw up
the finish with steel wool once the finish is HARDENED properly. Mixing
brands of finish is not a good idea at ALL.
Recommendation for finishing books: Bob Flexner's "understanding Wood
Finishing" and Fine Woodworking's "Finishes & Finishing Techniques".
The nice thing about the FWW one is that each chapter is written by a
different fellow, giving you a broad spectrum of opinion on techniques.
In my VERY limited experience. I would not use a wipe-on varnish if you
intend to rub out the finish. I tried this last week and I cut through the
finish and had to restain the piece. If you wanna rub out a finish use 3-4
coats of brush on varnish.
IMHO I would use another varnish with the sheen you are after.
I go same resin in another brand that has a satin mix. Part of what makes
the varnish "hard" is the lack of mica or whatever else they add to make a
satin finish. Got to use the proprietary "reducer" for thinning.
Please, no toddlers around the coffee table.
I finished an oak kitchen table with wipe-on satin poly and it looks
beautiful. That is, until we put anything even remotely hot on it. There
is a ring for every coffee cup placed on the thing since I refinished the
table. Hot food placed on a cold regular dinner plate will cause an outline
of the center of the plate on the finish. Cold water is no problem.
The problem seems to be getting less so over time. It's been over a month
since I put the finish on the table.
I'm planning on lightly sanding down the existing wipe-on poly and then
reapplying a different poly. Any suggestions? And any idea why the
existing finish doesn't like hot objects?
Visit http://www.boltassociates.com/ for Current Weather in Beltsville,
plus pics of family, friends, birds, plants and places.
So I was under the impression that Behlen's Rock Hard Tabletop was the
hardest varnish I could use. But now I'm starting to think that a
Poly varnish might be as hard or harder.
I definitely want to avoid watermarks and rings caused by heat. I
don't particularly care about using poly vs. natural varnishes. Yes
poly can look like plasticy crap if it's not done right, but I'm not
concerned with that.
I'm looking at the Sam Maloof oil/poly satin finish now. (I refuse to
believe that this looks like plasticy crap when done!). Has anyone
used this stuff on a tabletop? Is it durable enough to take some
abuse? Will it leave rings?
One of the hardest and most foolproof finishes I know is polyester resin. I
have dropped a golf ball from three feet and left absolutely no mark, and it
will handle heat. It is perfect for bar tops and faux (such as marbled)
tops. I have done many reception desks, bar tops, conference table and desk
tops. It can be finished to a satin or high gloss. This is the same finish
used on Japanese produced pianos. I have sprayed it with a standard HVLP
gun for years. Basically the process involves a sealer coat reduced with
acetone (supplied air respirator with full face protection required, you
don't want it in your eyes). After the sealer has cured, three double wet
coats applied 5 minutes apart (it will not sag with this process) gives a
full build which is color-sanded and buffed using a professional polisher
after curing. Curing can be accelerated to a one hour process by building
an oven of appropriate size for your projects. Donald M. Steinert produces
a detailed pamphlet on the process and sells products such as buffing wheels
and European-produced sandpaper. He uses this process in refinishing exotic
hardwood auto interiors. Steinert's phone: (541) 846-6835
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.