Final stage: Top Coating


Hello, I am hoping for a bit of advice with finishing a wood project. I have undertaken the daunting task of refinishing an indoor table. The table was painted to begin with until I stripped, sanded and stained the wood. I used a dark gel (jel'd) stain as my staining choice. It has now set and remains to be finished with some sort of protective coat. As this is my first project of this sort, I am a bit lost on how to proceed. I know that there are numerous types of top coats to choose from; I just don't know what type is right for my project. I know that I would like to end up with a relatively matte finish, but not as matte as it is now (without the coat). I would like to enhance the depth of the stain. It looks pretty flat as of yet. I am open to and would really appreciate some suggestions. I am all ears.
-Thanks for your time.
-J
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

My first piece of advice would be to get a good finishing book - there are at least a few very good ones out there. I have one by Flexner, and I've heard the one by Jewitt is good too. Check your local library. If you really don't want to buy a book, I'd say either a wipe-on polyurethane or a polyurethane gel finish would be very easy to apply, quite durable, and available in satin gloss. I've also had good luck so far with Behlen Rockhard Tabletop varnish, which is a very thick varnish that's supposed to be very durable and heat-resistant. It dries to a high gloss, so you'd need to rub it down with automotive rubbing compound or ultra-fine steel wool for a less glossy finish. With any of these, be sure to do at LEAST 2-3 coats, and after each coat dries, sand lightly with 320grit before the next coat. Good luck, Andy
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
When you say table, I assume this is like a dinning or kitchen table? if so, you want a fairly durable finish. Working as a hobbiest the easiest way to get a great durable finish is to use a wiping poly. Just get any oil based polyurathane (sp?) and mix it 50% (or more) with mineral spirits. Wipe it on with a lint free padded rag (old tee shirts). Super thin, super even coats. Depending on the absorbancy of the wood you won't even see it build up until the 2nd or third coat. 24 hrs between coats. very lightly sand with 320 or 400 between coats. Watch out for sanding through edges or grain ridges. You could skip sanding the first coat or two.
Once you have enough build, rub it down with 0000 steel wool. This will breal the sheen some. Then wax it it good furniture wax, this will bring the sheen back some. Watch out for build up in goorves in molding, beads, etc. This will shine even if you use a flat poly. I'd suggest sation or semigloss. A purist would use gloss and knock down the sheen with steel wool for the clearest finish without (white) flatteners cloudingt the finish.
Finally (firstly actually) try the entore finish process on the same type of wood, coloerd the same before starting on your project. The one downside to poly is, it ain't comin off once you put it on.
BW
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

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.