I've used it (either oil/poly, or the Sam Maloof canned) extensively on
tables (end/hall) that don't get much activity, which have all held up fine
for a number of years. I have also used it on two coffee tables, both of
which have been used extensively and the finish is holding up well after
three or four years use.
In addition, I recently applied a Sam Maloof finish to a hope chest that
sits at the end of a bed, gets occasional use as bench, with shopping bags,
suitcases, etc., injudiciously applied ... while it is still too early to
tell, so far so good.
When I build a piece with this finish for a client, I usually give them a
bottle of the oil/poly/wax mixture and tell them to apply it whenever they
feel the finish needs to be "refreshed", about every year or so.
Being that simple to maintain, my feeling is that you'll be fine.
Now that's what I like to hear. Think I'll skip that poly coat after
all and leave it as is. How many coats of the oil/poly do you
typically use (and thanks to everyone for all the feedback, much
I generally stop at five coats .... takes five days in good weather. A PITA,
but worth it for the final results.
Here's five coats of Sam Maloof oil/poly finish, and two coats of Sam
Maloof's oil/poly/wax on a cherry/walnut hope chest done last December ...
picture doesn't do the finish justice:
No comparison, IME ... it is a rather soft finish, even with many built up
layers, and not all that durable.
I also love it, and it is generally my first choice on things of which I am
most proud. Those pieces that deserve the kind of care that it will take in
the future to keep the luster and finish up to par.
It is that kind of finish, relatively soft, not very durable, but one worthy
of a great deal of respect to my estimation, and not something I would want
to put a layer of straight poly on, although poly is one of the ingredients
of the finish.
That said, I've often wondered what doing that would result in (maybe even
shellac instead of poly), but thus far have resisted the temptation for the
above reasons, so let us know how it turns out if you do decide to go that
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