I have a display case made of walnut ( I'm pretty sure, may be pecan.)
I've had it for about 10 years unfinished and it looks a little rough
in places. Not beat up, but where it has gotten wet a few times over
the years and dried.
I have a mini-wax cherry stain that I'd like to put on the wood and
then finish with a polyurethane gloss ( I think the poly satin looks
too much like dull wax.)
The problem is I really suck when using poly. I either put it on too
thin and get areas where I miss or I put on too much and I get areas
of varying thickness. I've tried to let it set up a few days and then
sand, but the sandpaper gets all gummy. Maybe it needs a few weeks to
cure, I don't know. I was thinking of using the stain/poly combo. If
all I have to do it brush it on and then wipe it off I don't see how I
can mess that up. Advice/remarks/suggestions?
Also, I am thinking I should sand the wood first. What grit should I
use? Does it matter if I sand with the grain or not?
I treated a white pine board with the stain and it came out pretty
light after several applications, but when I tested a small area on
the Walnut, it was pretty dark. Is this common?
I looked at some pics of Walnut on the net and I guess it is not
walnut. I'm not good at ID'ing cut woods. Trees, I can do. A piece
of wood, other then pine or oak, not a chance. Well, maybe balboa and
rosewood. And ebony. But that is it.
You need to find out and not wreck a potentially nice piece of wood with a
stain choice for that particular wood.
How old is your poly? I've had this problem with very old poly. I have
much improved my results by cutting the poly about 30% with mineral
spirits and applying it with a padded rag. It takes a few coats but with
220 wet sanding between (use a wet/dry paper or you will have a mess)
Personal preference. Most feel that separating the processes allows the
stain to penetrate better and makes a better display of the grain.
Yep, you should do just that. The grit of the paper depends on the
of the wood. If it has a lot of deep scratches in it from machine marks and
you may want to sart with 100 grit, move to 150, 180 - most stop here but I
finish at 220. I use to get into the 300's but found that it was wasted
effort for the
result that I liked. Some processes make good use of highly polished
Heck yea. They are different woods with different characteristics with
to penetration, hardness and the natural color which all affect the final
run a sample of your wood using the intended sanding grits, stain and poly
to be sure you like what you will finally get.
Suggestions. Have fun, take your time, go to some of the online woodworking
read up. Finally, whatever the result just remember, it's a learning
experience and the next
one will be better.
Cut your poly with 1/3 thinner and STIR. do not shake the can, adds
bubbles. Use a foam brush if you want it thick, use a rag and wipe it
in if you don't. Always let the stain dry thoroughly (at least a few
days) before you apply the poly.
Walnut is a dark wood. you may want to consider taking a few pictures,
posting on photos.yahoo.com or something and giving us the address...
someone can probably tell you what it is...or you could google "wood
species" or somethign and see if you can find a grain similar to it.
Best of luck, sounds like a really neat project that you can pass down
through through the next few generations...if you take the time and do
it right (which you are as you're educating yourself rather than just
doing it, my most common mistake)
I'm jealous that you have such a cool blank canvas to make a great
piece of woodworking art.
Any chance you live in the south east? You are welcome to come over
and help me.
I do not know about art work. It would be nice, but I'd truly settle
for "It doesn't suck." I guess anything I do with my hands is a
result of skill, because I truly Iack any talent.
But I like the idea of something I can pass down to my kids. I'll
have to give that some serious thought.
Is your gmail a valid address? Could I send you a picture of it to
see if you know the wood? It not, it is ok. I'll look at google and
try to figure it out.
On 5 Dec 2006 07:18:32 -0800, " firstname.lastname@example.org"
Oddly enough I cleaned the brush with mineral spirits..well actually I
dipped it into the MS and the thought may as well do something with
the remaining stuff on the brush and used it to "paint" a wood handle
for an outdoor tool. It worked great for that. But the I used it to
recoat something else I had polyed the day before. When I checked it
the next day it was still tacky and I figured I had messed up. But
now, several days latter I rechecked and it looks good. I did not
think to cut the poly though. Thanks for the idea.
So, if I can ID the wood, you can give me a suggestion as far as stain
Would it be possible to "oversand" the wood and seal the pores so it
will not take a good stain? I have sand paper from 60 to 2000 ( I've
been refinishing knives to a mirror finish.) Some of the different
brands of sand paper I have for a given grit seem to have more "Bite".
For example both may be 500, but one feels much rougher then the
Thanks for your help Chizzard52
I just re-finished a chest with poly using a method from Wood Magazine.
Sand wood to 220 grit.
Apply a light coat of poly. Let dry Sand lightly with 220
Apply a second coat. Let it dry for 2 full weeks.
Wet sand with 320 grit
Polish with pumice
Polish with rottenstone (it will look kind of dull)
Wax with paste wax
This is the best finished piece I've ever made. It has a satin sheen, is
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