I'm near my last coat for a kitchen table refinishing job. I'm using
semi-gloss polycrylic (water-based minwax product) and of course I want
a nice clear smooth finish. SWMBO doesn't want anything remotely
"toxic" on the table top (like wax) because she's doesn't want it
coming off on our food. Being I don't want to use a wax product for
the final stage, is it better not to sand at all or is there a way I
can do a super fine sand and somehow buff out to a wax-like final
shine? If so, what kind of sand paper, steel wool, or wet/dry paper
should I use for best results. I think I saw a 1500 wet/dry paper
somewhere.... And what do I use to buff-out at the end, if that becomes
Thanks for the advice.
I agree - I know it will be hard to convince your wife of this, but wax
isn't toxic to begin with, and after it hardens (if it's carnuba wax or
something else that hardens) there isn't anything at all coming off.
In fact, carnuba wax is used to make the shiny coating on apples, it is
an ingredient of lipstick, and it is used to coat pills in the
pharmaceutical industry. Personally, I'd rather eat off a wax-coated
table than a polycrylic table. If it is a carnuba-based wax, it came
from a palm tree, rather than a synthetic chemical lab somewhere.
Good luck and let us know what you decide,
Just use 0000 steel wool lightly. It would be better with wax. If she
is worried about the solvents in commercial wax you can get just plain
wax vs furniture wax which usually contains Naptha.
On Tue, 06 Sep 2005 17:54:50 GMT, the blithe spirit B a r r y
And knives, sporks, foons, placemats, or tablecloth.
MDP, try Waterlox on the table after thoroughly cleaning it with
a good set of solvents. 6 or 7 rubbed-on coats should do it nicely.
I used Watco on my a dining table in '98 and AFAIK, it's still
going strong. Mom sold it after Dad died and she moved to NorCal 2
years ago. No, I didn't fill the pores and didn't wet-sand at all.
Waterlox would have worked even better and the varnish + tung oil
seal it nice and watertight.
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Thanks everyone for the advice. I admit the wax concern is a little
over-sensitive, but there's the MBO part.. (she doesn't like the wax on
the apples either) and we do have a todler so that can make for over
I'll check out Watrlox and some of the other wax suggestions. You'd
think they make some kind of 100% non-toxic furniture wax. Isn't
there some way to buff out a shine without wax or is that just not
The finish is semi-gloss. It's not so much that I want shine but that
I don't want it too look dull and scuffed. I guess I could just not do
anything to the final coat and hope their aren't any brush marks.
Of course it's possible, done all the time. One rubs out by hand with a
felt pad, abrasives such as rottenstone and a lubricant. You can use
auto body rubbing compound too. You can also use a wool pad on a drill
to do the polishing but it is easy to cut through.
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I hope you didn't find the responses here too depressing! These guys may
complain that they like the woodworking but not the finishing and then go in
for the most elaborate, fancy, or classic, or difficult finishes (well, some
of them) and just plain old polycrylic or polyurethane works perfectly. I
use both/either and dumb old white china bristle brushes and Minwax brand in
the lowest gloss I can find. I like three coats on surface that get a lot
of hard use, never wax, and follow most of the directions on the cans. I've
done stairs, table tops, kitchen island tops, toys, benches, and most of my
arms and legs this way, looks great.
Put on the third coat and let the table rest for a week and then use it.
I would agree with Josie, I do pretty much the same and get very good
results. I use the foam brushes most of the time with the poly and get
a really fine finish. The method to my maddness is to keep a very wet
edge and then let it site for the required time between dry coats,
sanding in between. I have not been able to get as good of a finish
when doing coats after a couple hours of drying. Always find areas
that are too tacky. It takes me several days to reach a good finish
allowing a complete drying between coats.
waiting days for a finish to dry taxes my patience. That's one of the
benefits of spraying lacquer or waterborne polys and lacquers. I can
recoat in less than 40 minutes. Sometimes I've recoated in 20-25
minutes. I live in a reasonably dry climate--Calif. I'm sure my
woodworking brethren in Vegas or Phoenix can beat my recoat times quite
handily. Another advantage to what I use for finishes is that I never
see dust in the finish like I do with slower drying stuff like solvent
based poly. I DO recognize that poly is tough.
I live in VA (often humid) and I'm always thinking *this* will be *the*
time the polyurethane will never ever dry. Like vdubbs I keep a wet edge,
work carefully and let the finish dry, could be a couple of days. I don't
have brush marks. Nor do I have a paint/varnish room - I often do finishing
in the kitchen and then set things to dry in the dining room which has a
door to keep away dust, poodles, and Shelties. I don't think I'll ever have
a space for a spray set up. I often use wipe on poly for surfaces
perpendicular to the floor cause I'm concerned about drips and runs.
My "spray set-up" is my woodshop, which is (was) a 2 car garage.
There's very little over spray with a properly setup HVLP. I turn the
pressure down a bit from max, keep the width to an appropriate setting
and spray away. I've recently stopped draping all my equipment with
sheets, because there really isn't any appreciable overspray. The
downside is that the HVLP stuff cost more than a grand. But hey, it's
"just" money! :)
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