I have just finished a contempory maple desktop (for my office) that
has inlays of ebony, cocobolo, rosewood, and a few other exotic woods.
I use my current desktop to write on, I put drinks on it, and I do
some engineering drawings by hand, i.e., the old fashion way. So, I
need a smooth hard top - one that I can work on every day. I have
always liked the "soft" richness of an oil finish and I have had
sucess in the past with using Homer's tung oil finish, waiting till it
dries and then applying polyurethane over it. I have also used an oil
finish followed by waxing, but I don't think that a wax finish has the
hardness or eveness of a poly and a wax finish typically discolors
when you forget and leave a drink on it.
Anyway, I did exactly what I mentioned - an oil finish followed by
polyurethane. The cocobolo and rosewood did not like this at all (the
poly wouldn't dry and the grain even seemed to raise on the rosewood).
So, I stripped that off and tried Miniwax's sanding sealer before the
poly. Still no luck. So I sanded back down to bare wood and I am
back to square one. (By the way the bottom of the desktop which had
no exotic woods, finished perfectly - so I know my finishing approach
is sound for maple).
So, now I am thinking about re-doing the tung oil finish followed by
Bulls Eye Dewaxed Shellac followed by poly. What are everyone's
comments on this approach? Again, it's that cocobolo and rosewood
(very oily woods) which are giving me the problems. Note, I will be
sure and wipe both the cocobolo and the rosewood with denatured
alcohol (the solvent in shellac) before I apply. Any other
Thanks for everybody's time