wood identification and finish


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Old 01-26-08, 01:07 AM
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wood identification and finish

I bought a second hand dining room table and thought to refinish it. The finish looked nice but had a few bubbles. (It was a darker brown with rosy/red wood showing through it). Mistake. I put on the stripper but very little was removed and you could see where I laid on the stripper with a spatula. (thought it was just varnish)...I don't know what it was, maybe years of wax and polish. I had to sand it down to the wood and this took DAYS, using 40x sandpaper which did not scratch the wood at all. (I tried to identify with denatured alcohol and turpentine).
The wood is very heavy and extremely hard, like sanding glass. It is wide strips of a pale blush-rose and edges are an ivory color. It is lovely!
I don't want to make another mistake. Someone said that this could be a form of rosewood?

Questions: What sort of finish? I have available an alkyd matte varnish or furniture oil and wax.
For the legs, they are more varied if wet, so I was thinking of a light stain. Would you recommend a stain on the table top as well to bring out the colors of the wood?

Thank you!

Thank you
 
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Old 01-26-08, 04:02 AM
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The wood you're describing does sound like rosewood.
I do not recommend the use of an oil type finish on this type of table. There will be glasses, warm plates and lots of spills and drips. If moisture gets to rosewood, it will turn it black. Removing the undesirable colors will be difficult.
It sounds like the finish you removed may have been a catalyzed finish. That type of finish has an acid added to it during application that aids in drying and creates a very hard and durable finish that is not readily affected by most paint removers. Either that or the stripper you chose wasn't very good.

All that being said, I'd recommend a water based urethane finish. Regular varnish or poly-urethane yellows with age and will distort the color of the rosewood. Waterbased urethanes have achieved a high quality finish that goes on and stays crystal clear. It is unaffected by moisture and very scratch resistant.

Should you choose to stain the rosewood (I prefer not to), do not use a gel stain as this contains products that don't bond very well to a waterbased finish. Use either a straight oil based, or waterbased stain and allow for it to thoroughly dry. Use a stain color that amplifies the grain while toning down the entire piece in a natural appearence. I'd recommend a dark oak or medium walnut color.

Keep in mind when putting on your finish to apply it in thin, even coats. Allow each coat to dry overnight, sand between coats with 220 or 280 grit sandpaper , and clean thoroughly with a damp, cotton rag.

Good luck!

CD
 
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Old 01-26-08, 10:15 AM
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Thanks so much for the clear suggestions.

I have another question about the "water-based" urethane. Is this a "poly-urethane in water base"? or is it specifically called urethane (I realize "poly" means many but?)
I am living in Holland and just beginning to learn some Dutch. When I get to the hardware store, it's a long process of figuring out what is what and how to compare it to our USA products, even when I ask!

If I choose to put on a stain to unify it (and thank you for the suggestion of color)...if it were an oil-based stain...is it okay to put this water-based urethane over it?

Thank you!
 
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Old 01-27-08, 10:01 PM
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Thumbs up Its OK as long as the stain has cured

As long as the stain has cured, it's fine
 

Last edited by the_tow_guy; 01-28-08 at 05:13 AM. Reason: Not necessary to quote entire post.
 

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