stain table and slides?


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Old 09-14-09, 08:20 PM
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stain table and slides?

I'm refinishing a vintage oak table and am ready to apply stain. I just realized that I have no idea what to do with the underside of the table top. The wood is red oak, and I am staining it a deep dark cherry color.

If I leave the underside unstained won't it be obvious? Previous finish was a light golden color, so it wasn't obvious that it wasn't stained.

If I stain the underside, then what do I do about the wood slides that are used to open the table? Do I take them off and leave them their original color, or stain the outer sides being careful not to stain inbetween the slides?

Any help is appreciated!
 
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Old 09-15-09, 07:37 AM
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Don't totally understand the problem but -

If the underside of the table is not visible during normal use, don't bother with a stain. An exception would be any part of the underside on the outside of the table skirt - that should be stained. For protection against warping in the future, it should have at least a coat of sealer.

As far as the slides - after leaves are inserted these are not visible. I wouldn't do anything.
 
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Old 09-15-09, 09:48 AM
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Thank you very much for the reply. I'm probably overly paranoid that the underside will show during normal use and that is why I'm considering staining it.

My fear is that I will do something that will alter how the slides currently function. They are very smooth and easy to use.

Would you seal the underside of the table? I read that not doing so can cause it to expand and contract at a different rate than the top side of the table, causing the poly to crack over time. Is this true? If I do seal the underside, what about where the slides go? Would I leave those unsealed so I don't alter functionality?
 
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Old 09-15-09, 06:14 PM
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I also would not recommend staining or finishing the slides or else they will stick. Anything that slides wood against wood should be left bare, with the exception of a little wax IF needed. The underside is up to you, but yes if you wanted to get technical the table top will be less prone to expansion and contraction if you apply a coat of finish to the bottom of the table. It will help seal out humidity, making the wood more stable. But if you think about all the trim in your house... baseboard, casing, jambs... it is not stained and varnished on all 4 sides (at a minimum, the back side is bare) and it does just fine. So I wouldn't lose too much sleep over the bottom of the table which no one sees except for the kids crawling on the ground.
 
 

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