Dining room table re-finish top coat


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Old 07-01-10, 04:06 PM
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Dining room table re-finish top coat

I am re-finishing a dining room table and need advice on the top coat. It was birch with a maple stain. The old surface turned white when tested with denatured alcohol. Does this mean that it was a shellac finish? I am nervous about applying shellac and wonder if boiled linseed oil would be better. I do not want to varnish it. What is your recomendation? Note that I have been through the steps of thoroughly removing the old fnish, sanding and re-staining with an oil based stain - ZAR Honey maple (it looks good!).
 
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Old 07-02-10, 03:37 AM
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Welcome to the forums!

Since you've completely removed the old finish it doesn't matter what kind of finish it was. Why don't you want to use varnish? IMO 3 coats of poly will give you a better/longer wearing and better looking finish than anything else commonly available for a diyer.
 
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Old 07-02-10, 05:59 AM
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I agree with Mark - three coats of polyurethane is what I'd do, since all options are available with the old finish removed
 
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Old 07-02-10, 08:42 AM
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rwith1

Thanks for the replies. The three center leaves are in good condition so I wanted to avoid also re-finishing them which is why I preferred to avoid polyurethane - I think the leaves are either laquered or shellaced. The stain I used looks like it is an exceedingly close match. Do you still think poly is the right way to go?
 
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Old 07-02-10, 09:58 AM
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If it's a commercial finish, it is likely lacquer

Not sure what's best here, I know I'm not set up to spray lacquer, I might hire the finish done

Without worrying about matching the leaves, poly's a no-brainer for me
 
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Old 07-02-10, 11:29 AM
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They make a brushable lacquer although I've not used it.

Does the finish match have to be perfect? Even if they are recoated with the exact same finish, the table will likely look fresher/newer than the leafs. How often are the leafs installed? would it be much of an issue if there is a slight variance? When they are installed won't the table be cluttered up with a feast? or maybe even a table cloth?
 
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Old 07-02-10, 04:56 PM
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rwith1

OK, you have both convinced me to go with Polyurethane.
Thanks for the help, Roger
 
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Old 07-05-10, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by rwith1
OK, you have both convinced me to go with Polyurethane.
Thanks for the help, Roger
Some guy told me awhile back:

"Lacquer is like looking through glass whereas poly is like seeing through plastic."


He's right.


Just a thought.
 
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Old 07-05-10, 09:51 AM
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Laquer is my best friend,

Even though the stuff almost killed me, I still use it. I have sprayed more than 100 gallons of laquer in my little shop, I have lost my sense of smell completely, can't hear but every other word, and my hands and head are healed, in the name of Jesus.
Anyway, back to the laquer, it is used widely because it is so easy, dries super fast, goes on smooth, you really can't miss with the stuff. But if you are sold on the take forever to dry urethane, that's ok,, you have time. Use a sanding sealer for the base, it will raise the grain and seal the wood, make sure it is clean, no putty, filler, yet, use denatured alcohol to find any glue or other hidden goodies that will show up when the final coat goes on and it is too later to do anything about, finish sand with 120 min, 150 would be better. Ok, now the sanding sealer, you can putty any holes now, with a matching color putty, sand again, now thin your first coat of urethane, with mineral spirits, 50/50, trust me, paint, dry, sand, second coat, 75/25, paint, dry, sand, 3rd coat, full strength, paint, dry, should not need sanding, It could be OK as is, but you will have to decide that, a 4th coat is up to you,but to polish it, use 4-0 steel wool and lemon oil. It will be a work or art. You can spray it too if you have the equipment. Just thin it down.
 
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Old 07-05-10, 02:02 PM
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I understand about the occupational over exposure to solvents wish I didn't While I used to think of a mask as optional, now days I never forget my respirator when it's time to spray

....... but I did want to add that not all polys are compatible with all sanding sealers - so read the label. I often use sanding sealer and varnish [instead of poly] both because of the compatibility issue and varnish dries a little quicker and is easier to sand.
 
 

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