Refinishing Oak Table Top Problems

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Old 02-14-13, 01:22 PM
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Refinishing Oak Table Top Problems

Have an antique oak dining table with leafs that I decided to sand and refinish the top surface only.

Sanded lightly with 150 and 220 grit paper.

Have applied five coats of MinWax water-based Polycrylic clear gloss. Have lightly sanded with 220 and tack clothed between every coat.

I am still getting areas where it appears that the finish has soaked into the wood and there is no gloss in those spots. I don't believe I had anything sanded to bare wood.

What am I doing wrong here?
You can see some of the "blotch" look in the pic I hope.
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Old 02-14-13, 01:35 PM
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Do you know what was on the table originally? Polycrylic can be a less than ideal choice on top of an oil based finish.
 
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Old 02-14-13, 01:37 PM
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Probably had and oil based poly or a varnish.

So, ought I sand off all of this water-based and do a good varnish like I have on my boat?
 

Last edited by frjeff; 02-14-13 at 01:39 PM. Reason: add info
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Old 02-14-13, 01:42 PM
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Wait until Mark (marksr) responds but my thought would be to sand it off and use oil based polyurethane instead.
 
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Old 02-14-13, 01:46 PM
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Would I need to take it down to bare wood, or would a light sanding for adhesion do the trick?
 
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Old 02-14-13, 01:51 PM
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I would take it down far enough to know you got the polycrylic removed but Mark may have another idea entirely.
 
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Old 02-14-13, 03:38 PM
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If the table is an antique, more than likely it was originally finished in either shellac or lacquer. Oil base poly dos fine over those finishes.

I rarely ever use water based poly so I'm not overly familiar with it Did you sand in between coats? Those spots almost look like trash got in the poly. Before I'd condemn the Polycrylic I'd sand it smooth, remove the dust and apply another coat. If the polycrylic is drying to fast while you apply it - thin it with a small amount of water.

I'm not fond of apply oil base poly over multiple coats of waterbased. The water based poly doesn't dry to as hard a film as the oil does [which is why oil wears better] It's not a great idea to have a soft coating under a hard coating. If you do decide to switch to oil poly, you don't have to sand off all the polycrylic but do need to remove the lions share.
 
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Old 02-14-13, 05:59 PM
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I can't really see what is the spots in the picture. I do see what look like to be small bubbles in the finish. I like to use the polycrylic around the house for my stuff. I've done a few shelves, my mantel, and this adhoc desk I am using right now. It will not resist wear as well as oil based polyurethane, but if you take care of your things, you will see many years of service from this finish.\

Here are my thoughts: First, do not drag the brush across the rim of the can after you dip it in to pick up finish. That will encourage those bubbles to appear on the surface. You should dab it against the side of the can. If the can is too full, get something else to pour it in so you can make that move. Second, the dull spots may be from applying the finish too thin in those areas, or from over brushing. You don't want to brush the finish once it has started to dry. When you are applying your coat, take a look at it from all angles to make sure you are getting sufficient coverage. If you can place a light that shines at a low angle across the top, that will help you find those areas.
 
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