Dining table inspired by the Greene & Greene Thorsen table #24: Testing Finish Options, Part 2

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Blog entry by TungOil posted 09-18-2017 02:00 AM 1453 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 23: Testing Finish Options Part 24 of Dining table inspired by the Greene & Greene Thorsen table series Part 25: Finish Schedule Established and Start Spraying »

After determining that I had a corrosion issue with my older spray gun, I ordered a replacement. My original order was for a CAT HVLP gun, but I ended up ordering a DeVilbiss GFG-670 Plus conversion gun instead. While waiting for the new gun to arrive, I completed a few projects in preparation for spraying.

First, I prepared a large batch of stain using General Finishes water based dye stain, mixed using Darrell Peart’s formula of 7 parts orange to 4 parts medium brown. I mixed up about a half gallon to be sure I don’t run out part way through the project.

Next I built a finishing turntable to make spraying easier. I picked up a 12” lazy Susan bearing at the local hardware store.

I pulled some scrap plywood out of my inventory and created a 18” x 60” rectangular lazy Susan. By spinning the piece being sprayed, I can keep the overspray headed in the general direction of the exhaust fan and also take advantage of the raking light from my halogen work light.

Finally, I added some tank capacity to my compressed air system with a 10 gallon Air Keg from Rolair. The extra 10 gallons will help out when I start spraying out the large tops, since the 9 CFM requirement for this gun slightly exceeds my compressor capacity.

After the new spray gun arrived I prepared some test samples. I started with a 1.3mm tip. The pattern seemed heavy in the center and after I sprayed out two samples the orange peel confirmed that I needed to move down a tip size. I took the ROS to one of the samples to sand out the orange peel and shot another coat using a 1.2mm tip which went down much more smoothly (left sample below).

For the next sample, I changed out the tip to a 1.0mm and applied 3 coats of stain, scuffing lightly with 600 between coats to knock back the raised grain. I then switched to the 1.2mm tip to apply the topcoat layers. Three applications of EM6000 gloss followed by a coat of satin. For this sample, I sanded the top half of the triangle with a 400G Abranet pad before applying the final coat of satin. The result was a much smoother finish that still allows some grain to come through.

I like the close to the wood appearance for the base, but for the top I might prefer a smoother finish that does not allow the grain to peek through. For my next sample I will try a grain filler.

While waiting on the grain filler I decided to get the pedestal bases stained. I sprayed an initial coat of dye stain on both bases which raised the grain significantly. The color is a lighter brown after just one application of stain, and the ribbon striping of the quarter sawn sapele is just starting to show.

After a heavy block sanding I applied a second coat of dye stain. This time the grain raise was minimal and required a lighter block sanding. I then applied the third and final coat of stain. For each coat of stain I work with the spray gun in one hand and a blue shop towel in the other. I spray a section, then wipe off the excess and blend while the dye is still liquid. By the third application of stain, the bases take on a deep brown that really highlights the grain nicely.

To spray the bases I used the 3 oz. Dekups system. Dekups is a disposable cup system that fits in place of the normal aluminum cup. This is the smallest cup available and is intended for auto touchup work. The small size allows me to spray in the tight spaces inside the base.

Next step: Test the grain filler and finalize my finish schedule, stain the top and leaves and apply the topcoat.

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

4 comments so far

View splintergroup's profile


5844 posts in 2461 days

#1 posted 09-18-2017 02:55 PM

Good to see the “testing on scraps” aspect of finishing. I like how you are dialing in your tip sizes and chemistry, nice methodical approach.

View EarlS's profile


4748 posts in 3587 days

#2 posted 09-18-2017 05:11 PM

Tung, I especially like the fact that even your scraps are G&G right down to the ebony plugs ;+D

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View TungOil's profile


1384 posts in 1734 days

#3 posted 09-19-2017 01:23 AM

SG- it’s a good thing I’m getting close to having the finish schedule dialed in, I only have two scraps left from the table top!

Tung, I especially like the fact that even your scraps are G&G right down to the ebony plugs ;+D

- EarlS

Just staying in character! Actually I wanted to be sure that if I needed to sand around the plugs that I would be able to do it satisfactorily.

My first few coats on the grain filled sample went down tonight. The filler made a huge difference in the finish quality. This sample has 3 coats of gloss applied and still needs a final coat of satin but the finish is nicely smooth:

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

View Mean_Dean's profile


7057 posts in 4386 days

#4 posted 09-19-2017 06:05 PM

Man this is really looking nice! I agree that the grain filler is a good idea for the top, so you can have a glass-smooth finish. Then let the grain really come through on the bases!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

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