All Replies on Needing help matching the finish on table top to the table stand and chairs

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View DwightSchrute's profile

Needing help matching the finish on table top to the table stand and chairs

by DwightSchrute
posted 09-15-2018 02:39 AM

7 replies so far

View bilyo's profile


1163 posts in 1960 days

#1 posted 09-15-2018 03:39 AM

That is an interesting and very attractive top. If it were mine, I don’t think I would worry about getting an exact match. It could be just the lighting, but the legs and chair backs don’t appear match exactly anyway. I would try to get close to what we see in the top rail of the chair back; maybe a dark cherry stain and a clear topcoat of your choice. It wouldn’t upset me to see a clear finish on what you have now without the stain. I think the contrast might look good.

What are the dark splotches on the top? Does it still need some stripping and/or sanding? If it is a veneer (it probably is) be very careful when sanding.

View DwightSchrute's profile


4 posts in 747 days

#2 posted 09-15-2018 12:07 PM

Yes, the table top still needs a little touch up with some more stripping. I’ve never stained veneer before – same rules apply as regular wood? Water-based and gel stains will go on more even without blotching? Also I intend on using an oil-based wipe on poly, will that be compatible with a water-based stain?

View bilyo's profile


1163 posts in 1960 days

#3 posted 09-15-2018 04:55 PM

I am not a finishing expert. So, others may have different opinions. So far, I’m not a big fan of water based stain. The ones I’ve used tend to “stiffen up” so rapidly that you can’t easily blend from one area to the next. Not sure whether to blame the product or the user. However, I have had very good results with General Finishes oil based Gel stain. My technique may be controversial, but it works for me: I start by applying a liberal coat of danish oil wiping it off after it appears to have soaked in and before it starts to set. I let it dry for only about 24 hours and then apply the gel stain. I think the gel stain and the danish blend somewhat and it does a good job of preventing blotching on the cherry that I mostly work with. It is OK to allow the danish to dry longer. Doing so will only keep the stain from soaking in as much and the results will be a lighter color. I then allow the danish and stain to dry about 48 hours or more before putting on my finish. There are some commercial products that are for preventing blotching. I’ve tried some and I like this system better.

Keep in mind that the 1st coat of poly may pull up a small amount of the stain. So it is good to allow the stain to dry as long as possible. I’ve never had this become an issue. It is just a little alarming to see some color on your brush tip when you are applying a clear finish. One solution to this is to use a rattle can of poly for the first coat. Or, spray a coat on shellac for your first coat. Or, for a project this small, just use the rattle can for all coats.

One more thing: don’t be afraid to thin your poly. On the can it will say “don’t thin”. Ignore that. They say that for emissions reasons. Thinning it will make it work much better/easier and will result in a thinner coat that will not leave your project looking like it is coated in plastic. You said that you plan to use a wipe-on poly. You can do that or buy regular poly and thin it yourself. Same thing.

Again, be careful sanding that veneer.

Good luck. Please let us see the results.

View DwightSchrute's profile


4 posts in 747 days

#4 posted 09-15-2018 09:26 PM

Thank you for the thorough explanation. I do not have much experience with finishes, and have never thought of applying danish oil as a sort of wood conditioner for the stain but I will give it a try. I will be sure to post the results (on the condition it turns out halfway decent lol)

View Lazyman's profile


5828 posts in 2245 days

#5 posted 09-16-2018 02:55 AM

If by any chance the bottom of the table has the same wood/veneer, you can experiment on the bottom. Or maybe on the backside of the aprons or the bottom of the chairs.

When trying to get a specific color, I like using the general finishes water based stains. Not only can you easily mix different colors to get a color match but you can add analine dye. For example, I bought their black cherry WB stain and I put some stain in a jar and added several drops of black walnut analine dye until I got the browner color I wanted.. When applying the GF WB stains make sure you don’t let the stain dry out before you wipe it off.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View DwightSchrute's profile


4 posts in 747 days

#6 posted 10-22-2018 02:49 PM

Finally found the time to finish it. As you can see, I ended up leaving the contrast on the table top vs the rest. I found it too difficult to try to match the stain exactly, and I did not want to risk messing it up and then having to start all over. Thanks again for everyone’s assistance.

View Aj2's profile


3355 posts in 2655 days

#7 posted 10-22-2018 03:32 PM

Looks great you made a good choice.

-- Aj

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