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Need re-finishing tips/ Wax on, Wax off, what next?

1405 Views 7 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  pickpapa
I built a harvest table for my wonderful wife and finished it with one coat of teak oil first, then finishing wax. I am completely unsatisfied with the wax. Several problems came up with this wax. There are numerous water marks, as one might imagine, and mostly, I can see some swirl marks where I just didn't do a good enough job. Also, because the table was inside the whole three years it took to build it, and the material used was outside on the carport, which is my home shop (sad, I know), there was alot of shrinkage. After everything acclimated inside, I filled with nine colors of sawdust putty. The surface stayed even for a long time, but now, some pieces have risen above others, which blows my mind considering the fact that I brushed Titebond II on every surface while gluing and had plenty of ooz out. One other thing also is encouraging me to re-finish it. My 25 yr old autistic son lives at home with us and just loves to draw with markers. We always get him waterbase markers, but one day he found a black "Sharpie" and it soaked through the paper and stained the wood. So I need to sand down a little bit to remove that too. The whole thing is driving me nuts because I am a perfectionist and I only want to do this one more time. I got some great ideas when I posted the pictures of the table, but Andy suggested I put this up in a forum to see if a better/easier idea is floating out there. Please help and thank you very much.

Chuck aka (pickpapa)
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Hi Chuck!

I like oil base polyurethane in satin finish. It won't stop black sharpie markers but it will be tougher than oil and wax. I always thin mine some before applying it.

I hear others always mentioning some General Finishes product instead of poly that is supposed to be really easy to apply and dries faster too.

check this out for some more insight into poly and the GF product.

Power to you brother!
PVA glues such as Titebond are prone to creeping. I have a cutting board sitting out in the garage that is unfinished and I noticed the other day that one of the joints had shifted a bit, leaving a slight ridge. I used Titebond III on that board. I wasn't done sanding it, but it was flat the last time I had picked it up.

Seems like you need to either sand, or use a hand plane to knock everything back down to level, as well as to get past the water rings and Sharpie. This will give you a nice surface to apply finish to as well.

It sounds like you may want to apply some other oil-type finish, since you used the teak oil before, such as an oil-based poly, or something similar. You can always put wax over that again after it fully cures.

Just a couple of basic suggestions.
General Finish Arm-R-Seal would also be a good choice. It does sound like you want to possibly keep a satin finish, so you probably want to stay away from things like the epoxy MirrorCoat, although I suppose you could knock that down to a satin finish by wetsanding to around 400-600-grit if you wanted to.
Chuck, I was just looking around and found the table in-question here. I had no idea the amount of detail and differences in wood you were referring to in your original post above, as I apparently missed the project posting of your table.

I am thinking that going the epoxy MirrorCoat finish might now be a good choice, as it'll offer you a lot of protection over the top of the table. It'll also help fill-in any low spots or voids from sanding, or otherwise. It'll be waterproof, and will be thick enough that if Sharpie, or anything else staining/permanent gets on the surface, you can simply sand a little off the top and have plenty of finish left below that.
Just came back from reading your project posting and it looks like I am "seconding" what Andy had to say in regards to epoxying the top. Just make sure the table is level in all directions before you pour the epoxy on, if you decide to go that route, and put a plastic sheet on the floor below the table if you finish it in the dining room.
i have noticed that over time
some of my work 'creeps' too

now i glue it all down
and sand
then wait a month and sand again
before finish goes on
all the various different woods shrink/expand

so rather than sand thru the finish too
i just wait for that to happen

no sense in throwing away good sandpaper
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Thanks David. This is my first experience with wood which was glued beyond all reasonable expectations to move long after it had dried. Now I know to take that into concideration.
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