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Well, I finished the remodel of the kitchen but now the oak table does not match and looks worn. We have had the table for over 20 years and oiled it to keep it looking good. Now she who must be obeyed wants it refinished with the new stain. How should I pull the oil out before sanding and re-staining in the new color?
 

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Did the table have an actual finish when you got it or was it raw wood? It probably had a finish in the beginning. Several ways to approach it, depending on what your finishing capabilities are. If you spray, wiping with naptha and using shellac with dye for the color would be easy and work well. Topcoat with anything. If you must use a pigment stain, chemical stripping will be necessary, unless you don't mind removing the 20 year patina, in which case it could be scraped to remove the old finish. Need more info on the original finish, what it looks like now, what you need it to look like, and what finishing experience/capabilities you have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Rick, thought I might need to use naptha. OSU55 - there has never been a hard finish on the table, just oil. You mentioned using shellac (as did Rick) but you also mentioned dye for color, which I will need. I have always used stain. Are you saying to mix the dye into the shellac? As a hard finish, I was planning to spray a water based poly using a Earlex 5000.
 

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Dyes and stains do similar things in different ways. For oak it probably doesn't matter which you use but you can tint shellac to even out color variations or make mild changes in color.
 

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With only non drying oils used, wipe it down with naptha and scotchbrite (gray probably) to get accumulated oil and stains off. Do not use steel wool since you will be using a WB topcoat - small pieces left behind could rust. You could try your stain somewhere hidden but had all the non drying oil put on it (if possible) to see if you get the right color.

Shellac can be used to color/tone the wood more and add a lot of depth. A sealer coat of shellac should definitely be used if you use an oil based stain and a WB topcoat. Use dewaxed shellac, dissolving flakes is best but Zinsser Sealcoat can work - I use Target Coatings and they recommend against Sealcoat - the chemicals added to extend shelf life can play funny with WB finishes. Try the Sealcoat under the WB finish on scrap, let it sit for a few days to be sure of compatibility.

I mix transtint dyes directly in the shellac and spray. If I need much color change (a lot of color change can be accomplished) I use 1/2#-3/4# cut and just take my time. The alcohol needs time to flash off to prevent runs. For light toning I use 1#-1-1/2# cut since fewer passes are required. On oak you want to limit the amount of solids on top (including the topcoat) because the pores start to bridge (fill in), unless you want a fully filled finish. Very light denib sanding with 600-800 and spray the topcoat. The WB topcoats can be tinted as well, and should be a little bit. At a minimum I used ~6 drops of honey amber tint/cup of finish to get equivalent ambering to solvent poly. If you are going for a darker color, a darker dye can be used in the WB topcoat, but only use ~1-3 drops/cup. WB has a tendency to have a bluish reflection with higher film builds, and tinting it takes it away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks guys for all the schooling. My game plan at this point will be naptha and scotchbright, test stain used on kitchen cabinets on the bottom of the table, then the rest if that works. De-waxed shellac next. Then water based poly. I have learned so much on this site and much more today. Thanks.
And for those who have signed their donor card, thanks also. I am 19 years post transplant because someone signed theirs (and maybe He thought I could use more time here for improvement).
 
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