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Finishing a farmhouse table

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Forum topic by Caity2 posted 05-09-2020 12:54 AM 475 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Caity2

4 posts in 298 days


05-09-2020 12:54 AM

Topic tags/keywords: finish staining minwax poly

Hi all,

This is my first post, so please excuse any errors. My husband built some friends a farmhouse table and now I’ve got to finish it. We’ve done some projects here and there and I would consider myself a beginner still. Given this is for a friend, I want it to be nice. I was thinking the following to finish the table:

1. Minwax Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner

2. Minwax Wood Finish In Dark Walnut (1 or 2 coats) – I always apply with a rag or sponge and typically don’t sand between coats, should I?Should I use a brush?

3. Arm-R-Seal Urethane Interior Topcoat (3 coats, sanding between coats with 220 grit). I usually wipe on topcoats too, with a rag or 100% cotton cheesecloth. But I’ve never used Arm R Seal and am a bit nervous about bubbling. Should I be thinning this with mineral spirits or is it okay to wipe on straight out of the can?

Any help or advise is much appreciated! Our friends recommended Minwax helmsman water based varnish for the topcoat, so I’m curious about others opinions.

Thanks!!


12 replies so far

View Rich's profile

Rich

6539 posts in 1600 days


#1 posted 05-09-2020 01:18 AM

What kind of wood is it? It sounds like you’re taking the right course. You should only need one coat of stain however. Arm-R-Seal is an excellent finish, and does not require thinning. You can wipe it on easily.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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Caity2

4 posts in 298 days


#2 posted 05-09-2020 02:28 AM

Thanks Rich! I want to say it’s pine or fir – it’s just from lowes. I know it’s a soft wood, but can’t remember exactly what it is. He plans to make one for our new house soon and I know he wants to use maple for that table. We’re newer to woodworking. He used to do some woodworking in junior high and high school and is pretty good at it, but we have a lot to learn when it comes to finishing.

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Rich

6539 posts in 1600 days


#3 posted 05-09-2020 04:32 AM

Most folks do have a lot to learn when it comes to finishing. It’s a subject that’s full of confusing choices and much misinformation.

Welcome to LJ. I think your choices are good ones, the only change I might suggest given the type of wood is that you look at a gel stain. It’s far more forgiving.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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Woodmaster1

1656 posts in 3598 days


#4 posted 05-09-2020 04:38 AM

I used watco dark walnut stain and arm-r-seal on a farmhouse table I made my exdaughter-in-law. Now I have to make daiughter one. I like you make one, then you to start making more hoping one is all you have to make. I need to learn to say no(lol).

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SMP

3444 posts in 916 days


#5 posted 05-09-2020 04:40 AM

I use Arm r seal all the time, and as mentioned I just wipe on unthinned no problem. I would also suggest General Finishes gel stain. Their antique walnut is pretty close to the color you want, but a little richer IMO, if you want darker then java is pretty nice too. You can also get away without conditioner with GF gel stain. If you go to their site they have pretty in depth instructions and tips for their products, well worth the read.

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therealSteveN

7242 posts in 1585 days


#6 posted 05-09-2020 05:08 AM

Arm R Seal is a wonderful finish for top coating. I like to follow the instruction of it’s makers. One of the reasons I like General finishes so much, is their easily accessed library for the use of their products. Kinda takes the guesswork out of it. Note the 24 hours suggested between coats. Most top coat problems come from being in a rush to finish the project, and not allowing enough dry time.

https://generalfinishes.com/wood-finishes-retail/oil-based-topcoats/arm-r-seal-oil-based-topcoat

Good luck with your project.

-- Think safe, be safe

View Caity2's profile

Caity2

4 posts in 298 days


#7 posted 05-09-2020 02:58 PM

That’s all, I’m going to look into gel stain, I’ve never used it before. Woodmaster1 – your table is gorgeous! What type of wood did you use? For ours we’re thinking maple or hickory. I like hickory for a more rustic look.
Thanks

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

3677 posts in 2809 days


#8 posted 05-09-2020 04:31 PM

Hickory is a lot harder then pine and maybe even maple.
It can be significantly more difficult to work with. So consider buying a board or two and see how your husband likes cutting it.
I’m also a fan of general finishes it’s good stuff. Here’s my last farm style table in white pine.

Good Luck

-- Aj

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ChefHDAN

1802 posts in 3860 days


#9 posted 05-10-2020 01:10 PM

Caity, welcome to LJ’s , there are lots of very knowledgeable experienced people here in the forum that share great info. The best advise no matter your planned finishing schedule, is to go get some of the scraps from the construction and do test pieces BEFORE you start on the table. If you’re working with a softer wood the blotching can be significant, but a farmhouse table is expected to be a bit rustic, but if you search blotch here you’ll see how many folks have learned the hard way to test first.

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View Woodmaster1's profile

Woodmaster1

1656 posts in 3598 days


#10 posted 05-12-2020 01:16 AM



That s all, I m going to look into gel stain, I ve never used it before. Woodmaster1 – your table is gorgeous! What type of wood did you use? For ours we re thinking maple or hickory. I like hickory for a more rustic look.
Thanks

- Caity2

I used 2×8 pine and watco dark walnut stain it’s an oil stain.

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Caity2

4 posts in 298 days


#11 posted 05-12-2020 01:20 AM


That s all, I m going to look into gel stain, I ve never used it before. Woodmaster1 – your table is gorgeous! What type of wood did you use? For ours we re thinking maple or hickory. I like hickory for a more rustic look.
Thanks

- Caity2

I used 2×8 pine and watco dark walnut stain it s an oil stain.

- Woodmaster1

Thanks!

View boston_guy's profile

boston_guy

213 posts in 3160 days


#12 posted 05-12-2020 01:44 AM

That is a beauty of a table! Good job!


I used watco dark walnut stain and arm-r-seal on a farmhouse table I made my exdaughter-in-law. Now I have to make daiughter one. I like you make one, then you to start making more hoping one is all you have to make. I need to learn to say no(lol).

- Woodmaster1


-- boston_guy

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