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Forum topic by JosephNY posted 01-21-2022 11:49 PM 419 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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JosephNY

47 posts in 3627 days


01-21-2022 11:49 PM

I had this nice old coffee table that had some scratches and the finish was pretty worn.

So I sanded it down and the woodwork is pretty interesting.

Anyone have any suggestions on how to finish this?

I’m thinking stain and poly, but I don’t know type and color stain would work well with all the different grain directions and wood colors/brightnesses.

(Round glass not shown.)

Thank you!


16 replies so far

View LesB's profile

LesB

3471 posts in 4903 days


#1 posted 01-22-2022 12:20 AM

Wow that is quite a piece of work.

Anyway I think the problem as you suspect will be controlling a stain; especially if you haven’t been able to remove all 100% of the previous finish. So my first suggestion would be to condition the wood with a 2# coat of clear de-waxed shellac (Zinssers Seal Coat is one source). I would then test the stain you think you want to use in an inconspicuous spot (on the underside??) if you can. Probably best to use an oil based stain.

Personally I like it the coloring it is and a top coat finish might darken just a little. If it were mine I would be very careful about a stain. It would be a shame if it ended up with blotches. It is difficult to undue stain.

A durable top coat would be a water based poly of the brand you prefer, lots of people like Arm-R-Seal, in the gloss you prefer. I have been happy with Varathane brand to and their floor grade is particularly wear resistant.

-- Les B, Oregon

View SMP's profile

SMP

5315 posts in 1366 days


#2 posted 01-22-2022 12:51 AM



Wow that is quite a piece of work.

Anyway I think the problem as you suspect will be controlling a stain; especially if you haven t been able to remove all 100% of the previous finish. So my first suggestion would be to condition the wood with a 2# coat of clear de-waxed shellac (Zinssers Seal Coat is one source). I would then test the stain you think you want to use in an inconspicuous spot (on the underside??) if you can. Probably best to use an oil based stain.

Personally I like it the coloring it is and a top coat finish might darken just a little. If it were mine I would be very careful about a stain. It would be a shame if it ended up with blotches. It is difficult to undue stain.

A durable top coat would be a water based poly of the brand you prefer, lots of people like Arm-R-Seal, in the gloss you prefer. I have been happy with Varathane brand to and their floor grade is particularly wear resistant.

- LesB

I basically second everything LesB said

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

9615 posts in 2848 days


#3 posted 01-22-2022 03:59 AM

Definitely no stain. Looks like leopard wood and some other exotic and would be ruined by using a stain. I would probably go with good oil based finish really bring out the really cool pattern in the grain.

Can you tell if that is veneer or is that somehow solid? I am guessing it veneer so be careful doing any more sanding. You do not want to sand through it if it is.

Do you have any before pictures? Any sort of makers mark anywhere to know who made it?

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

View JosephNY's profile

JosephNY

47 posts in 3627 days


#4 posted 01-22-2022 01:35 PM

Thank you all so much.

Below are a bunch of ‘before’ pics.

I am almost always partial to no-stain.

Do you think a polyurethane or maybe an oil finish (like Odie’s) would be best?

If no stain, would I still do well with shellac first?

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

9615 posts in 2848 days


#5 posted 01-22-2022 02:35 PM

It does look like they used a tinted top coat on the original. If it was a stain, I don’t think it would have sanded off so easily. If you want the darker look, you can try a garnet shellac. I have tinted a water based poly before with Transtint dye but I do not know enough about tinted finishes to give you any advise. General Finishes may have some tips and videos on their website for using their dye finishes to tint their top coats. A quick search brought up several videos on tinted top coats as well.

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

View JosephNY's profile

JosephNY

47 posts in 3627 days


#6 posted 01-22-2022 02:44 PM

I’m now leaning towards no stain—I like the lighter color and I think it would make the grain, pattern and color/brightness variation in the wood stand out.

I’m just wondering if I should use shellac or not, and then poly or an oil-finish?

View ChefHDAN's profile

ChefHDAN

1884 posts in 4310 days


#7 posted 01-22-2022 03:22 PM

Very Cool, I’d reach for a can of OSMO if it were in my shop

https://osmousa1.wpengine.com/product/wood-wax-finish-clear-extra-thin/

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

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

9615 posts in 2848 days


#8 posted 01-22-2022 05:11 PM

I would not bother with the shellac unless you want it for the finish in the first place. The main reasons to use unwaxed shellac as an undercoat is to avoid blotching, especially with stain, or when a primer is needed. In this case, I think that any oil based finish will give you a good look and pop the grain. Then it is just a matter of how much sheen and how thick you want the finish to look. I’ve never used them but I have seen some amazing finishes done with OSMO and Odies Oil. I just bought some Odies Oil but have not actually tried it yet.

Before you start, wipe it down with some mineral spirits to make sure that you haven’t missed any of the previous finish. That will help show where you might need to do some careful work to remove anything that might make the new finish not be taken into the grain.

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

View JosephNY's profile

JosephNY

47 posts in 3627 days


#9 posted 01-22-2022 05:22 PM

That’s great—thanks guys!

I’ll wipe with mineral spirits and then go with an oil (Odie’s or OSMO).

View LesB's profile

LesB

3471 posts in 4903 days


#10 posted 01-23-2022 06:21 PM


That s great—thanks guys!
I ll wipe with mineral spirits and then go with an oil (Odie s or OSMO).
- JosephNY

Those will work fine “if you have completely removed all the prior finish”. Otherwise those areas where some finish still exists will have trouble absorbing the oil or wax. Oil may also make the color a little darker than a clear poly finish. The mantra is….test, test, test.

-- Les B, Oregon

View ibewjon's profile

ibewjon

2940 posts in 4253 days


#11 posted 01-23-2022 06:49 PM

I don’t like the blandness of water base. I use Varathane oil base and it gives just enough color to look good to the wife and I.

View williemakeit's profile

williemakeit

41 posts in 1533 days


#12 posted 01-23-2022 08:01 PM

What about a Danish oil finish?

View Peteybadboy's profile

Peteybadboy

4845 posts in 3410 days


#13 posted 01-23-2022 08:50 PM

Hope you show the final product. You are getting good advice here. I like the oil idea

-- Petey

View JosephNY's profile

JosephNY

47 posts in 3627 days


#14 posted 01-29-2022 02:35 PM

Here are some final pics.

I sanded through the veneer in a few area, but I love how it came out nonetheless.

I used denatured alcohol to clean, and then a single coat of Odie’s oil (apply, wait, buff).

Thank you all again for the help!

View PCDub's profile

PCDub

397 posts in 1704 days


#15 posted 01-29-2022 02:54 PM

Nice work! I really like how it turned out—the lighter color makes the grain really show its best!

showing 1 through 15 of 16 replies

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