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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    S.W. Florida
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    2,411

    Default best finish for dinning room table top

    i have a table top that a client wants me to refinish. they say the top is 100 years old and a family heirloom. (i have no reason to doubt them)

    its a round top with 3 leaves.
    3/4"x10" quartersawn white oak boards make up the 60" top
    it has a natural color finish.
    they want it stripped and refinished because the old finish is deeply scratched and the wood is dinged.

    what method and material for a strong , durable and clear finish do you recommend?
    S.M.Titmas.

    "Truth is, everybody is going to hurt you. You just gotta find the ones worth suffering for."
    - Bob Marley

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    5,889

    Default Re: best finish for dinning room table top

    If you aren't a purist and you or the client aren't concerned about using an authentic period finish I would recommend this product http://www.targetcoatings.com/oxford-super-clear.html It's crystal clear, tough as nails, buffable and any monkey with a spraygun can get good results (even me). I use it for products that are going to be handled or scratched and to clearcoat solid colors. Doors and windows, wall caps, trim ... . Unlike many polyurethane it builds like lacquer so you can rub it out without getting witness lines. If I was doing a table to it would be my first choice.

    You could also look at their conversion varnish. http://www.targetcoatings.com/emtech-8000.html I use their conversion varnish sealers to get solid white and black. (The black is great, the white is thin and takes a lot of coats to cover.) I've never used the top coat so I can't comment on it's use.

    I use a lot of this stuff as well http://www.targetcoatings.com/oxford-spray-lacquer.html Target says it's not a hard as the poly but I have it on my kitchen cabs and it is really tough and hard to scratch. I have a black lacquered edging on my counter tops and it doesn't show any scratches or wear even at the sink. In my opinion is looks better and is easier to use. I've sprayed heavy wet coats vertical and upside down and never get runs or sags

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    ozarks
    Posts
    754

    Default Re: best finish for dinning room table top

    finishes are always a tradeoff........what`s reparable isn`t the toughest.......what`s tough isn`t usually reparable without a total strip/refinish...
    i would stick with a product that has a known history of success and known faults, explain the pro-n-cons to the client and let them pick their poison.

    notice no brands or even type of finish was recomended.......

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    S.W. Florida
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    2,411

    Default Re: best finish for dinning room table top

    Quote Originally Posted by tod evans View Post
    notice no brands or even type of finish was recomended.......
    yes, i noticed that.
    the client is not that involved in the decision making process, they dont micro manage. when they leave florida for 4 weeks every in october they have work done on their house and expect it to be done when they return. all they said is that they want it refinished and left the details up to us. after all we are the professionals and they trust our decision making ability.
    S.M.Titmas.

    "Truth is, everybody is going to hurt you. You just gotta find the ones worth suffering for."
    - Bob Marley

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    5,889

    Default Re: best finish for dinning room table top

    Quote Originally Posted by smtitmas View Post
    all they said is that they want it refinished and left the details up to us. after all we are the professionals and they trust our decision making ability.
    In that case do you really want to hone your finishing skills on someone else's heirloom furniture with products you've never used? There is an added level of risk with contamination / compatibility refinishing as opposed to finishing new. Maybe you should pass the risk on and send it out to a re-finisher and settle for the markup?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    S.W. Florida
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    2,411

    Default Re: best finish for dinning room table top

    Quote Originally Posted by dave_k View Post
    In that case do you really want to hone your finishing skills on someone else's heirloom furniture with products you've never used? There is an added level of risk with contamination / compatibility refinishing as opposed to finishing new. Maybe you should pass the risk on and send it out to a re-finisher and settle for the markup?
    who said anything about needing to hone my finishing skills? my finishing/refinishing skills are well honed. and if there is a new product that comes along that i want to use than i'll experiment and practice with it before i use it on a clients piece. all i was asking for was some suggestions about a recipe for a durable table top finish. just because i ask for someones opinion doesn't mean i dont have one of my own, it just means i want to know how you would do it. if you dont ask you'll never know.
    Last edited by smtitmas; 10-08-2008 at 07:08 PM.
    S.M.Titmas.

    "Truth is, everybody is going to hurt you. You just gotta find the ones worth suffering for."
    - Bob Marley

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    east tennessee
    Posts
    230

    Default Re: best finish for dinning room table top

    as a former finisher i can tell you that even though you might think you know what you're doing tabletops are a whole different ballgame.if you're going for a "rubbed out high gloss pore filled finish" forget it. oak sucks for this kind of finish.even if you're not going for that type of finish there is also the very likely possibility of contamination usually from years of pledge.this can cause you big problems unless you're experienced.i personally would stay away from any high build film type of finish,and go with a "low to the wood" type.



    schedule--1 coat danish oil,next day one coat wipe on poly,next day 1 coat wipe on poly,next day finishers choice one more coat of wipe on poly or 2 coats danish oil properly applied(wiped on rubbed out),next day 2 coats danish oil,next day 2 coats danish oil.

    this should give you a nice finish durable enough and easily repairable.

    p.s. refinishing sucks.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Boise, Idaho
    Posts
    551

    Default Re: best finish for dinning room table top

    Why not try to figure out what the original finish is and simply match it? The table's value is partly because it's old, feels and looks old, not just that great great aunt Emma and great great unkle Ernie carved a few turkeys on it. The type of client you have sound like the types that aren't that hard on furniture so absolute durability isn't a concern.

    Personally, if a thin finish is important I'd simply spray some precat or even nitro lacquer and be done with it. For a higher build finish I'd go with shelac covered with an oil based poly.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Senatobia, MS
    Posts
    1,897

    Default Re: best finish for dinning room table top

    If you aren't planning to remove/repair the scratches or dings, consider testing the finish and cleaning it. Preserves some of the value and original look of the piece.
    Brad

    You will never stand taller than when kneeling to help a child.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    S.W. Florida
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    2,411

    Default Re: best finish for dinning room table top

    the reason we are refinishing the table is because of the scratches and dings. they want the tables finish to look like it does now but without all the signs of wear and tear.
    S.M.Titmas.

    "Truth is, everybody is going to hurt you. You just gotta find the ones worth suffering for."
    - Bob Marley

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Lancaster County, Pa
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: best finish for dinning room table top

    my favorite finish for furniture is a combo varnish, boiled linseed oil, and turpentine. id vary the mixture from its thirds to a little higher varnish for a table top. i like the way that it turns out because it has the glow of an in-the-wood finish, but the durability of varnish. i have also added some stain to the first coat for a little color.
    the first couple coats i have a little more oil in, and wipe/brush on, wipe off. the next couple coats are more varnish, less oil. the turpentine still helps so that you can wipe the finish easier. after about five coats of the mixture, let it dry a couple days and add a coat of paste wax/beeswax to the finish. it should look sweet.
    jarin

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