Shaker Sofa Table #5: Finishing and finishing

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Blog entry by Douglas posted 03-18-2013 04:14 PM 1405 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Drawers - practice and final fitting Part 5 of Shaker Sofa Table series no next part

I finally had time this past week to finish the table.

I tried some test pieces to see which approach to take. I knew wanted to use shellac, and that I possibly wanted to use oil first. So, I created four test finishes on cutoffs, sanded to 220…

Dainish oil + clear shellac
Dainish oil + amber shellac
clear shellac only
amber shellac only

The oil made less difference than I thought, but I liked what it did. And the amber shellac was too much, and clear not enough. So I decided to do a 50-50 cut of clear & amber after the danish oil.

The oil went on, and I let it sit for about 5 days to make sure it really cured. As I hadn’t attached the top yet, i was able to do it separately, which made things a little easier…

see that “blotchiness” on the top? That’s after the oil was on for about 12 hours. It cleared up 99% after the whole 5 days, and isn’t present in the final finish. It pays to be patient.

After it cured, I was ready to spray the shellac. I used my cheap Rockler HVLP sprayer, which, apart from the hose wearing out after 5-6 uses (I’m on my second replacement), works great. I applies very thin coats, and was able to build the slightly amber tint to my liking. After I built the first coat, I hit it with a light sanding of 320, removed the dust, and went over it for a couple more coats, this time sanding with 0000 steel wool…

The color turned out just as desired, knowing it will darken over time. This is my best effort to date, and I can’t wait to deliver it to my sister. She’s already happy with the pictures she’s seen.

Thanks for following along.

-- Douglas in Chicago -

5 comments so far

View GrandpaLen's profile


1650 posts in 2269 days

#1 posted 03-18-2013 05:08 PM


Your table is beautiful and I’m certain your sister will cherish it for a lifetime.

Handsome joinery and a great ‘Fit and Finish’.

Well Done.

Work Safely and have Fun. – Grandpa Len

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View DocSavage45's profile


8549 posts in 2839 days

#2 posted 03-18-2013 05:38 PM

Nice Piece!

Learned a bit about finishing as well?

I’m using a Mantra to keep me in line. LOL!

“Patience, Precision, Persistance and Practice”

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View DustyMark's profile


346 posts in 2066 days

#3 posted 03-19-2013 12:06 AM

I enjoyed your blog. I too like this style of furniture. You did some learning along the way by making mistakes and then figuring out how to fix them. That’s an aspect of woodworking we either accept or we go crazy. Sounds like your dealing with it well! Nice design and great work…

-- Mark, Minnesota

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6855 posts in 3976 days

#4 posted 03-19-2013 01:57 PM

You really did do a beautiful job on this table. Excellent work.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Douglas's profile


424 posts in 2556 days

#5 posted 03-19-2013 10:24 PM

Thanks for the kind words!

-- Douglas in Chicago -

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