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Forum topic by Kolmar posted 10-31-2009 07:26 PM 1031 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Kolmar's profile


20 posts in 3124 days

10-31-2009 07:26 PM

Seems like a nice place from what I have seen so far, been woodworking only for about 1 and 1/2 years started out when we put in a wood floor in the house and I decided to do it myself, bought a table saw (cheap benchtop saw, since I have upgraded to a delta contractor) and really enjoyed the process. I figured since I had the saw I would try my hand at some projects. I made a rolling cart for my hand tools and a small workbench out of a laminated desk top. Made my wife a key chain holder for her key collection. ok so my question. We have a maple wood kitchen table I am wanting to refinish. It is a natural finish and it did not last very long, was a very low luster table. from what I have tested I figure I can redo it in a danish oil ( Natural) but what would be the best finish for the final coat, I was thinking a water based poly, would two coats be enough or would there be a better finish. Remember I am new and do not have any way to spray and all that so I am going to brush on/ wipe on.

-- Kolmar

8 replies so far

View LesB's profile


1720 posts in 3437 days

#1 posted 10-31-2009 07:46 PM

I think you will be quite happy with a poly finish. I suggest getting the one formulated for use on floors. It is harder than the normal water based poly. I think a minimum of 3 coats is needed. I did 4 on our dining room table. Make sure the Danish oil dries for at least 10 days or so. However, for a natural finish it is probably not needed on Maple and you will find not much soaks into the hard maple surface anyway.
Brushing water base poly work well if you use a soft tip brush (a good synthetic bristle one works) and watch out for drips. They are easy to spot because of the milky color of the wet poly. If you find some after they dry I shave them with a razor blade and then sand smooth. I find water based poly is best brushed on at a temperature between 65 and 75 degrees. Cooler it dries slower and collects more dust and sometimes if too cool dries a bit cloudy. Warmer and it dries too fast and leaves brush marks. Between each coat (dry overnight) sand lightly with a 320 or 400 grit sand paper to remove dust nibs and possible brush marks. I usually finish by rubbing it out the last coat (dried for at least 72+ hours) with carnauba paste wax and a white 3M pad (non abrasive). Then buff the dried wax to a shine. If you don’t want a shine use OOOO steel wool instead of the 3M pad.

All that being explained you can also use a wipe on poly but it goes on thinner and will probably take 5 to 6 coats but need less sanding between coats….every 2nd or 3rd….and additional coats can be applied every few hours if there is a hurry.

-- Les B, Oregon

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5851 posts in 3188 days

#2 posted 10-31-2009 08:38 PM

Excellent explanation, Les! Couldn’t said it better myself. I think you covered all the bases.

Do you still have the ‘65 Chevelle Super Sport? With the bench seat, how many girls did you pick up? lol lol.

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....

View a1Jim's profile


117087 posts in 3571 days

#3 posted 10-31-2009 08:49 PM

Well done Les

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View BTKS's profile


1986 posts in 3458 days

#4 posted 11-01-2009 03:58 AM

I have been schooled in the use of poly, thanks, Kolmar’s question answered some of mine. Good lesson LesB!!
Welcome to LJ’s, Kolmar

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View cabinetmaster's profile


10874 posts in 3552 days

#5 posted 11-01-2009 04:01 AM

Wow. Les gave you all the info you need . Go for it.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View papadan's profile


3584 posts in 3362 days

#6 posted 11-01-2009 04:06 AM

I always use the water based poly on user pieces, once cured it is super durable and water proof.

View LesB's profile


1720 posts in 3437 days

#7 posted 11-01-2009 06:08 AM

Thanks for your appreciative remarks LJs. I have had plenty of practice and my share of errors and “re-does” using poly finishes.

-- Les B, Oregon

View Kolmar's profile


20 posts in 3124 days

#8 posted 11-04-2009 09:12 AM

Great thanks for the info! i will be hopefully able to tackle this next week while I am off from work for the week. i think I will try it without the Danish Oil and just do the straight water poly. I’ll flip over a chair and sand it down and test it and see how the color looks. If by chance it does not look right will a undercoat of dewaxed shellac be better then the danish oil. I can’t see the wife parking outside for all this time so basically the oil is out.

-- Kolmar

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