new table - polyurethane

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Forum topic by tegotong posted 10-10-2015 09:54 PM 666 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4 posts in 953 days

10-10-2015 09:54 PM

Topic tags/keywords: finish new table polyurethane

I have a brand new sheesham table. It looks like it has been finished with some kind of oil or stain (it is not shiny – I obviously don’t know much about this). I would like to polyurethane it – I like the amber sheen and way it brings out the grain. The table is perfectly smooth. Do I need to sand it before putting on the polyurethane?

3 replies so far

View AandCstyle's profile


3027 posts in 2225 days

#1 posted 10-10-2015 10:55 PM

Tego, since you don’t know what the current finish is I suggest that you lightly hand sand with 220G then spray with super blonde shellac which won’t darken the current color. Then apply 3 coats of a super clear water based polyurethane. You may need to hand sand with 400G between coats to remove any nibs. The shellac is used because it sticks to everything and everything sticks to it.

However, this is a new table so test this on the underside first to avoid a possible finishing disaster. HTH

-- Art

View toddbeaulieu's profile


814 posts in 2972 days

#2 posted 10-13-2015 07:51 PM

There’s an excellent book on finishing that describes how to determine most finishes by applying primary solvents.

Understanding Wood Finishing by Bob Flexner. It’s less than $25.

I’m no expert and tend to stick to same finish at my skill level, but if you want I can look up the cheat notes on that if it’s the path you wish to go down.

View tegotong's profile


4 posts in 953 days

#3 posted 10-13-2015 09:14 PM

Thanks for the tip on the book. I am holding off on doing anything right away as there is a flaw in the original finishing – they missed a spot (it’s both unsanded and unstained). I haven’t heard yet how the company is going to deal with it. The joys of on-line shopping. The seller thinks the manufacturer will probably just replace it since refinishing costs so much and shipping it back would too. Maybe the manufacturer will tell me how it was finished (although I suspect they just imported it from India).

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