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Help with finishing oak table

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Forum topic by FreezFurn posted 08-28-2016 03:30 AM 415 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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FreezFurn

22 posts in 1540 days


08-28-2016 03:30 AM

Topic tags/keywords: oak finishing arm-r-seal table sticky tacky

I have an oak trestle table that I have stained and put two coats of arm r seal on. The first coat on the base is still tacky after 5 days and the table top has tracks in it from the grain ( high and very low spots). Any suggestions on filling the pours up top to get it to level out? Also, what should I do about the sticky layers on the base?

I hate finishing, but especially when we need the table to eat upon!

-- Andy (Father, Math Teacher, Coach, and occasionally... Woodworker) "You must build this Tabernacle and its furnishings exactly according to the pattern I will show you." Exodus 25:9


12 replies so far

View nightguy's profile

nightguy

213 posts in 128 days


#1 posted 08-28-2016 03:42 AM

I never used armour seal, but tacky after 5 days, yeek, if it is an oil base, I would wipe it off with Acetone, and use a different finish, You may have to seal it with Zinsser Seal Coat Shellac,after the wipe down, not the regular Shellac but Seal coat, it has no wax in it and then you can put another type of finish on it.
The top I have no experience on. Good luck.

View mahdee's profile

mahdee

3553 posts in 1233 days


#2 posted 08-28-2016 03:46 AM

Hard to tell. My thinking is that the stain didn’t dry properly? As for leveling the top, if it is a red oak, probably the grain needed to be filled with grain filler before the stain and sealer. Maybe post a picture.

-- earthartandfoods.com

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

1060 posts in 1455 days


#3 posted 08-28-2016 01:22 PM

What stain did you use? Don’t know what you mean by “table top has tracks in it from the grain ( high and very low spots)”. If you mean the natural grain valleys, well, that’s oak. If you want a perfectly smooth finish, the grain must be filled – there are many ways to do it, ob opaque to clear wb, and it depends on the finish products and methods. Oak with opaque filler doesn’t look “real” to me because the oak grain has the depth removed. The clear filler is better in that regard. Continuing to add coats of arm r seal and sanding back will eventually fill the grain and look very good – it just takes lots of coats and time.

View BurlyBob's profile

BurlyBob

3692 posts in 1731 days


#4 posted 08-28-2016 03:48 PM

I know it’s a little late for your project. I remember reading another post about finishing red oak. There was an LJ who described using Danish oil and red oak saw dust rubbed into the grain as a filler. After it had dried it finished smoothly. I would imagine dust from a ROS would work quite well. I haven’t tried it yet, but I will in the near future.

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

5730 posts in 2833 days


#5 posted 08-28-2016 04:32 PM

If grain needs filling I use the stuff from down under, Timbermate, it is one of the best I have ever used.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View FreezFurn's profile

FreezFurn

22 posts in 1540 days


#6 posted 08-29-2016 02:44 AM

Red oak sounds right. I do think the grain needed to be filled. Can I add a clear grain filler now, even though the top has dry finish on it?
Osu55, so should I just keep adding coats or sand it down, fill the grain, then apply it again? I used Minwax stain to make it a very dark walnut color to make my wife happy.

I agree, night guy, about the finish on the base. Maybe I did not mix the can well. That was the first thing I put the top coat on. I did wait seven days before doing so. I will clean it off and try again on the base. Will naphtha remove the stain?

Here are two pics of the top. I wet sanded the corner to try to knock it back down to a flat surface, but it just looks like more of a mess than anything!

-- Andy (Father, Math Teacher, Coach, and occasionally... Woodworker) "You must build this Tabernacle and its furnishings exactly according to the pattern I will show you." Exodus 25:9

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

5730 posts in 2833 days


#7 posted 08-29-2016 03:07 AM

Timbermate instructions seem to indicate that you apply their filler before the final top coat finish over previous other coats.
Read the directions but I am almost sure you can still apply the filler and then add the final coats.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View nightguy's profile

nightguy

213 posts in 128 days


#8 posted 08-29-2016 04:03 AM

FreezFern, the Naptha may remove some but just restain lightly if it does. Then if restaining, let dry well, before adding what ever finish.

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

1060 posts in 1455 days


#9 posted 08-29-2016 01:55 PM

Lightly sand, brush on a full coat, let dry, lightly sand, etc. may create knit lines one of the issues with ob poly. Cristalac is a clear wb filler that could be used to fill the grain then topped with ob poly

View dbray45's profile

dbray45

3187 posts in 2242 days


#10 posted 08-29-2016 02:08 PM

Put it in the sun for a few days and bake it—
Most of the problems with finishes of late are that there are no hardeners in the finish. Two days in the hot sun will tell you if it will harden up and cure (dry is very different from hard and cured).

If it is still tacky, you may have to strip and sand.

To fill the top, do as OSU55 says but use gradually finer sandpaper. My finish paper is 1000 grit then I use pumice and rottenstone, then wax it after the finish cures. I will do as many as 10 layers.

When done, you will have a glass-smooth finith.

-- David in Damascus, MD

View dbray45's profile

dbray45

3187 posts in 2242 days


#11 posted 08-29-2016 02:12 PM

If you put the filler on before the finish, you will not get the desired look. One of the things about oak is that you usually have the grain showing through (commercially) or it is a photo finish and not real oak.

Practice on scraps

-- David in Damascus, MD

View NicHartman's profile

NicHartman

53 posts in 612 days


#12 posted 08-29-2016 02:47 PM

I actually had this same problem on a recent oak project of mine. I don’t often stain my projects, which I think was the problem. If you don’t give the stain plenty of time to cure, your topcoat will seem to be flawed or rejected, but in reality you can just let it sit for a longer than recommended time in a well ventilated area. With mine, it was a carved seat for a bar stool, so it was pushing out of the endgrain in the seat. I let mine sit for a week, scoured it with steel wool, and continued to put on light coats. This worked for me, just seems as if you need more time between staining and finishing than you would think.

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