Need help with finish for cherry coffee

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Forum topic by longboarder posted 08-20-2010 12:04 AM 1208 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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29 posts in 3505 days

08-20-2010 12:04 AM

A friend told me about a process for finishing my cherry coffee table top which consists of a 3 part mixture. 1 part Watco danish oil, 1 part varathane polyurethane,1 part miniral spirits which is to be sanded into the grain with 400 burnishing until a creates a slurry then wiping with cloth briskly.Then moving on to 600 and finer apllying the mixture each time and sanding it in as instructed. my problem is that the sanding marks never go away from the preceding grit. I am frustrated and am to the point that I’m ready to drop this method, sand back down to raw wood and try another process. I would like an easier finish to apply, and I don’t have spray equipment nor do I want to go that route. Wipe on poly seems to just streak at each coat on such a big surface. Any advice is much appreciated. My arms hurt!!

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980 posts in 3291 days

#1 posted 08-20-2010 01:53 AM


#1, WATCO IS basically the mixture you describe, and #B, I think you’re overdoing it. First the mixture: use equal (or nearly so – it’s very forgiving) parts boiled linseed oil, oil-based gloss polyurethane varnish of your choice, and mineral spirits. Mix well. With cherry, it is seldom necessary to go beyond p220. When using this formulation I sand through the grits to 220, flood the surface with the mixture and sand it in a circular motion with 320 wet or dry adding more finish as it begins to look dry in spots. I do this for only 5 or 10 minutes then wipe dry. Allow it to dry over night and repeat if you wish. For a really high gloss, you’ll have to do this about 6 times. I find twice followed by wax and buffing after several days of drying are suficient for a nice glow and a really nice tactile feel.

I think perhaps you’re moving to 400 and 600 too quickly. There’s no need to go that far with cherry. To give it that “100 year old cherry” look, after the oiling, take it out in the sun for a few hours, turning it once or twice. There is no need to sand ‘till your arms hurt. If you want a very high gloss finish, apply a couple coats of wipe-on poly after the oil mixture drys, but I don’t think you’ll need to. This is the simplest, most forgiving finish I know of. Don’t over do it, and above all don’t get discouraged. This %@!(*&^ hobby is supposed to be fun!


-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.

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Joe Lyddon

10374 posts in 4292 days

#2 posted 08-20-2010 05:51 AM

Thank you all for this thread…

... it was VERY informative…

Hope it comes out OK after your Arms get a good rest! :)

... be sure to let us know how it goes… OK?

Thank you…

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

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