LumberJocks

Finishing/Sealing oiled oak countertop, lacquer or poly?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Finishing forum

Forum topic by I3igAl posted 04-04-2017 03:50 PM 2239 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View I3igAl's profile

I3igAl

3 posts in 253 days


04-04-2017 03:50 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question oak finishing

Hello people, I have been researching a ton and this website kept coming up on google so I figured I should join and see what you all think. This is my first ever wood project and even though it’s very simple I have been reading for days trying to make up my mind and not screw things up.

I bought an oak countertop from IKEA, the HAMMARP, to use as an extra wide computer desk. Inspiration was this picture:

I have 220 sanded and oiled it three times with a can of stuff also sold at IKEA, label says it is “Linseed oil, Wood oil, Lead free drying agent, Emulsifier”. I did this once a day last FRI SAT SUN, and now I am leaving it to dry until the weekend before I touch it again.

I have a few questions about how to proceed. I need to know how long I should wait for the linseed oil to cure before I layer on some poly or lacquer. I have read as little as a week and as long as two whole months. Can I use the wood as a desk while it’s curing or do I need to be completely hand off letting it dry somewhere?

For my finish I am torn between Minwax wipe on poly and some sort of spray can lacquer. I want the finished piece to be durable and stand up to daily use, but I also want to avoid it feeling gummy/plasticy. A big problem is that I dont really have a work area that is both clean and available to use for days and days. I can work on my apartments sidewalk for an afternoon, or I can take it to the ranch I work at for a couple days but its very dusty.

I think spray lacquer is the best option for me but I don’t know how it feels compared to poly. what should I do?

EDIT: A question I forgot to ask. I oiled the bottom side a single time just so it wasnt completely raw wood, but should I also seal it?


13 replies so far

View SawduztJunky's profile

SawduztJunky

71 posts in 993 days


#1 posted 04-05-2017 01:44 AM

-- I don't think I'm ever more "aware" than I am right after I hit my thumb with a hammer. Questions about solid surface? Just ask. http://www.swiiitch.portfoliobox.net

View Kelly's profile

Kelly

1821 posts in 2779 days


#2 posted 04-05-2017 01:48 AM

Wipe on, thin coats are a cake walk. At least five and preferably seven applications. Follow directions about times between applications to determine if you need to sand between coats…..

View ChefHDAN's profile

ChefHDAN

992 posts in 2684 days


#3 posted 04-05-2017 12:39 PM

For my cherry projects I will apply 5+ coats of boiled linseed oil and then allow the oil surface to cure for at least a week at 60*f+ temps. After that I’ll either shoot waterbased poly through a HVLP gun or use a wipe on. Either method works well and will bond over the cured oil finish. Best advice depends on your experience spraying, it is very easy to get runs and/or orange peel if you don’t have much experience or in my case patience to apply twice as many LIGHT spray coats as wipe coats. More than once i found myself doing more work to fix a bad spray than if I went with a wipe. Check out Arm-R-Seal by General Finishes Woodcraft carries it if there’s one close to you, but I’ve found it to be much easier to work with than the minwax one, but if I’m out of Arm-R-Seal and don’t have time I will go the depot for a can of the minwax.

Good Luck & Welcome to LJ’s

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View oldsailor59's profile

oldsailor59

51 posts in 265 days


#4 posted 04-05-2017 12:59 PM

the best ‘No Smell” finish I know is water based polyurethane. I would let the IKEA finish cure for a week, then poly. I like the 90 minute re-coat time and very low odor. a lambs wool applicator works well so do the el cheapo foam brushes you find at wally world.

-- Scott just a tired old sailor glad to be home from the sea

View TungOil's profile

TungOil

744 posts in 330 days


#5 posted 04-05-2017 09:49 PM

Lacquer won’t hold up as well as poly on a table top. The wipe on could be done inside if you protect the floor and put a fan in a window.

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

View I3igAl's profile

I3igAl

3 posts in 253 days


#6 posted 04-06-2017 12:36 AM

Hey everybody, thanks for the replies! I checked on my wood today and I was really heavy on the oil last sunday I guess because it still felt a little oily and smelled strongly.

I have decided to wipe it down each day the rest of the week and then take it home and set up for use, just letting it cure for a whole month while being careful using it. after that time I am going to decide whether or not to seal it but if I DO seal it, I have settled on General Finishes Arm R Seal. more research around the net seems to indicate this is the best choice for hard wearing stuff. I think a spray job using HLVP would be fantastic but i have no experience doing that or the equipment and workspace to do it in. I asked my apartment manager and they gave me the thumbs up for doing a wipe on job in my cars parking space over a weekend.

I am still curious however, should I poly the bottom surface as well or leave it open so the wood can breath? would that be a bad thing? I could just do one coat on the bottom and then 4-6 on the top and edges after flipping it over onto painters points.

View AZWoody's profile

AZWoody

1138 posts in 1059 days


#7 posted 04-06-2017 12:44 AM

I would seal top and bottom. There may be some warping if one side absorbs, or sheds moisture at a greater rate than the other.

Another thing I see is that is a long span in the middle and there is a very good likelihood that there will be sag.
If you can get some kind of “L” bracket, I would screw the back of that desktop into the wall to help add support. You can do in the middle but I would probably space 2 along the back evenly

View Michael McKenzie's profile

Michael McKenzie

64 posts in 274 days


#8 posted 04-06-2017 01:41 AM

The solution you bought at IKEA sounds just like Danish Oil or Behlen Woodturners Finish. It contains linseed oil (which crystallizes over time on a microscopic level ~ AKA curing) , a permeable solvent to penetrate the wood and take the oil with it, etc. I believe the recommendation for Behlen’s is to apply in multiple layers allowing it to dry to sandable between each coat. If you see your pad is causing ridges be sure to hit it with some 0000 steel wool be sure to lightly go perpendicular to the ridges till they surrender and back with the grain. When all layers are done it must dry overnight at least to finish it off. The Use again of 0000 steel wool will give you a satin finish and a great trick for a Glossy finish is to use a good pad to apply the Behlen Woodturners finish so that when you are finished you can allow the pad to dry in a clean area until hardened. This can be used as a buffing pad and its just like micromesh. It of course matches the surface in crystalline structure so depending upon how much you want, you can get VERY lustrous gloss on it. The idea is the wood is so well sealed Throughout that you can NEVER rub the finish off, it cannot be sanded off, scratched off. It has transformed the wood.

-- ~ Ancora imparo! ~

View I3igAl's profile

I3igAl

3 posts in 253 days


#9 posted 04-06-2017 04:04 AM


I would seal top and bottom. There may be some warping if one side absorbs, or sheds moisture at a greater rate than the other.

Another thing I see is that is a long span in the middle and there is a very good likelihood that there will be sag.
If you can get some kind of “L” bracket, I would screw the back of that desktop into the wall to help add support. You can do in the middle but I would probably space 2 along the back evenly

- AZWoody


Thank you for the reply, really helpful. I will put at least one coat of Arm R Seal on the bottom, doesnt need to be super durable just to seal the wood. About the sagging, I managed to get in contact with the person who built the pictured desk and he told me that he has no observable sagging/bowing after almost five months of use. I did check the angle iron at home depot and will be ready to put one along the underside, especially if the desk feels flexible when leaned on.

Originally I did want to screw some runners down on the wall or do a french cleat to add a little support by the landlord gave me a hard NO on screwing into the wall…. as a last resort option I do have a spare adjustable table leg I can put in underneath but im trying to avoid that.

EDIT: @AZWoody… do user mentions work on this forum? I dunno. also Thank you Michael for the tips onfinishing, I do have some 0000 steel wool ready to go when I start the final finishing. For buffing, are you talking about rubbing down the oiled wood with steel wool or after I lay on poly? As far as I have learned you cant really buff/polish wood that has been only oiled.

DOUBLE EDIT: just to be extremely clear to anyone reading this, I have laid down one coat of oil on the underside, then three coats on the topside and edge. I would like to know if I should repeat this (one layer on bottom, 3-5 on top) with a poly, or if it would be safe to only use poly on the tops and edges, leaving the bottom oil only.

View Michael McKenzie's profile

Michael McKenzie

64 posts in 274 days


#10 posted 04-06-2017 07:58 AM

Well at this point you can continue to oil and hand rub if you have time that would be sweet but probably not practical. I’m not a fan of poly , not that it sucks I just have bad luck with it. When do want a topcoat I chose from Helmsman Varathane, Valspar or Behlen Lacquer Top Coat. Sorry I wasn’t more helpful.

-- ~ Ancora imparo! ~

View Carloz's profile

Carloz

963 posts in 426 days


#11 posted 04-06-2017 11:26 AM

You cannot apply Arm R Seal on the parking lot over weekend. You need multiple coats with at least 12 hours drying time in between.

View oldsailor59's profile

oldsailor59

51 posts in 265 days


#12 posted 04-06-2017 02:44 PM


Thank you for the reply, really helpful. I will put at least one coat of Arm R Seal on the bottom, doesnt need to be super durable just to seal the wood.

DOUBLE EDIT: just to be extremely clear to anyone reading this, I have laid down one coat of oil on the underside, then three coats on the topside and edge. I would like to know if I should repeat this (one layer on bottom, 3-5 on top) with a poly, or if it would be safe to only use poly on the tops and edges, leaving the bottom oil only.

- I3igAl


just poly the top and edge. I suggested water based poly because you can use it inside your home. it has no odor. with a 90 minute recoat time, you could apply three coats and be completely done is less than 5 hours.

-- Scott just a tired old sailor glad to be home from the sea

View Kelly's profile

Kelly

1821 posts in 2779 days


#13 posted 04-06-2017 03:11 PM

I love hardening oils for many applications. My favorite is true tung oil, but I keep a gallon of boiled linseed oil around too. That said, I never use if for things that will be subject to moisture or abuse, like keyboard shuffling or wild meeces.

For floors and tables, OIL based poly trumps hardening oils and waterborne finishes for durability.

Finally, keep in mind, your final coats are only as hard and good as the coats under them. As such, if you build up with linseed or tung oil, then do a final with poly, the under layers are going to be softer than the top coat, so your durability will be reduced, though still appreciable,

Finally, if you have a buffer, you can brush on finish that will rival any spray job. Below is a table I did for a friend. Though I have a couple commercial HVLP’s and an airless, I didn’t have a spray area.

For this table, I brushed on five coats, then sanded the final with 400 until the main highs were gone. I switched to 600 and brought the rest down. After that, it was just a matter of polishing. Rather than move up in grits, I used what I, then, had on hand – pumice and rotten stone, before moving on to McGuir’s Plastic Polish.

I used water or mineral oil for lubrication of the grits and stone and everything was done with a Porter Cable variable speed, random orbit sander kept running at around 1200 RPM.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com