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Critique my finish on this dining table

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Forum topic by shoichi posted 09-03-2017 11:49 AM 761 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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shoichi

30 posts in 695 days


09-03-2017 11:49 AM

as the title suggests, i’d like some honest feedback on the finish i put on this walnut table.

my finish of choice here was 6 coats of equal parts of boil linseed oil, raw tung oil and poly. i’d apply the finish with a pair of medical/latex gloves on my hands.. I’d hand rub the finish this way let it sit for half hour and then completely dry it off to the point where there wasn’t any wet spots on a new sheet of paper towel. then i’d let the table sit for 24 hours and apply new coat.

I’d dry off the finish with blue shop towels.

I used semi gloss poly

i am not happy with how the finish turned out. it looks ‘dirty’. the reflection of light shows the imperfections on the finish.

I have delivered the table and the client is absolutely happy with it

Just one more thing – I did sand the finish down a couple times between coats with 800 grit sand paper.. this may have polished the finish and gave it its shine

i’d appreciate some honest feedback on what i may have done wrong here. I’m fairly new at this and trying to learn as much as I can.

thanks in advance.

l




17 replies so far

View Firewood's profile

Firewood

164 posts in 1467 days


#1 posted 09-03-2017 12:05 PM

The table looks very nice. As for the finish, it is rather flat (sheen). You mentioned using paper towel to wipe it down. Could it be it left some fibers behind embedded in the finish? I’ve noticed if I leave any squiggles from the ROS, the can leave the finish looking dull or muddy. What sheen was the poly you used?

-- Mike - Waukesha, WI

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

2587 posts in 2348 days


#2 posted 09-03-2017 12:29 PM

My guess, and I’m not sure, is that your boiled linseed oil and raw tung oil matted out the poly. Took the gloss right out of it.

As far as having a “plastic film’ looking finish, that would indicate to me that you just have too much finish on top of the wood. The poly probably kept the two oils from penetrating properly, or it filled and the remainder just floated on top.
I don’t think a paper towel would shed enough to cause a film looking finish, but then again, paper towels are not my go-to wipe, either. They don’t wipe smoothly, in my experience.

And you talk about imperfections in the finish – could it be that the three finishes tried to separate themselves as they dried? It would come up looking like a lot of imperfections.
Again, not sure, since I’ve never mixed three finishes at once to try to gain one finish. Too many variables.

If I owned this in this condition, I would hand sand it starting with 180 down to about 600 grit, and lay one single layer of poly on top, sprayed if possible. A simple full wet coat, as in painting a car hood, let it dry, and it might come back with a nice gloss. Probably get a little orange peel, but that could be polished out when fully dry.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

598 posts in 2181 days


#3 posted 09-03-2017 12:36 PM

Paper towels are definitely not the applicator of preference to apply finishes. I’d suggest using some 2000 grit wet sandpaper to wet sand it. That should also take care of the filmy look. Clean off all of the sanding residue, then apply a final coat of your finish using a sponge or applicator. Let it sit for a couple of days and then apply a coat of Behlens Deluxing compound or a good good furniture wax. Hand rub the wax and you should have a nice subtle sheen with a durable finish. Every yer or so (if it starts looking drab) you may need to refresh the BLO and re-wax the table.

Take a look at Arm-R-Seal. It has the same components in it and the finish is extremely durable and looks amazing.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View ArtMann's profile

ArtMann

677 posts in 649 days


#4 posted 09-03-2017 01:55 PM

Looks like a low light phone camera picture. I don’t know whether the appearance is due to the finish or the low resolution image. I think I would have preferred a more glossy finish from what I can tell. I know that a lot of people would disagree, but I think it would have turned out better with nothing but a commercial wipe on varnish finish. Otherwise, the table looks beautiful to me.

I have never been a fan of Tung oil. It is just too slow drying and is hard to deal with. I prefer just BLO.

I used Scotts shop towels for a decade or more when I was still doing mostly wipe on finishes. That is one thing they are made for. I never had any problem with lent or other residue.

It is always a good idea to buy enough wood to experiment with a new finish schedule before using it on the project.

View OSU55's profile (online now)

OSU55

1422 posts in 1823 days


#5 posted 09-05-2017 06:46 PM

You might fiind this info on oils vs varnish/poly useful.

It’s difficult to decipher just what you think is wrong with the finish. “Dirty” says to me not enough gloss or actual entrapment of something. Light reflection shows imperfections? Is it just the grain of the wood that wasnt filled, actual defects in the film itself, or what?

I will say that I dont think there is any benefit to mixing blo or tung oil with poly. Just about any look can be achieved with poly alone (perhaps with some dye added), its all in the prep and application method.

View CharlesA's profile

CharlesA

3289 posts in 1631 days


#6 posted 09-05-2017 07:34 PM

always hard to tell from pictures, but that doesn’t look like my favorite finish. Why mix blo with tung oil?

I agree with OSU55 that if you’re going to top with poly, it is worth trying Arm-R-Seal straight up and see if you like the way it looks.

I’ve been spraying shellac with waterborne poly as well. Always looks good. I’m going to give lacquer a shot soon over shellac.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View chrisstef's profile (online now)

chrisstef

17016 posts in 2840 days


#7 posted 09-05-2017 08:43 PM

I actually like an understated finish on a live edge piece like that. Let the form of the table do the talking and not a shiny finish. Like other have said above, if youre looking for one stop shopping, try the arm-r-seal. Enough oil in it to “pop” the figure with the attributes of a tough urethane top coat.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View pontic's profile

pontic

500 posts in 442 days


#8 posted 09-05-2017 09:01 PM

Don’t like the shop towels idea. Spray or foam roller and “pro scraper”

-- Illigitimii non carburundum sum

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

1171 posts in 1631 days


#9 posted 09-05-2017 10:41 PM

I also think it looks very good.But I also think you have very little protecting in that finish mix.
Tables need a good finish with high solids Conversion varnish at the top.But if you cannot spray then try Arm r seal . If your in a state that doesn’t sell Arm r seal then look for the Urethane gel top coat it very good and easy to build.

-- Aj

View Carloz's profile

Carloz

954 posts in 425 days


#10 posted 09-06-2017 01:08 AM

To the all multitude of finish application you just added another one: rubber gloves! I’ve never heard about it. But I wanderhow it is possible to apply finish uniformly. It is bound to lay in thinner layers where your hands put more pressure and lump in places where you skip it. A brush dustributes finish uniformly, a rug takes off the excess a rubber glove Does none

View Rich's profile (online now)

Rich

1972 posts in 423 days


#11 posted 09-06-2017 01:20 AM



To the all multitude of finish application you just added another one: rubber gloves! I ve never heard about it. But I wanderhow it is possible to apply finish uniformly. It is bound to lay in thinner layers where your hands put more pressure and lump in places where you skip it. A brush dustributes finish uniformly, a rug takes off the excess a rubber glove Does none

- Carloz

You’re joking, right?

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

3628 posts in 2142 days


#12 posted 09-06-2017 01:24 AM

I don’t think the blue shop towels are a problem. I use to use them all the time before I got into spraying. Blue shop towels have been recommend by many for wipe on finishes over the years.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View Rick_M's profile

Rick_M

10605 posts in 2213 days


#13 posted 09-06-2017 03:07 AM

schoichi, Buy a good book on finishing, I like Flexner but there are others. I would sand it off and use one of the products recommended above and don’t mix anything with it except maybe the appropriate thinner. If you really feel the need to use oil, wipe on a thin coat and wipe it back off before you put down any other finish.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View TungOil's profile

TungOil

740 posts in 328 days


#14 posted 09-07-2017 03:11 AM



I don t think the blue shop towels are a problem. I use to use them all the time before I got into spraying. Blue shop towels have been recommend by many for wipe on finishes over the years.

- AlaskaGuy


+1 I find the blue Scott towels very good. Use them often when I am using a wiping finish.

-- 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 AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

3628 posts in 2142 days


#15 posted 09-07-2017 06:36 AM


I don t think the blue shop towels are a problem. I use to use them all the time before I got into spraying. Blue shop towels have been recommend by many for wipe on finishes over the years.

- AlaskaGuy

+1 I find the blue Scott towels very good. Use them often when I am using a wiping finish.

- TungOil


The blue towels are lint free

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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