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Finish just the top?

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Forum topic by leftcoaster posted 09-15-2017 01:23 AM 297 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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leftcoaster

185 posts in 654 days


09-15-2017 01:23 AM

When finishing a table top with polyurethane for water protection, is it necessary / recommended to finish the whole thing with it? I’m not worried about water on the base and prefer a close to the wood feel (not that the base will be felt much)


7 replies so far

View becikeja's profile

becikeja

807 posts in 2591 days


#1 posted 09-15-2017 01:49 AM

Yes finish the entire piece. I learned this the hard way.
The problem is moisture will penetrate the underside at a different rate and you could start to see the top bowing.
At least that is what happened to me. I re-sanded the piece, finished both sides and no more problems.

-- Don't outsmart your common sense

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leftcoaster

185 posts in 654 days


#2 posted 09-15-2017 01:55 AM



Yes finish the entire piece. I learned this the hard way.
The problem is moisture will penetrate the underside at a different rate and you could start to see the top bowing.
At least that is what happened to me. I re-sanded the piece, finished both sides and no more problems.

- becikeja

I was unclear—I will definitely finish both sides of the top, which I can attach to the base after. So the panel should be stable.

View TungOil's profile

TungOil

661 posts in 273 days


#3 posted 09-15-2017 02:23 AM

Table bases in my experience take a beating from having feet on them, being bumped by chairs, etc. My preference is to finish them the same as the table top so the look and feel is consistent. But, no reason your base can’t be finished differently than the top if that is how you prefer it.

-- 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 jonah's profile

jonah

1245 posts in 3076 days


#4 posted 09-15-2017 03:26 AM

I’m with TungOil. I put my feet on table bases all the time. I’d not want to leave bare wood where feet can ding it up.

View Carloz's profile

Carloz

749 posts in 369 days


#5 posted 09-15-2017 03:43 AM

Poly does not prevent furniture from dings. It is the hardness of the wood that does it. Cover the base with shellac and you are set. It can take some scratches over the years that is very easy to fix. When polyurethane goes bad the only acceptable way to fix it is to replace the finish,

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jonah

1245 posts in 3076 days


#6 posted 09-15-2017 04:11 AM

If polyurethane (or other film finishes) offered no protection we wouldn’t use it on floors, walls, ceilings, and furniture. The fact is that film finishes protect wood. Shellac is a good choice, but not a fit for every circumstance. It is also not as durable as some other finishes.

View Rich's profile

Rich

1669 posts in 367 days


#7 posted 09-15-2017 04:27 AM



If polyurethane (or other film finishes) offered no protection we wouldn t use it on floors, walls, ceilings, and furniture. The fact is that film finishes protect wood. Shellac is a good choice, but not a fit for every circumstance. It is also not as durable as some other finishes.

- jonah

True. But shellac is repairable. I think that was what Carloz was saying. There’s a lot of furniture that’s survived the last three-hundred years or so. Long before poly came along.

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

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