Tips and Help for Finishing

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Forum topic by ValerieJoyce posted 08-31-2011 11:07 PM 1463 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 2440 days

08-31-2011 11:07 PM

I am re-doing a coffee table that I got for free and would like some input. The coffee table is made by Lane and is actually made of pine. I have sanded down to the original wood and I plan on staining it with a water base miniwax product. Then I plan on using the water base Home Depot varathane. The table has a recessed area which I plan to put sea glass on and coating the sea glass with Parks Super Glaze epoxy. I have already purchased a tempered piece of glass for the top. I’m very nervous about the epoxy portion as I have never worked with it before. Any hints!!! Also, once I have finished (down to one leg now) sanding, what is the best way to get rid of all the dust from sanding. I did buy a tack cloth. Also, there is a bottom shelf that is not in bad shape so I intend to just put an additional coat of varathane instead of sanding it down as it is hard to get to. Any and all help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

6 replies so far

View WayneC's profile


13753 posts in 4063 days

#1 posted 09-03-2011 10:51 PM

Bumping this up.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View patron's profile


13600 posts in 3307 days

#2 posted 09-03-2011 11:13 PM

come on guys
help the lady out

sorry valerie
i’m not much on finishing

a hair drier on any bubbles in epoxy
will burst them
but be ready to sit with it for an hour
as it takes a bit to bring them all to the surface

compressed air is good for dust
or a good vacuum hose

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3124 days

#3 posted 09-04-2011 05:15 AM


What is your reasoning for applying a stain? You looking for a particular color or a more natural finish? The water-based Minwax has some nice hues that can produce some striking, albeit untraditional results.

You will run into several problems. First, pine absorbs the stain at different rates, meaning it will blotch on you. I would condition the wood first, either with their pre-conditioner product or some Zinnser Seal Coat (blonde shellac). This way, the color will be more even after application of the stain.

But none of that is without complexity and potential problems. I would choose a dye instead, something like TransTint dye, mixed into some denatured alcohol. The alcohol evaporates fast, leaving color that is very even. Dyes, being transparent, do not have pigments (like in stains), that clog up pores and block even spreading of the color through the wood.

I would then seal that with the aforementioned Zinnser Seal coat and then chase that with your choice of film finish.

Water-based products, whether dye or stain, will raise the fibers of the wood as you apply it the first time, which requires a light sanding afterward, followed by reapplication. You can “pre-raise” the wood by wiping down with water first, followed by light sanding, so that then your water-based stain goes on without that penalty, but it’s not something easy for beginners. This is why I suggested alcohol-based dye…no problem with raising grain.

All of this assumes you are looking at coloring your pine something like green, or another untraditional color. If you want something more natural, then there are many more options, including oils.

-- jay,

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2202 posts in 3124 days

#4 posted 09-04-2011 05:19 AM

One more tip. Wipe down the entire table with mineral spirits, denatured alcohol, naphtha, or water (if pre-raising grain for water-based stain). Doing so will show you the trouble areas where stain will blotch, plus any sanding marks. It also doubles for cleaning up the sanding dust, after a good blast with compressed air or a gentle vacuuming.

-- jay,

View a1Jim's profile


117063 posts in 3543 days

#5 posted 09-04-2011 05:29 AM

I think Jay hit most of the details ,but I think that if your going to use zinnser as a seal coat I would suggest starting with a 1lb cut for the first coat. when applying the epoxy coat I would do in two thin coats instead of on thick coat making sure to sand in between. One tip is if you get bubbles in the top while using epoxy blow on it and it will remove the bubbles.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View rsain's profile


50 posts in 2454 days

#6 posted 09-04-2011 05:36 AM

Ditto what folks have said so far. One thing to make sure of on the pre-conditioning: if you are going to use the shellac (great idea to do this) then make sure you get the correct shellac – the one Jay mentioned is perfect – but MAKE SURE the can says WAX FREE. The seal coat (mentioned above) is wax free – but there are many versions of Zissner – just double check when you get it.

- ryan

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