How to apply poly on a breadboard top?

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Forum topic by Cato posted 06-14-2012 04:02 PM 2996 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Cato's profile


693 posts in 2733 days

06-14-2012 04:02 PM

I have this coffee table top that I am going to brush or pad General Finish semi gloss top coat, a water based poly.

Do I brush with the length of the table even though I would be cross grain on the breadboards?

Or do I need to mask off the breadboard ends and do them separately with the grain on them and vs versa for the top going with the grain?

Sorry for such an ignorant question but I have always gone with the grain on any finish I have applied, but a little unsure with this scenario of the bread board ends.

Any advice would be welcome. Thanks

6 replies so far

View Enoelf's profile


192 posts in 1684 days

#1 posted 06-14-2012 04:11 PM

I am by no stretch of the imagination an expert on finishing, but I would NOT mask the ends and finish them separately. I am thinking that the water-based poly will have some self-leveling effect and there will be no substantial brush marks (or wipe marks) to be concerned with. I do of course defer my opinion to others with much more experience than I.
Nice table top nonetheless!

-- Central Ohio, Still got 9 and 15/16 fingers!

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4407 posts in 3381 days

#2 posted 06-14-2012 04:52 PM

SeaL it with a coat of dewaxed shellac, then use a wiping varnish. I use Old Masters wiping poly gel. 3 to 4 wiping coats, steel wool and wax, you’re done.


View BinghamtonEd's profile


2263 posts in 1790 days

#3 posted 06-14-2012 05:44 PM

Haven’t used that particular finish, but I’ve used water-based poly on a top that had trim with grain running perpendicular to the main panel, and I did the whole piece with the grain, and at the end, tipped off the finish on the trim to go with the trim grain. That worked well for me.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View Mosquito's profile


7925 posts in 1713 days

#4 posted 06-14-2012 05:48 PM

I did a side table that had grain going in 2 directions for the table top, and then had edge pieces going all the way around. I tried as best I could to go with the grain on the inside pieces, going from center out, and then cleaned up the edge pieces last

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

View bondogaposis's profile


3969 posts in 1772 days

#5 posted 06-14-2012 07:02 PM

Just change directions when you brush to stay w/ the grain. Brush the center first then finish w/ the ends. The best solution is usually the simplest.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View dhazelton's profile (online now)


2285 posts in 1717 days

#6 posted 06-14-2012 07:57 PM

What he said above me. When you paint a door or window you don’t mask off the styles while painting rails, you just change brush direction.

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