Table top protection method - question

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Forum topic by Gator posted 09-03-2012 11:57 AM 930 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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383 posts in 3645 days

09-03-2012 11:57 AM

I am a rookie at finishing (well most wood working things actually) On a lot of projects, including tables I have been using a 3 part wipe on mixture. BLO, Tung Oil, and poly. My normal finishing process is as follows,
Flood entire project – wait 20 to 30 minutes and wipe off.
Wait 48 hours, scuff with 0000 steel wool, blow off with compressed air, then wipe down with a clean rag wet with mineral spirits.
Apply another coat, wait 24 hours, and follow the same process for 3 more coats.
On tables, I apply all additional coats to the top only.
I wipe on a blend of 50/50 poly & mineral spirits, and use this mixture for he next 2 coats, allowing 24 hours between each coat.
For the final coat, I wet sand with 600 grit and a mixture of 30% poly & 70% mineral spirits.

I have used this on tables that receive “casual” use, but have plans to build a dining room table in the future, and would like to make sure I have a very durable finish.

Is there an easier method of applying a finish to table tops without a sprayer, or a better product that will give a nice look and well as lasting protection?


-- Master designer of precision sawdust and one of a kind slivers.

2 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4955 posts in 2462 days

#1 posted 09-03-2012 04:24 PM

I would venture to say that just several of coats of varnish would give you a similar look. Typically, the danish oil (not exactly what you mix up) is considered a finish of it’s own; an “in the wood” look with not such robust protection, so generally used for pieces that don’t need it. (Danish oil is more commonly mixed with MS/BLO/Varnish). If you varnish over that you loose the in the wood look, and would have got the same (or close) coloring from the oil in the varnish. If it didn’t color the wood correctly, you always just apply a coat of BLO prior to the varnish. So, my answer (which only reflects my opinion) to your question would be to just use varnish, and BLO if you need the color. I personally would choose an alkyd resin varnish over a polyurethane, but again, that’s just me. If you choose to go with just the varnish, wiping it on is fine, and generally the 50/50 mix is considered 3 coats to 1, that is 3 coats of wiping equals 1 coats of a brushed application. One other thing, a good book…Flexner’s book on finishing should be in every woodshop. Easy to read ( I read it like a novel) and chock full of information. Another would be Jeff Jewitt’s book, they both contain much of the same info; and both are very good.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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383 posts in 3645 days

#2 posted 09-03-2012 05:13 PM

Thanks Fred,
I just added Flexners book to my “must get” list.


-- Master designer of precision sawdust and one of a kind slivers.

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