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Help with matching table fininsh

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Forum topic by JoeMurphy posted 04-10-2013 06:10 AM 732 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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JoeMurphy

22 posts in 1334 days


04-10-2013 06:10 AM

Hello, I figure someone here will be able to set me in the right direction. I have 7 year old “natural maple” dining table with two leafs. The finish has taken a real beating at the seams between the leaves from items being slid over the table. I want to refinish this top but I wonder what to use to achieve the same color. Polyurethane is clear and I imagine would be much less of the warm yellow the table is now. Where the wood is bare I have wiped it with water and looks almost the same color as the areas with undamaged finish while wet so maybe it is stained lightly. I cannot dedicate much time to this little project but I do not want to just let this keep getting worse or let my 4 small children continue spill stuff on bare wood and completely wreck the table. So….

1. Would it work to go after the whole top with a RO sander using say 180 grit to scuff the finish and remove any finish that is loose and then apply a couple of coats of finish? Or do I need to get to bare wood on the whole top?

2. What product would be the same color as what is existing and be durable? Ideally I would want to use something low odor and fast drying as I have house full of little ones and we will be eating off of folding tables 3 times a day while I am dong this.

Thanks in advance for any advise anyone shares.

-Joe


8 replies so far

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 1822 days


#1 posted 04-10-2013 11:38 AM

1. Strip the finish off the whole top with Citristrip, and scrub it down with naptha.
2. Don’t sand, but rub it down with maroon scotchbrite or 220 drywall sanding screen.
3. Stain with a waterborne product.
4. Apply 3 coats of waterborne poly, rubbing back the fuzzies with the scotchbrite after the first coat.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

16241 posts in 3679 days


#2 posted 04-10-2013 01:46 PM

My only disagreement with Clint’s advice is that I’d suggest oil-based poly. Waterborne poly tends to be very clear. If you want a warm, yellowish tone, the oil-based will do a better job of giving you that.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

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Clint Searl

1533 posts in 1822 days


#3 posted 04-10-2013 04:33 PM

Charlie, that’s why I included Step 3. Plus, oil poly will stink up the place and extend the project by days, if not a week. And it’s a fussier process.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

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JoeMurphy

22 posts in 1334 days


#4 posted 04-10-2013 05:45 PM

Thanks for the advice guys. I like the idea of using the water borne poly so we can have a usable table sooner and fewer fumes. I am worried about getting the stain to match the finish on the chairs and table legs. Refinishing it all is too much of a project right now, I am hip deep in remodeling projects. This is more of a practical repair than a restoration. This table sees a lot of action 150 meals and 75 snacks every month not to mention arts and crafts, home work, erector sets and board games. It will never be beautiful (not for long anyway) I just don’t want it to look in complete disrepair….

Any advise on the staining process would be great. Any harm in touching up the areas where the finish is missing to get by until I am less busy and when it would be warm enough to leave the windows open for a few days? Will the citrstrip take off the small area of new poly as well it does the old finish?

PS.

I need to do the refinish this in the house as my garage is only other place with the square footage needed and currently being used for other projects that kick up a great deal of dust.

View redSLED's profile

redSLED

790 posts in 1353 days


#5 posted 04-10-2013 06:25 PM

Just my opinion, but it think it is highly unlikely that you will be able to match the final repair colour-finish areas with the old colour-finish – you can definitely try. My best guess would be a light-medium concentration of ipswitch pine stain colour – and it would have to be a water-based dye stain because the off-the-shelf pigmented oil stains don’t really penetrate maple much and leave it looking muddy.

If your concern is having that table looking great, matching the chairs, etc. – you really do need to strip and refinish the whole table top from the bare wood, like Clint above said. Maybe cover your table for a while until you have enough time to do it right (and then it would look awesome for years to come!) would be my recommendation.

-- Perfection is the difference between too much and not enough.

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JoeMurphy

22 posts in 1334 days


#6 posted 04-10-2013 06:41 PM

Thanks again. If I touch up areas, I would not be concerned about it matching. This would be solely to protect the wood until I do the whole top (or whole set). I am thinking, wipe the bare area down with a lint free rag and some alcohol and dab it with a bit of poly. The only thing stopping me from doing it tonight is the concern that the areas I touch up with a dab of poly will not strip/refinish the same as the rest of table. This summer I will take Clint’s advise and strip the whole thing. Then I will be able to ventilate the room and use the patio as an alternative dining area for a weekend while I get this done.

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CharlieM1958

16241 posts in 3679 days


#7 posted 04-10-2013 06:47 PM

Clint: Sorry… I somehow missed the mention of stain completely.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View redSLED's profile

redSLED

790 posts in 1353 days


#8 posted 04-10-2013 07:05 PM

Is your table top’s finish the original factory finish since the 40’s/50’s? If so, it’s most likely lacquered – and if so, poly shouldn’t react with it, but you will have to scuff sand really well the old finish areas at the edges or the poly won’t adhere well.
As for stripping the whole table later (to the bare wood), a medium-strength chemical stripper will take everything off no problem – and maybe with 2nd light final strip.

-- Perfection is the difference between too much and not enough.

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