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Refinishing an Oak School Desk- What is the best finish?

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Forum topic by Sumdume posted 10-09-2013 03:57 AM 2093 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Sumdume

71 posts in 2300 days


10-09-2013 03:57 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question oak finishing

I am refinishing an old school desk for a neighbor. I believe it is oak. I had to remove the old finish to remove the crudely drawn items on the desk.
What is the appropriate finish for this type of project?

-- Rule # 1 - Don't mix yer blood and sawdust!


9 replies so far

View mandatory66's profile

mandatory66

201 posts in 1596 days


#1 posted 10-09-2013 04:34 AM

If it will be used as a desk again, Wipe on poly. Durable & water resistant.

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Sumdume

71 posts in 2300 days


#2 posted 10-09-2013 10:39 AM

Thanks

-- Rule # 1 - Don't mix yer blood and sawdust!

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4456 posts in 3426 days


#3 posted 10-09-2013 02:37 PM

How’d ya get the chewing gum off the bottom? :))
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5181 posts in 2660 days


#4 posted 10-09-2013 02:51 PM

If you are taking it back down to the original oak, I would put a sanding sealer on it first, let it dry, sand it with 320 grit, blow it off with compressed air, then put a couple of coats of Watco Danish Oil (clear) on it, sanding in between coats…..After the last coat has dried (I’d wait about 24 hrs.), then I use a clear wipe-on poly, letting each coat dry, then sand in between coats till the last coat is put on…..I’d prolly put about 3-4 coats on. Once the last coat has dried good for about 24 hrs., I then use 600-800 wet/ dry sandpaper with Lemon oil to really give it a good smooth finish….... Here’s a picture of a hall table I did, using this method…...It’s oak, also….

-- At my age, an "all--nighter" is not having to get up and pee...!!!

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Sumdume

71 posts in 2300 days


#5 posted 10-09-2013 03:52 PM

Thanks Folks,
I was wondering if I should use shellac because I may not get all of the old finish off of some pieces.
Thankfully someone had already removed the gum. So I did not have to mess up my chisels.

-- Rule # 1 - Don't mix yer blood and sawdust!

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Sumdume

71 posts in 2300 days


#6 posted 10-09-2013 03:53 PM

Rick D. The table looks great.

-- Rule # 1 - Don't mix yer blood and sawdust!

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 1827 days


#7 posted 10-09-2013 05:00 PM

Forget the twelve step program. Two or three coats of either oil or waterborne poly will produce results just as good. After the first coat, knock down any nibs with 220 paper or maroon scotchbrite, followed by a couple full coats. Finish by rubbing out with 0000 steel wool lubed with paste wax. Polish with an old tee shirt. Have fun.

-- 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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Finisherman

227 posts in 1315 days


#8 posted 10-10-2013 03:06 AM

Shellac would be an excellent choice for your desk, especially if it’s a real antique. Is there a reason why you can’t get all of the old finish off of some of the parts? In my experience, a methylene chloride based stripper will remove just about any common finish, provided that it’s given enough time to do its job.

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Sumdume

71 posts in 2300 days


#9 posted 10-11-2013 04:11 PM

Thanks Finisherman,
I am using sand paper and card scrapers to remove the old finish and grime. I am concerned about missing some of the old finish due to the difficulty of getting into all the corners.
I did not even consider using a chemical stripping solution. I think that is because I am too used to sand paper. Besides, I thought strippers worked best on poles. LOL

-- Rule # 1 - Don't mix yer blood and sawdust!

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