I am having tons of trouble re-finishing a table top.

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Forum topic by Kv0nT posted 295 days ago 473 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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82 posts in 754 days

295 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: finishing varnish urgent going insane dust table table top

I have a great QSWO arts and craft table that I am refinishing. It is not going well… First I wanted to use lacquer, but I don’t have a spray room, and the lacquer drys too fast to apply by hand.

So I used Old Master’s Poly-U varnish, and for some reason when I apply it, it leaves these gross bumps everywhere. I can sand them down easily, but after a few coats the finish now looks horrible. I do not believe that dust is the culprit. I tack of the table every time, and the room I am using is relatively dust free.

Is there a better product out there or am I doing something technically wrong? I have been using a Home Depot brand staining pad to apply the varnish… Is this the problem?

3 replies so far

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1420 posts in 988 days

#1 posted 295 days ago

Strip it. Wash it down with naphtha. Let it dry a couple days. Finish with waterborne poly floor finish (I like Bona Mega).
Nothing else!

-- Clint Searl.............We deserve what we tolerate

View redSLED's profile


687 posts in 519 days

#2 posted 295 days ago

Some possibilities . . .

- If you didn’t strip and sand down to the bare wood, you might have a shellac and/or lacquer and/or wax and/or silicone polish finish (i.e., “Pledge”) that you didn’t remove/sand/prepare properly before varnishing

- Your varnish is bad quality/too old/wasn’t stirred well/was previously stored in frozen temperatures

Your staining pad is likely NOT the problem with your results.

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

View Kv0nT's profile


82 posts in 754 days

#3 posted 295 days ago

I think the varnish quality has to be bad, or it was stored improperly by the seller, because it’s brand new and I stir it before I start each half of the table.

Fully removing the previous finish is definitely not the issue.

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