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refinishing old table

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Forum topic by emmaf posted 220 days ago 522 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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emmaf

5 posts in 483 days


220 days ago

hey lumberjocks! you’ve helped me so much before, i thought i’d ask for help one more time.

i’m refinishing an old walnut table and would prefer to not varnish, but oil or wax instead. on a different project, i used mineral oil on raw wood and it didn’t stay very well (came off with the slightest bit of water, even after many coats and a long time sitting). am i supposed to use a different kind of oil the first time around? any recommendations for oil versus wax, process, or brands?

thank you so much!


7 replies so far

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1390 posts in 964 days


#1 posted 220 days ago

Oil ain’t a finish.

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

View lumberjoe's profile

lumberjoe

2829 posts in 851 days


#2 posted 220 days ago

+1 for Clint. Mineral oil is a laxative, not a finish. True oils (drying oils) offer next to no protection – even when waxed. There are plenty of film building finishes that will give you a natural tone and feel while still offering some protection.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

959 posts in 737 days


#3 posted 220 days ago

There are several commercial wiping varnishes on the market that will allow you to build up sheen. You have to watch ingredients to make sure solvent content not more than 60 percent. Basically, more solvent longer it takes to build up a sheen.

Two coats of wiping varnish or poly should equal one coat of film finish.

Formby’s Tung Oil

Waterlox

General Finishes Seal-a-Cell or Arm R Seal

You can also make your own wiping varnish by mixing 50% resin (varnish or polyurethane) and 50% solvent (mineral spirits, naphtha).

http://www.finewoodworking.com/how-to/article/how-to-apply-wiping-varnish.aspx

Please understand wiping varnish products listing Tung Oil do not contain any. Many oil varnish blends do not contain Danish, Teak, or Tung oil. There are many oil/varnish blends on the market none offer much protection.

-- Bill

View Finisherman's profile

Finisherman

189 posts in 452 days


#4 posted 220 days ago

I agree with the above posts concerning mineral oil not being a finish. I wouldn’t use wax alone either, because it just isn’t very durable. You might consider using Zinsser sealcoat. This is premixed dewaxed shellac. Shellac dries quickly, rubs out easily, and is often used as a sealer under wax. The trade off is that shellac isn’t very durable, but it’s easy to repair and very appropriate for older pieces. Lacquer or one of the waterborne finishes would also work.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

View lumberjoe's profile

lumberjoe

2829 posts in 851 days


#5 posted 220 days ago

First, I don’t think there is such a thing as “Danish” oil as a true oil. It’s a name for a blended finish. Also you caution against wiping varnish products not containing Tung oil, yet recommend Formby’s – which is exactly that. A wiping varnish that contains no tung oil.

Also everything you listed is an oil/varnish blend that offers little to no protection (save for Arm-R-Seal which is polyurethane). The strength of a finish is in it’s build. Oil/varnish blends cannot be built.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

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Laughran

26 posts in 531 days


#6 posted 219 days ago

For walnut I use Danish Oil and then top with 3 coats of Arm R Seal. Just make sure that the Danish Oil is dry before you put on Arm R Seal.

-- David

View MisterBill's profile

MisterBill

337 posts in 854 days


#7 posted 219 days ago

Remember that over time any walnut will become lighter in color. If you are going to stain it first as David has suggested then I would recommend applying a walnut color or any dark stain. Then top it with Arm R Seal.

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