Please Help with finishing table top

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Forum topic by Dcoyman posted 03-29-2009 06:06 AM 863 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4 posts in 3373 days

03-29-2009 06:06 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Hello. I would like help in how to put the polyurethane on the top of a table my husband made for me. It is a solid 6 1/2 X 4 ft. quarter sawn white oak top. It is 1” thick. I have the stain on it already but I am very intimidated by putting the finish on it. I want to put a satin finish on it. I have alot of experience in smaller tables, but this is larger than I have eve done and am not sure how to make sure that the finish flows together and is perfectly smooth. I have already sanded with a 400 grit paper. Also, which is a better polyurethane to use? thanks!

-- Becky, Michigan

5 replies so far

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18290 posts in 3703 days

#1 posted 03-29-2009 08:32 AM

Welcome to LJ. I’m sure someone with lots of experience will pop up tomorrow.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View doyoulikegumwood's profile


384 posts in 4019 days

#2 posted 03-29-2009 08:45 AM

my choice for this would be a wipe on poly. minnwax makes a fine product, 400 grit isn’t nessary but whats dun is dun the only other question i would have of you is are you happi with the staining? is it even dose the color match thru out the piece? if not you may want to take a few more steps in the finish. oak is natoruis for not staining evenly if you go with darker colors. do you plan on pour filling this? on a table top it very nice to have a nice smooth surface or am i getting to technical if i am sorry any who if all you want is to poly it and be dun use a wipe on poly and do 2 to 3 coats.

-- I buy tools so i can make more money,so ican buy more tools so I can work more, to make more money, so I can buy more tool, so I can work more

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Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3849 days

#3 posted 03-29-2009 02:17 PM

If you have already done some smaller projects then this is simply a larger version. I would advise you to go with a wipe on poly as doyoulikegumwood suggested. It is a very forgiving topcoat application that is less prone to runs and sags, goes on easily and dries quickly so there is less chance of dust getting into the finish. Be sure to topcoat both sides of the table and apply multiple coats lightly sanding between coats with 320 grit and removing the dust before applying another coat.

Save yourself some money and make your own wipe on poly by stirring the satin finish oil based poly well and cutting 1:1 with mineral spirits. It can be applied with a clean cotton cloth or clean paper towel. If you are hesitant about doing this experiment on some scrap until you feel comfortable with the technique.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

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4 posts in 3373 days

#4 posted 03-29-2009 09:40 PM

Thanks for the information. to doyoulikegumwood: Yes, I am vey happy with the staining. It is even and pleases me. but I don’t know what pour filling is. Could you tell me please? Thanks so much to everyone who replied. Now, Do I have to be very careful about starting at one end and wiping all the way to the other end in one swipe? or does the poly fill in well? I am trying to download a picture of this table….but somehow it is not working. thanks again.

-- Becky, Michigan

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4 posts in 3373 days

#5 posted 03-29-2009 10:21 PM

Here is the table., The first pic is without stain, the second with stain on the top only. Legs are not a problem for me. just that scary top

-- Becky, Michigan

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