LumberJocks

Finishing problem, need your help!

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by Laurent posted 04-03-2009 12:36 AM 2111 views 0 times favorited 25 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Laurent's profile

Laurent

41 posts in 2808 days


04-03-2009 12:36 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question padauk finishing

I was pretty pleased of my first attempt to build a desk top (padauk) until the last wet sanding. Some parts are dull whatever the time I spend buffing it. The result is really not bad except under the light / sun.

I wiped-on the top 3 times (1 per day) with:
- 1 part Tung oil
- 1 part Spar urethane (clear gloss)
- 2 parts Paint thinner
- a few drops of Japan drier
(thanks to Don Kondra’s article in Fine Woodworking, March 1999)

I sanded between each application with 320 grit sand paper.

The last sanding consisted by:

1 – dry sanding (400 grit)
—> I removed the dust with a tack cloth but some remained in the pores
—> the result was a completely dull / white top

2 – wet sanding (600 grit)
—> I thought this would remove the dull effect
—> the board is now perfectly smooth (at least from a beginner prospective)

3 – cleaning the wet mess with some paper towels: the board is really beautiful… when wet. It turned dull (and a little white) when dry.

4 – I rubbed with #0000 steel wool… no change

5 – Desperate move: applied some wax and buffed it.

Conclusion: the wax fixed partially the problem but some dull patches remains. I’ve spent some time on them rubbing / buffing / re-applying wax / re-buffing… they stay dull.

What next: should I remove the wax (how ?) and wipe another finish layer? How do I avoid the dullness then?

Thank you so much for your help!
Laurent

General view of the top:
top

Does not look bad from certain angles:

A dull area after 1 wax / buffing:

Another angle:

After another wax / buffing:

-- Laurent


25 replies so far

View Gary's profile

Gary

8968 posts in 2896 days


#1 posted 04-03-2009 01:25 AM

Kinda looks like the oil wasn’t completely dry. How long between coats?

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View Laurent's profile

Laurent

41 posts in 2808 days


#2 posted 04-03-2009 01:34 AM

final sanding after 30 hours

-- Laurent

View Joey's profile

Joey

276 posts in 3278 days


#3 posted 04-03-2009 03:38 PM

I’m guessing you’re trying to rub out to a gloss finish. If you have access to it, watch wood works by David Marks. He has an episode where he rubs out the finish. He does exactly like you do, except he continues to wet sand to about 1200, and then uses a powder, I believe rotten stone, not sure though to bring up the gloss.
I’ve never tried that finish your using, i have that article from fww, I use one similar to that, that is a Maloof finish. I use equal parts pure raw tung oil (not Formby’s) you have to use 100% pure raw tung oil, gloss polyuerethane(not spar), and Boiled linseed oil. I usually scrape or sand to 320 and then put on the first coat thick and let it sit for a few minutes and then wipe as much off as I can leaving a very thin layer. When that dries, usually 24 to 48 hours depending on weather, i’ll wipe on up to 4 or 5 more thin coats. If i don’t want a high sheen, i use satin poly in the mix for the last 2 coats. Then i’ll wax after all is dry. all of my trays are finished this way and working on a dining room table out of antique heart pine that i’m finishing this way.

-- Joey, Magee, Ms http://woodnwaresms.com

View Joey's profile

Joey

276 posts in 3278 days


#4 posted 04-03-2009 03:44 PM

One other thing, you have to be careful using wax on open grain wood. the wax will fill the pore and holes and clump, briwax makes their wax in different shades to help hide this. the only other way around it is to fill the grain.

-- Joey, Magee, Ms http://woodnwaresms.com

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

16242 posts in 3681 days


#5 posted 04-03-2009 04:26 PM

I’m probably going to catch a lot of flack for this, but here goes:

I’m always reading about these fancy multi-part finishing concoctions, involving multiple rounds of wet-sanding…waxing…you name it. Granted, some experts get great results with these methods which they’ve honed to a science over time. But, in my experience, if you had just sanded your surface down to 320 and applied a few coats of wipe-on poly, you’d have a better result than what you’ve got now, with a lot less hassle along the way.

Are you trying to get to a glass-smooth surface, or do you just want glossy, but with the grain still noticable to the touch?

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

View Laurent's profile

Laurent

41 posts in 2808 days


#6 posted 04-03-2009 05:41 PM

thanks Joey, Charley,

I’m trying to get a glossy finish with the grain noticable at the touch.

I’ve to admit I did not use the 100% pure products that Joey is recommending, just the regular Minwax… brands available at HD. Maybe I should follow Charlie’s advise and buy a real good poly and stick with it, as I do not understand the reason of this concoction, just following what was written in the FWW article.

What brand would you recommend apart Minwax?

Also I’d prefer “going green” for my next finishing. Do you have some advise for a strong / water resistant finish?

While waiting for some advise, I tried to remove the wax w/ mineral spirit and applied a new coat… I’ll wait 3 days before rubbing it.

Laurent

-- Laurent

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

16242 posts in 3681 days


#7 posted 04-03-2009 05:59 PM

Laurent, I use Minwax wipe-on poly, but I’ve heard mixing any name brand regular poly with 50% mineral spirits works just as well.

If you want a glassy finish on open-grained wood, starting with a pore filler is a good idea. I’ve used Behlens water-based with good success. Just follow the directions on the can.

Another way to obtain it is to apply several coats of the poly fairly thickly, then sand back with 320-400 grit, hard enough to actually remove some of the poly. What this does is allow the poly to fill in the grain. If you just keep adding coats without sanding, you will still feel the grain, so the intermediate sanding is crucial. You may find that you have to repeat the coating/sanding process several times until the surface reached the level of smoothness you’re looking for.

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

View Woodchuck1957's profile

Woodchuck1957

944 posts in 3227 days


#8 posted 04-03-2009 08:11 PM

You will get no flack from me Charlie, I mostly agree.

View Laurent's profile

Laurent

41 posts in 2808 days


#9 posted 04-03-2009 10:31 PM

thanks Charlie.

I used spar urethane thinking it was close from a classic poly but with more uv protection (to keep the great padauk color a little bit longer). Was I right, is it comparable?

Also is using paint thinner instead of the mineral spirit you recommend change something?

If the 2 answers are ‘they are about the same’ (spar urethan / poly; paint thinner / mineral spirit), then it means that the only additional ingredients are tung oil (benefit ?) and japan drier to speed up the drying time.

Do you agree on that?

Thank you so much, I’m learning twice as fast since I registered to LJ!

Laurent

-- Laurent

View Joey's profile

Joey

276 posts in 3278 days


#10 posted 04-04-2009 12:45 AM

Spar is more of an exterior finish. Mainly for doors and some marine applications. Wipe on poly is the easiest to use, and you get good results. I don’t normally stain finer harwoods so I prefer using the blend. It’s easy and you get very good results. The look and feel is different, and I prefer it. I use the wipe on poly when I make something for someone else, except for this table I’m making, I really want it to stand out.
Laurent— most of the “tung oils” you buy at hd or lowes don’t even have real tung oil in them or have miniscule amounts. Pure tung oil and boiled linseed are penetrating oils, they soak into the wood and reveal the real beauty of the grain. The only drawbacks are that they take longer to dry, this is why I mix poly in, also blo has metallic driers in it. Real pure tung oil would take days or even weeks for the first coat to dry if you put just it on. The other drawback is that you can’t use them over stain. The stain has oil and driers in it and acts to seal to wood also the pigments sit on top of the wood.
I would suggest playing around with different finish until you find what you like. That’s all that matters. But wiping ok any finish will get better results most of the time. Spraying laquer and then rubbing it out to a high gloss is good, but can be slot of work. I don’t think 600 grit is high enough though to get a glossy finish. I would go with what Charlie says until you’ve practised more.

-- Joey, Magee, Ms http://woodnwaresms.com

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

16242 posts in 3681 days


#11 posted 04-04-2009 01:29 AM

Laurent, Joey knows his stuff. Finishing is an art form that you can spend many years perfecting. My method is pretty simple for us amateurs, and will give you pretty decent results. (If you check out my projects, all the ones with a glossy finish were achieved using the process I outlined above).

There are lots of more advanced methods that will give somewhat better results, but they do require some practice. I would suggest experimenting with smaller projects rather than putting a lot of work into something and then trying a finishing technique you’ve never used before.

Of course there is always the option to sand down and start over. :-)

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

View Laurent's profile

Laurent

41 posts in 2808 days


#12 posted 04-04-2009 04:31 AM

Thanks for the clarification about HD products, Joey. I’ll get better ingredients to try your blend as I don’t mind spending more time to get better results.

I’m pretty happy by the un-wax + new coat, the bright uniform color is back again but it’s not perfectly smooth as I’m now afraid of (wet) sanding.

Also what ingredient made the white maple turn yellowish? Would it stay white with better ingredients?

Charlie, you suggest that there are other methods. I don’t want to invest in a spraying gun, but is there any other way to get a resistant water proof finish? I’m still hoping to learn about a more ecologic solution…

Thanks,
Laurent

-- Laurent

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

16242 posts in 3681 days


#13 posted 04-04-2009 05:26 AM

Any oil-based varnish product, as far as I know, is going to impart some degree of yellowness to a finished surface. Water-based poly will give you a cooler, clearer finish. Again, it’s something to experiment with.

As for an eco-friendly finish, pure walnut oil dries hard and offers good water resistance, but of course it will give you a satin finish, not a gloss. Probably the most tried-and-true environmentally sound finish is shellac. Here is a good article about it: http://www.hwblair.com/wood/shellac.pdf

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

View Rob's profile

Rob

142 posts in 3393 days


#14 posted 04-04-2009 09:08 AM

My method of finishing is pretty straight forward and involves a Random Orbital Sander, some Scandinavian Oil as well as wet and dry sanding. (This oil will give a glossy finish with grain still available to the touch. China Wood Oil will give a satin finish)

I dry sand from 80g through 120,150,180,240 and 400g, then wipe the work piece down with Mineral Turps and let it dry.

Then I saturate the piece with oil, this usually requires about 2-3 coats over about 15-30 minutes.

Then I sand wet using the same 400g pad, followed by 500, 800, 1200,1500 and (if you can get them) 2000 and 4000g pads. I don’t remove any of the waste that you see while sanding. This tends to act as a grain filler. Ultimately, you are using friction to seal the oil into the wood.

Then all you need do is wipe with a soft cotton cloth, allow about 2-5 days for the oil to finally dry and then add the final finish of choice, e.g. Wax, Shellac, Wipe on Poly.
If you have a look at my projects, you will see how this method works out.

Regards,

Rob

-- http://www.damnfinefurniture.com

View Joey's profile

Joey

276 posts in 3278 days


#15 posted 04-04-2009 03:46 PM

if you want a clear finish, I think polycrylic from minwax is clear. You can get shellac in different shades by not truly clear. Most want that amber color, it adds warmth to the piece.

-- Joey, Magee, Ms http://woodnwaresms.com

showing 1 through 15 of 25 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com