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Cherry end tables finish plan

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Forum topic by bbasiaga posted 03-06-2015 10:19 AM 1207 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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bbasiaga

757 posts in 1460 days


03-06-2015 10:19 AM

Topic tags/keywords: finishing cherry

I’m working with Cherry for the first time on a set of endtables and a coffee table to match. I have been reading around ant watching YouTube about Cherry finishing, and have seen a lot of technique, but none that are what I was thinking of – plain old poly urethane.

I like the color of natural cherry wood, and can wait for it to redden on its own. I need a durable finish because they will be placed in my family room where my daughter will be putting drinks, fruit snacks, etc on them. I was thinking good old poly would be a nice way to stay true to the natural wood.

Will that blotch somehow? I always thought that was mainly a stain thing, but a lot of the internet ‘wisdom’ i have heard seems to imply that getting away from the blotching is why they do these crazy mixes of stains, oils, etc.

I don’t have a good way to spray laquer, but I suppose if there is a brush or roll on version I could do that too.

What do you guys think is the best way to get the natural look of the cherry and have a nice protective layer?

-Brian

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.


23 replies so far

View Minorhero's profile

Minorhero

372 posts in 2070 days


#1 posted 03-06-2015 11:39 AM

Arm-r-seal. It can be brushed or wiped on. It is part polyurethane so you get that protection. And it penetrates so it lasts a long time. First coat will blotch, 2nd and 3rd coat will clean that up. Worked really well on my dining room table.

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ChefHDAN

808 posts in 2314 days


#2 posted 03-06-2015 12:20 PM

I personally like BLO with 7 to 14 days of cure then covered with a waterbased poly.

This table (in my projects for the finish) with a fresh finish buffed and waxed after 3 days poly cure

Aged and darkened to this color after 4 years. It’s in my fronnt hall and catches most everything that gets dropped when you walk in the door.

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

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bonesbr549

1176 posts in 2532 days


#3 posted 03-06-2015 02:01 PM

I work almost exclusively with cherry and love the wood.

I prefer Waterlox on natural cherry. If you are concerned about blotching, you can pretreat with Charles Neils blotch control which is very good.

I’ve started switching however to waterbase finishes from General Finishes. It’s more forgiving than waterlox and you can apply three coats in an afternoon. Tradeoffs though. The waterlox emparts that nice amber tone.

Wine cabinet natural (with blush) waterlox finish
https://flic.kr/s/aHsjDQLAxi

General Finishes dye & high performance TC

https://flic.kr/s/aHsjDxpcFT

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

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bbasiaga

757 posts in 1460 days


#4 posted 03-06-2015 08:38 PM

Bonesbr549,

In your second link, what dye did you use?

Minorhero, can you post a picture of your table? I’d love to see it. Arm-r-seal was one thing I was considering.

ChefHDAN, that looks great. There is a lot of work in that finish but it looks great.

-Brian

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

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bbasiaga

757 posts in 1460 days


#5 posted 03-06-2015 08:58 PM

Dumb question…but which version of Waterlox?

-Brian

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

4858 posts in 2278 days


#6 posted 03-06-2015 09:53 PM

Usually the darker the color the more prone to blotching. Since you want a natural color, try some test samples. If you notice any blotching, use diluted Zinssner Seal Coat as a conditioner. Thin the Seal Coat 50/50 with denatured alcohol and wipe it on. When that dries scuff sand lightly if needed with a very fine sanding sponge, and apply your topcoat of choice.
Slow-cure poly would probably be my last choice. I can’t stand that it stays tacky so long.
I like to spray non-yellowing lacquer, but any wipe-on finish will work.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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OSU55

1058 posts in 1454 days


#7 posted 03-06-2015 10:13 PM

For your application (kids), good old poly is hard to beat. Why don’t you test some good old poly on some cutoffs and if satisfied, go? If not satisfied, use a sealer coat, then apply the poly. I use either waterbased topcoat (any that dries clear will work) thinned 50/50 with water, or glue size (made with 1 part Elmer’s glue all – dries clear – and 5 parts water – same thing as Charles Neil’s conditioner). I prefer a waterbased sealer because of long open time. It can be spread around and let sit for several minutes, allowing the areas that will blotch absorb more, so that the stain/top coat then absorbs evenly. Wipe off the excess, let dry, sand lightly with the last grit you used pre-sealing (320 or higher), stain/topcoat.

The problem with shellac (and other solvent sealers) is that the same amount of shellac gets absorbed by all parts of the surface, which reduces stain penetration everywhere, and still result in uneven coloring. I have much better success with waterbased sealers.

View bonesbr549's profile

bonesbr549

1176 posts in 2532 days


#8 posted 03-07-2015 03:56 PM


Dumb question…but which version of Waterlox?

-Brian

- bbasiaga

Original Satin finish for me, as I never liked the high sheen stuff. I use two coats of their sealer, and 3-5 coats of inish.

It looks fantastic, and rubs out nice. However it’s extremely a PIA to deal with. 24hrs between coats, and the clean up is a pain. I spray it on. You will thing it’s dang perfect walk away and a run will pop up. Easy to deal with though. If you hatch them while freshly sprayed you can use the olld masking tape trick to lift the excess off and it will flow out. If you don’t see it till dry, do not sand it. Take a razorblade and use it as a scraper and scrape it off and hit it with a light coat and it will flow in and you will never see it.

This is one of the reasons I switched to waterbase, but if a client wants that look I’ll do it.

Here’s a link to a wine cabinet I do, with a natural cherry finish and waterlox satin

https://flic.kr/s/aHsjvaxHi6

It’s also dang expensive!

The link below shows General finishes with dye and High performance top. It’s more shinny and will not empart that deep amber look, if you do natrual cherry.

https://flic.kr/s/aHsk645fDP

I just got an order for a wine cabinet with the waterlox, so I will be dealing with it again shortly. (once i finish this one)

Cheers.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

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bonesbr549

1176 posts in 2532 days


#9 posted 03-07-2015 04:04 PM



Bonesbr549,

In your second link, what dye did you use?

Minorhero, can you post a picture of your table? I d love to see it. Arm-r-seal was one thing I was considering.

ChefHDAN, that looks great. There is a lot of work in that finish but it looks great.

-Brian

- bbasiaga

It’s a mix from Charles Neil’s recipie for cherry. I think (sorry been a while since i mixed it) 1 part general finishes light brown, and 1 part cinimon, and 1/4 part water.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View CharlesA's profile

CharlesA

3022 posts in 1262 days


#10 posted 03-07-2015 04:13 PM

I really like straight arm-R-seal on cherry and letting it age. I tried straight waterborne poly (GF), and it may end up the same after a while, but is much lighter initially.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View Drew's profile

Drew

304 posts in 2565 days


#11 posted 03-07-2015 04:28 PM

My favorite finish on cherry is Tried & True Danish oil. It is a slow drying oil so it brings a lot of oxygen into the wood.
For more durability I would recommend brushing on Arm-r-Seal after 4-6 days of dry time.

EmTech 9300 is my goto top coat but I haven’t tried it over oil yet to recommend it.

Here is a table top finished with T&T Danish oil. The sample on top is T&T Danish oil with Arm-r-seal as a topcoat.

-- TruCraftFurniture.com

View Drew's profile

Drew

304 posts in 2565 days


#12 posted 03-07-2015 04:30 PM

Should also mention that both of these are about a year old.

-- TruCraftFurniture.com

View bbasiaga's profile

bbasiaga

757 posts in 1460 days


#13 posted 03-08-2015 12:26 AM

My gosh, you know what? As much as I like making plans, then cutting/shaping the wood, I HATE finishing. Too many choices.

I have some Danish oil, and a quart of the General Finishes gel topcoat. The guy at the lumber shop had recommended that to me, so i picked some up to try. Then I completely forgot about it until I made this post, and saw the bag in the shop. Hopefully next weekend i’ll be able to make it to Woodcraft and pick up some of the dyes etc mentioned above to try that out too. Might also get some Arm-r-Seal. Its not like I won’t use it for something in the future.

I’m still unsure of the need for blotch control. Per my understanding, I shouldn’t really need that if I am not staining or dying right? The Danish oil and/or topcoat shouldn’t require pre-treatment?

-Brian

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View ChefHDAN's profile

ChefHDAN

808 posts in 2314 days


#14 posted 03-08-2015 01:13 PM

My first few years of making saw dust I used Watco for everything because it was a simple oil finish, and there was not alot of chance for error or me screwing up a piece because I couldn’t get the finish right. Enter kids and then there was the whole durability question when I started using Poly. Over the years Ive found that poly will go over most anything and make it last longer, and easy to fix the boo boos, like when my girls discovered painting thier nails. Some folks don’t like the poly for the “plastic-y” feel of it and I understand, but then after cleaning 4 shades of dried nail polish off of a 1914 QS oak table I refinished with a biy of mineral spirits and a 1000 scotchbrite, i’m dammed thankful for poly…

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View bonesbr549's profile

bonesbr549

1176 posts in 2532 days


#15 posted 03-08-2015 01:59 PM



My gosh, you know what? As much as I like making plans, then cutting/shaping the wood, I HATE finishing. Too many choices.

I have some Danish oil, and a quart of the General Finishes gel topcoat. The guy at the lumber shop had recommended that to me, so i picked some up to try. Then I completely forgot about it until I made this post, and saw the bag in the shop. Hopefully next weekend i ll be able to make it to Woodcraft and pick up some of the dyes etc mentioned above to try that out too. Might also get some Arm-r-Seal. Its not like I won t use it for something in the future.

I m still unsure of the need for blotch control. Per my understanding, I shouldn t really need that if I am not staining or dying right? The Danish oil and/or topcoat shouldn t require pre-treatment?

-Brian

- bbasiaga

I think most of us are in that boat. I was for sure. I’d make a piece get to the finish and slap some oil on in and the uglies would come out and it would tick me off to no end. Then I moved up to Shellac as its super forgiving, and if you screw it up, just wipe with Alcohol and do again. Water stains & hot cups will run though.

I moved up to more daring finishes and now don’t mind everything from Precat-LaQ to oils to waterbase. Although I don’t do to many oils anymore too much time to dry. The Oil base finishes are getting harder and harder to get ($$). EPA is trying to kill them. Now-a-days waterbase is come a long way and I was a hard convert, but love them now.

I’d like to recommend Charles Neil’s finishing A-Z it ain’t cheap but it’s 10 DVD’s and it brought me out of the forrest on the subject. He also has a finishing show online that for a monthly subscription you can watch any of the back shows and he has a blog that takes questions it’s really good.

Now I build to finish as he puts it. It takes just a smidg more time and effort but the finish product is awesome. I really don’t sweat the finishing anymore.

He also goes into the chemitstry behind each type of finish as well (he’s an old auto body guy).

There are a lot of choices out there and you may just need to experiment (not on finished pieces) on the combinations you want.

If you want to use color and in some places it’s a great fit. Doing it right and understanding the types of dyes to use based on the topcoat you select (water.vs. alcohol). A good base, then a good matching set of products from the same vendor (don’t mix n match), it works out great.

I will make a suggestion get a HVLP sprayer. That just opens up so much for what you can do. I invested in a good system 8 years ago thats still going strong. The new earlex’s they have out are getting rave reviews as a cheaper alternative.

If you register at Neil’s website , you will get on occasional e-mail announcing a sale on his dvd’s. That’s when I have bought all mine.

Remember to test your finish plan on a piece of scrap and use a trace coat of waterbase dye cut 50% with water. Wipe it on and sand till it’s gone and its done. It will show any uglies, before you put all that money on in finish.

Good luck! Cheers.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

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