did I finish my table top right

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Forum topic by noblevfd posted 07-20-2009 03:42 AM 1340 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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48 posts in 3661 days

07-20-2009 03:42 AM

grizzmans post on warp in table top prompts this question about my table top made of 8/4 cherry i used varathane wood sealer over whole top but only finished top and sides with waterlox will that be enough or should I pull the top and finish the bottom no problems yet been in the house about 3 months

thanks noblevfd God bless

9 replies so far

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 3948 days

#1 posted 07-20-2009 03:48 AM

You should put the same finish, with the same amount of coats on all surfaces, otherwise the wood is going to take up moisture unevenly.

View Don K.'s profile

Don K.

1075 posts in 3530 days

#2 posted 07-20-2009 04:04 AM

Agree with Tim.

-- Don S.E. OK

View noblevfd's profile


48 posts in 3661 days

#3 posted 07-25-2009 07:13 AM

thanks ljs for your response I kinda new that is what you would say but had to ask

thanks noblevfd God Bless

View CharlesNeil's profile


2457 posts in 4074 days

#4 posted 07-25-2009 03:57 PM

you really need to finish all the sides…top and bottom the advise here is 100% correct

View miles125's profile


2180 posts in 4209 days

#5 posted 07-25-2009 04:04 PM

I think an unbalanced finish will have a negligible impact on 8/4 Cherry. I wouldn’t sweat it.

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View jerry mayfield's profile

jerry mayfield

36 posts in 4289 days

#6 posted 07-25-2009 04:30 PM

This is another of the stories that are told and retold until they become “so called facts”. Next time you have the opportunity examine the underside of as many antiques a and note how many of them were never finished.


-- jerry,mlchigan

View hObOmOnk's profile


1381 posts in 4331 days

#7 posted 07-25-2009 04:49 PM


I have a house full of antique and early period furniture.
Most pieces have no finish on the undersides.

Our house is 80 years old and none of the original woodwork was finished on the back sides.

We have wild swings in relative humidity here in Kentucky and I haven’t seen any problems.

OTOH, modern quick kiln dried and over-milled lumber might be problematic. I don’t know?

-- 温故知新

View EEngineer's profile


1117 posts in 3817 days

#8 posted 07-26-2009 06:33 AM

I routinely seal the bottoms of any flat surfaces I want to stay flat. I agree, I’ve seen lots of antiques that were never sealed on the unseen sides, but I have personally seen stuff warp with unfinished sides. Maybe they would have warped anyway. That being said, I never spend as much time on the unseen sides as I do on the seen, finished sides. I think just sealing it is enough and, so far (15 years maximum on an MDF drum sander table, laminate on the finish side, 1 coat poly on the unseen side) that seems to be enough.

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

View noblevfd's profile


48 posts in 3661 days

#9 posted 07-26-2009 05:24 PM

thanks LJs your answers prove the old saying their are always two sides to the story

thanks noblevfd God Bless

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