Looking for some finishing/staining advice

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Forum topic by MarkJ posted 08-31-2009 08:17 PM 1124 views 0 times favorited 1 reply Add to Favorites Watch
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52 posts in 3871 days

08-31-2009 08:17 PM

I’m working on my first furniture project which is a pair of nesting end tables. Everything has been going pretty smooth so far and I’m now at the point of working on the table tops.

I’m hoping to find some staining/finishing advice for working out how to get the table top finished. The top consists of a Sapele veneered MDF panel which is then framed with cherry. The panel will be held in place by routing a groove around the outside edges of the panel and inside edges of the frame. Then a spline will join the two together (hopefully!!) with the top of the panel flush with the top of the cherry frame.

I’ve done some staining samples on some scrap cherry and have pretty much settled on putting on a 1lb cut of shellac first, followed by a coat of General Finishes Vintage Cherry water based dye stain.

Since I don’t want to stain the Sapele, my thought is to tape the mitered ends of the cherry frame and then go through the shellac and the dye stain process. Then glue up the cherry frame and veneered panel and put tape along all the edges anywhere that glue would squeeze out. Finally, once it is all glued up, put on the top coats of water based finish. I think my biggest obstacle in this case would be keeping the glue off of the frame and panel. I’m thinking maybe another coat of shellac over top of the dye stain before gluing up, may help here in case I do have to clean up some glue.

Does this sound like a reasonable approach? I’ve gotten this far in the project without any colossal screw-ups so if you see that I may be setting my self up for disaster, please let me know!


1 reply so far

View Sam Yerardi's profile

Sam Yerardi

244 posts in 3921 days

#1 posted 08-31-2009 09:21 PM

Using the shellac first on the cherry is a very good idea. That will help eliminate ‘blotching’. On the glue-up, I would suggest waiting until you do a glue cleanup before adding the top coats, etc. Whenever you have squeeze-out from gluing, always let it dry to point of being rubbery in texture, then scrape it off. Don’t use a wet rag or anything like that to wipe the squeeze-out away. You will create patches of surface that are impregnated with glue, and when you go to add finish or stain it will stick out like a sore thumb and be troublesome to fix.

-- Sam

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