Refinishing old/barn wood for farm table - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 16 Old 02-08-2011, 06:08 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Refinishing old/barn wood for farm table

I would like to build a farm table out of old barn wood, but am hazy on the process between claiming the wood and finishing it for a table. After cleaning the planks of wood with powerwashing and other methods, how could I prep it be a clean and smooth surface (no splinters)? I am worried that if I were to sand too much of it or plane it that it would take off any of the aged patina that I want. I basically want to be able to keep this patina, have a smoother surface, and either use linseed oil and wax or some other form of final protectant. How do I finish a cleaned but virtually untouched plank of wood to look somewhat like the attached picture (of course, it depends on the wood type as well)?
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post #2 of 16 Old 02-08-2011, 06:15 PM
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If I was doing it I would just lightly sand the planks with an orbital sander and 120 grit paper.

For a finish I would use Waterlox. It is a tung oil finish. You can mix the stain in with the finish for the first couple of coats, no more than one part stain to four parts Waterlox. Brush on the first couple of coats then from there just use the Waterlox. Sand lightly between coats.

It is a great finish and easily repaired if any damage occurs.

Here is a great page that tells all about it. http://www.waterlox.com/assets/pdfs/...uide-FINAL.pdf

Do one thing at a time, do it well, then move on.
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post #3 of 16 Old 02-08-2011, 09:56 PM
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depends on what kind of wood/what part of the barn.
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post #4 of 16 Old 02-08-2011, 10:10 PM
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Wouldn't pressure wash

I would just scrub using a floor brush, with simple green and warm water to remove crud, soil and loose material. I would then spritz with mineral spirits to kill any organic/living buggers. Let it dry thoroughly. Pressure washing will remove the patina.
Any oil finish would keep a warm tone. Cabots make a highly regarded deck oil. http://www.cabots.com.au/exterior/deck_deckingoil.asp With an oil you can touch up and recoat at any time unlike poly. bill

There is no charge for the free advice, but you get what you pay for ... just sayin'
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post #5 of 16 Old 02-09-2011, 05:30 AM
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Quote:
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If I was doing it I would just lightly sand the planks with an orbital sander and 120 grit paper.

For a finish I would use Waterlox. It is a tung oil finish. You can mix the stain in with the finish for the first couple of coats, no more than one part stain to four parts Waterlox. Brush on the first couple of coats then from there just use the Waterlox. Sand lightly between coats.

It is a great finish and easily repaired if any damage occurs.

Here is a great page that tells all about it. http://www.waterlox.com/assets/pdfs/...uide-FINAL.pdf

+1. A good stand alone (one step) finish works best. For that matter, even an interior varnish with stain mixed in, thinned about 25% with mineral spirits would be an easy finish to wipe on. Save what isn't used for touch ups. A dining type table needs more protection than just an oil finish, IMO.








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post #6 of 16 Old 02-09-2011, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
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Re: preping barn wood for farm table

Thank you all for your comments on stains and oils - I think what I will do is test on several peices of wood to see which outcome I would like best.

So - to get this right - If I powerwash the barn wood, the nice old patina will come off? But if I sand it lightly, it should keep it?

I just want to make sure I keep that rich color look, get a smoother surface, and oil it down.

BUGS - what would the best mothod be to get rid of any hidden bugs in the wood?

Thanks!
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post #7 of 16 Old 02-09-2011, 01:40 PM
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I wouldn't worry about the bugs, they won't eat too much.

Harrison, at your service!
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post #8 of 16 Old 02-09-2011, 01:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indyroma View Post
Thank you all for your comments on stains and oils - I think what I will do is test on several peices of wood to see which outcome I would like best.

So - to get this right - If I powerwash the barn wood, the nice old patina will come off? But if I sand it lightly, it should keep it?

I just want to make sure I keep that rich color look, get a smoother surface, and oil it down.

BUGS - what would the best mothod be to get rid of any hidden bugs in the wood?

Thanks!
Lightly sanding the wood will keep most of it on. The sander will only hit the high spots and skip over the low unless you get too agressive.

Definately practice on some scrap so you can get a feel for how to do it and how it will look.

Do one thing at a time, do it well, then move on.
www.bigdaveswoodworks.com
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post #9 of 16 Old 02-09-2011, 01:41 PM Thread Starter
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H.A.S. - you don't think they would eat up my house or surprise me during dinner?
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post #10 of 16 Old 02-09-2011, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
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Big Dave - if I plane it in some areas, we can forget about the patina there, correct?
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post #11 of 16 Old 02-09-2011, 01:45 PM
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Yes. any planing will take it down to new wood.

Do one thing at a time, do it well, then move on.
www.bigdaveswoodworks.com
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post #12 of 16 Old 02-09-2011, 01:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indyroma View Post
Thank you all for your comments on stains and oils - I think what I will do is test on several peices of wood to see which outcome I would like best.

So - to get this right - If I powerwash the barn wood, the nice old patina will come off? But if I sand it lightly, it should keep it?

I just want to make sure I keep that rich color look, get a smoother surface, and oil it down.

BUGS - what would the best mothod be to get rid of any hidden bugs in the wood?

Thanks!
In my experience with weathered wood any sanding will leave
raw wood exposed on the high spots, a lighter color and there will plenty of those.
If that's the look you want then sanding will get ya there. I recommended a brush (stiff ) to just remove the crud and loose stuff to keep as much "old wood" look as possible. Your experiments will prove or disprove this. Sand one, brush one, wash with Mineral Spirits which will show the results instantly and kill a few bugs in the process.
Powder post beetles are the main concern since they will find a new source of food and it won't be what you're havin' for dinner. http://www.powderpostbeetles.com/
The choice of finish, oil, poly, water based poly acrylic, is up to you, but I have a laminated oak dining room table with a smooth surface and every year or so I scrub it down with a nylon pad and put an new coat of tung oil or Danish oil and it looks brand new again. The old wood will have crevices and gaps where food may lodge so a poly finish will be easier to clean. bill
BTW that table looks great if you can achieve that....

There is no charge for the free advice, but you get what you pay for ... just sayin'

Last edited by woodnthings; 02-09-2011 at 01:59 PM.
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post #13 of 16 Old 02-09-2011, 02:25 PM
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H.A.S. - you don't think they would eat up my house or surprise me during dinner?
Seriously though, why not encase the wood in plastic and fumigate it for a few days, let it air out a few days, good to go.?

Harrison, at your service!
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post #14 of 16 Old 02-09-2011, 03:48 PM Thread Starter
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H.A.S. - Not a bad idea... I just might do that!
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post #15 of 16 Old 02-09-2011, 09:03 PM
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not all fumigations are good for DINING !!!!. Safest thing to do is have it kilned with heat above ??130 deg?? this will kill the bugs. If I'm not mistaken, some pro reclaimers kiln there treasures prior to using/saling.

Have a Blessed day,
Tim
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post #16 of 16 Old 03-16-2011, 08:25 PM
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you may also consider a scuffing pad to get the splinters and other debris off the surface. It'll get into the rough low spots w/o showing new wood on the high spots. You may also check into Micromesh.
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