Finishing a Walnut tabletop - need some help. - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 Old 11-19-2015, 03:48 PM Thread Starter
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Question Finishing a Walnut tabletop - need some help.

Hello. I've been working on a walnut dining room table for a few weeks now. Plan to finish gluing it up tonight. I think I've over analyzed and read too many articles. Starting to get confused on what I need to do and the order in which I do it.

My table is 3ft x 7ft. About 1.5" thick. Not looking for a completely perfect table, but do want it to be nice.

I was looking at using the 1st or 2nd option in this article (leaning towards the 1st): http://www.woodworkerssource.com/blo...ish-on-walnut/

Here's my questions:

  1. I have 2 or 3 small knots. None go thru the board. Should I use the wood filler I bought, or use epoxy and sawdust?
  2. Can I thin the Famowood filler down some and use it as a grain filler? If so, do I thin it with water or something else?

Last edited by bcurrey; 11-19-2015 at 04:52 PM.
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post #2 of 6 Old 11-19-2015, 05:45 PM
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The picture #1 is by far the best looking of the 3 examples.
The filler pulls out the grain with the oil finish.

I would fill any small holes first, before using stain.
Sand thoroughly, but don't spot sand. Use long sanding strokes with the grain. I recommend a walnut colored filler. If the paste filler is new, it should be ready to use as is without thinning. We usually only thin hole filler after it starts to dry out.
Don't confuse a hole filler with a grain filler. Don't try to thin Famowood hole filler to use as grain filler. Two entirely different things.
The grain filler is usually sold in quart cans. Hole filler is sold in little 5 oz cans or in tubes like bath caulk.
Grain filler might need thinned down to slow drying time.
Grain filler is applied by rubbing on cross grain. Allowed to harden and rubbed off cross grain. Use coarse cloth for rubbing off. You're trying to leave the filler in the grain. If you rub with the grain, you will rub it all off. Let the he filler set-up, but don't let it get hard on you. I usually use mineral spirits for a thinner if needed. It will most likely tell you on the can. Unlike Oak or Mahogany, Walnut usually needs very little grain filling.
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post #3 of 6 Old 11-21-2015, 09:50 AM Thread Starter
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Appreciate the response.

One more question. I'm confused as to the order I do all this. I **think** I apply in this sequence. Let me know if I'm wrong.
  1. Sand and clean surface.
  2. Apply thin coat of the sealer
  3. Sand lightly. Then add 1st coat of grain filler (I was going to tint with a dark brown/black color for contrast)
  4. Remove excess grain filler, and apply second coat of grain filler.
  5. Remove excess filler.
  6. Apply stain over entire table.
  7. Apply Poly.
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post #4 of 6 Old 11-21-2015, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcurrey View Post
Appreciate the response.

One more question. I'm confused as to the order I do all this. I **think** I apply in this sequence. Let me know if I'm wrong.
  1. Sand and clean surface.
  2. Apply thin coat of the sealer
  3. Sand lightly. Then add 1st coat of grain filler (I was going to tint with a dark brown/black color for contrast)
  4. Remove excess grain filler, and apply second coat of grain filler.
  5. Remove excess filler.
  6. Apply stain over entire table.
  7. Apply Poly.

We may not all follow the same sequence, so I'm just stating my steps.
After sanding to 220 and wiping clean
I stain.
After the stain has dried, I apply the wood grain filler. I buy pre-tinted wood grain filler rather than trying to tint. (The filler is paste and will be very difficult to stir in a tint consistently.)
After paste filler has been wiped and thoroughly dried (maybe more than 24 hours) Seal, scuff sand with 320 sandpaper and start the finish coats.
I'm not a big fan of poly on walnut but I know many are.
After maybe 3 coats of finish ( I prefer premium lacquer). Rub down with a rubbing compound to reach your final sheen.
Enjoy!
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post #5 of 6 Old 11-22-2015, 07:22 AM
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I would go with about 3 coats of shellac and a nice coat of wax.
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post #6 of 6 Old 11-22-2015, 07:46 AM
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If I was finishing a walnut table I'd follow this to a "T"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdNMmSSBSms
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