Refinishing Question - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 19 Old 05-04-2015, 09:15 AM Thread Starter
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Refinishing Question

Hi, not a professional here but I recently have the space to so I've started small woodworking projects as a hobby and need your advice.

I just bought a vintage Danish solid teak side table I want to refinish. It's in great shape except for a few water stains in the top. I'm told it only has a clear coat of teak oil on it which is how I intend to finish it once I'm done.

Pics: http://imgur.com/a/41jQZ

I just purchased an orbital sander but I really have no experience with refinishing and wanted your opinion on how to proceed. Any good literature you can point me to?

Main questions:
Do I need to use a stripper before I sand?
What grade sandpaper should I start with/ finish with?

Thanks!!
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post #2 of 19 Old 05-04-2015, 09:48 AM
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generally speaking, IME, sanding a finish is a laborious job... it gums up the sand paper in seconds and you go through sheets like water. thats with Poly anyway... perhaps teak oil wont be as bad... Id still be inclined to hit it with a stripper to start for whatever benefit it can provide.

after that Id go with something like 100grit up to 220grit
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post #3 of 19 Old 05-04-2015, 12:35 PM
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When refinishing always start with paint stripper. Even though it may only have teak oil on it there is some penetrated into the wood which would gum up on the paper when sanding and then make the finish blotchy when putting a new finish on.

I suspect the top is veneered banded with solid wood. If this is true you sure don't want to get very aggressive sanding. I wouldn't use anything coarser than 100 grit however the stains I would try to get rid of them as much as possible with either oxalic acid or bleach before sanding. This would minimize the amount of sanding and perhaps a sand through cleaning it up.

What is your plans for a new finish? If you are planning on polyurethane it doesn't adhere well to teak. I would be necessary to put a coat of Zinsser Sealcoat on first, then you would be good to go with poly.
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post #4 of 19 Old 05-04-2015, 01:37 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advise. I've checked, it's all solid teak, not just veneered. I'm planning to just use a teak oil finish, no stain
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post #5 of 19 Old 05-04-2015, 01:44 PM
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Im just curious, but how are you certain? the grain pattern doesnt look like a panel.
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post #6 of 19 Old 05-04-2015, 02:56 PM
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From the pictures, While the table top edges are solid, the center is almost certainly veneer. That's a pretty common build for Danish teak furniture. With all of the Scandinavian tables I've ever seen, the end grain shows obviously when they're solid teak.

As others have said, I'd start by stripping, including the table legs- you should be able to disassemble the table, to avoid getting stripper on the cane shelf. After stripping, I'd wipe surfaces with mineral spirits before going to oxalic acid or bleach, which might result in unintended color changes themselves. Mineral spirits will give you an idea of how your final finish will look, and whether you have any stains that will show.

With veneer, I'd be really leery of using a ROS (or any powered sander), for fear of sanding through the veneer, at least at the outset, and certainly not with coarse paper. If you do need to sand, do it by hand, using only medium to fine grits, and be careful. Most of the Teak veneers I've seen are really thin. Good luck, and post pics when you finish!
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post #7 of 19 Old 05-04-2015, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
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Really appreciate the input! The only issue I have left I think regarding sanding is that there is a slight lip between the center panel and the border in two of the corners. I'm assuming there may have been some moisture that entered that seam and caused it to swell slightly, I tried to capture this in one of the photos above. Id like to sand it back flush but if your saying it's likely a thin veneer than id rather live with the small lip in two corners then destroy the piece.
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post #8 of 19 Old 05-04-2015, 03:27 PM
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I bet that is the veneer comming loose. I would not sand it until you get advice from others here. I don't know enough to say what to do.

Don

PS- I can't believe it, I am 72 and still don't know it all.
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post #9 of 19 Old 05-04-2015, 10:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hawkeye10 View Post
I bet that is the veneer comming loose. I would not sand it until you get advice from others here. I don't know enough to say what to do.

Don

PS- I can't believe it, I am 72 and still don't know it all.
You could never know it all. The more you learn the more you forget to make room for the new stuff.
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post #10 of 19 Old 05-04-2015, 11:00 PM
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That looks like a veneered piece to me and I would start by stripping to get a better look at what you have. If you have the veneer lifting, you need to deal with that before proceeding. I'm not experienced in veneer so that repair needs the input from a more experienced craftsman.
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post #11 of 19 Old 05-04-2015, 11:37 PM
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To be certain the center panel is solid wood you could always turn the table upside down and make a small gouge on the underside. Also there is a chance the underside is a different species of wood anyway. Teak veneer is expensive and if the furniture company that built the table veneered it they might have only veneered the top side.
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post #12 of 19 Old 05-04-2015, 11:48 PM
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You could never know it all. The more you learn the more you forget to make room for the new stuff.
I think most of us have wives that would disagree with that statement...

Anyway, to the topic at hand i agree with everybody whos pointed out that top is likely veneered. It would seem to me that mitered corners on a frame around a solid panel would very quickly break due to wood movement. As far as refinishing goes, start with a paint stripper. Avoid sanding if at all possible, because i guarantee that if you look away for a second you WILL sand through the veneer. Stick to chemicals, particularly steves idea about using oxalic acid to bleach the entire top. Get it equally light and then stain/dye to get the color back

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post #13 of 19 Old 05-05-2015, 12:23 AM
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Quote:
I'm assuming there may have been some moisture that entered that seam and caused it to swell slightly, I tried to capture this in one of the photos above.
Yeah, now that I look more carefully, I can see that little ridge at the edge joint. I suspect that you're right about water getting into the seam. The lifting of the center, while the solid wood edge is another piece of evidence that it is indeed a veneer.

Just about all consumer exported Danish furniture I've seen has particle board as a substrate under the veneer, which soaks up water and swells like a sponge, so I suspect the substrate has swollen, rather than the veneer having separated.

I don't know of any way of recompressing particle board once it has swollen. Ideally, you could remove the veneer, and flatten the swollen areas, then reapply the veneer, but I doubt that you'd be able to release the glue to remove the veneer. I think you'll just need to accept the lifted edge as part of the character of the piece. The good news is that from the picture it looks as though the veneer is fairly thick, so you might- very carefully- sand the edge of the veneer to soften the transition at the seam somewhat. Just my .02 Good luck.
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post #14 of 19 Old 05-05-2015, 06:27 AM Thread Starter
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Looking at it closely, It's definitely veneered in the middle so I'll take the advise on avoiding sanding and starting with chemicals. Since I'm still new to this and haven't started stocking supplies, I'll be buying stripper later today to get things started. Saw a few brands of striper at my local paint store, is there a preferred brand?
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post #15 of 19 Old 05-05-2015, 07:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joza View Post
Hi, not a professional here but I recently have the space to so I've started small woodworking projects as a hobby and need your advice.

I just bought a vintage Danish solid teak side table I want to refinish. It's in great shape except for a few water stains in the top. I'm told it only has a clear coat of teak oil on it which is how I intend to finish it once I'm done.

Pics: http://imgur.com/a/41jQZ

I just purchased an orbital sander but I really have no experience with refinishing and wanted your opinion on how to proceed. Any good literature you can point me to?

Main questions:
Do I need to use a stripper before I sand?
What grade sandpaper should I start with/ finish with?

Thanks!!
that may be like a insuret maybe a 1/4" or so , use a stripper first, it look thick enough for some sanding with 220 or 400 just depends on what it look's like after the stripper is used, it will raise the grain some, you will have to see what comes after the stripper is used , i finish lot's of furnature , good luck
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post #16 of 19 Old 05-05-2015, 10:31 AM Thread Starter
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Any preference to stripper brands? Paint store near me carries citrus stripper and Jasco
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post #17 of 19 Old 05-05-2015, 02:00 PM
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The citrus strippers are pretty crummy. Use a methylene chloride type remover such as Kleen Strip and thoroughly rinse if off with lacquer thinner frequently changing rags.
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post #18 of 19 Old 05-05-2015, 04:20 PM
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Any preference to stripper brands? Paint store near me carries citrus stripper and Jasco
Avoid anything labelled "all natural" "VOC free" or "skin safe". They'll sit on there all day and not even touch the paint

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post #19 of 19 Old 05-06-2015, 11:25 PM
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by hawkeye10 View Post
PS- I can't believe it, I am 72 and still don't know it all.
Don, it doesn't get any better, either. I've got two years on you and I still have that problem...
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