Finishing a picnic table project - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 Old 06-13-2019, 02:40 PM Thread Starter
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Finishing a picnic table project

Hi everyone,

I am currently in the middle of he process on building my kiddo's picnic table. I bought the wood as pre-cut in Home Depot and then I already applied stain and first coat of polyurethane finish while it is still not assembled to make sure that every corner will be protected. Then after polyurethane has dried, I put wood filler to cover all the screws, but I forgot to put the wood glue before assembling it. Also, I noticed that I applied an interior wood filler on it and I am thinking to reapply a new wood filler for exterior.

Questions:

1. Can I put stain on those wood filler without repeating the process?

2. Should I reapply wood filler exterior on it and remove the one that I applied?


Thanks
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post #2 of 9 Old 06-13-2019, 03:55 PM
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You have a couple problems. First is polyurethane is an interior finish. Then to have prefinished the parts it's no longer possible to use glue. Glue works by soaking into the wood and then turning into a plastic. It won't work on sealed wood. You're going to have to rely on just the screws.

You can apply a filler to nail or screw holes but it won't adhere quite as well if it didn't have polyurethane in the holes. Just be sure to use a solvent based putty. The water based won't adhere at all.

Next time go ahead and assemble a project before you think of the finish. On exterior wood use a marine grade spar varnish. Wood expands and contracts more on exterior projects and needs a finish that is flexible enough to expand and contract with the wood. This is what a spar varnish is developed for. The best is Epifanes but is a bit expensive and available at places that sell boat supplies. Lowe's carries Cabot spar varnish which is probably about middle grade. The worst is Helmsman
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post #3 of 9 Old 06-13-2019, 04:26 PM Thread Starter
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Hi,

I think I didn't use Polyurethane then lol. I bought Varathane Varathane Diamond Wood Finish OB Exterior Gloss. When I asked the lady in Home Depot if it is polyurethane, she said yes lol. But that doesn't matter now as I used Exterior finish and not poly. Thanks goodness it is for exterior.

for the question #1: I already put an interior wood filler (it was too late when I noticed I bought interior filler as I already applied it.) So I was thinking if I can remove the interior wood filler and then reapply an exterior wood filer (which I believe it is solven-based). then since I will apply an exterior wood stain, should I put a stain on it or just continue on my 2nd coat of finish?

Sorry, I am still newbie who is willing to learn from the experience people like you guys!

Appreciated all your advice.

Thanks
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post #4 of 9 Old 06-13-2019, 09:48 PM
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I'm not sure I would worry about an interior wood filler if you are going to put an exterior finish over the top. Rather than trying to dig it out you might just put an extra coat of finish on. The filler will be alright with the sun and the wood movement, it's being soaked in water that would be an issue. If you can keep water out of it you should be alright.

Just so you know there is an exterior polyurethane but you won't find it at the box stores, it would come from a professional finishers source.
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post #5 of 9 Old 06-14-2019, 09:37 AM
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Zill - just continue with your project to the best of your abilities.
in 5 years or so when you see it is starting to deteriorate, build
a new one. your skill level will be greatly enhanced by then.
let the kids enjoy it for now - in the summer time.
my "kid" just turned 45. time is extremely short when life gets busy.

.

.

-- Failure is proof that you at least tried ~ now, go do it again, and again, until you get it right --
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post #6 of 9 Old 06-14-2019, 12:12 PM
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fwiw I would still use glue on your joints. it wont be as strong as on bare wood, but will certainly add strength. scuff the joint area up with some 100-120 grit first.




oops re-read your post - already assembled....
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post #7 of 9 Old 06-17-2019, 05:16 PM Thread Starter
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Wink

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
I'm not sure I would worry about an interior wood filler if you are going to put an exterior finish over the top. Rather than trying to dig it out you might just put an extra coat of finish on. The filler will be alright with the sun and the wood movement, it's being soaked in water that would be an issue. If you can keep water out of it you should be alright.

Just so you know there is an exterior polyurethane but you won't find it at the box stores, it would come from a professional finishers source.
I already did my second coat. I was gonna restain it but it is gonna be hard for me and it will take additional time and effort to finish it. so I coated it and it is all good now. will sand it again and apply 3rd and final coat this week. thanks for your help and advice.
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post #8 of 9 Old 06-17-2019, 05:18 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Smith_inFL View Post
Zill - just continue with your project to the best of your abilities.
in 5 years or so when you see it is starting to deteriorate, build
a new one. your skill level will be greatly enhanced by then.
let the kids enjoy it for now - in the summer time.
my "kid" just turned 45. time is extremely short when life gets busy.

.

.
Already! I've learned from this first wood working project and for sure next time I know what to do and what to buy without wasting any effort and time and money. this is worth it. I will just need to apply a final coat and that's it. Thanks for your advice.
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post #9 of 9 Old 06-17-2019, 05:22 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimPa View Post
fwiw I would still use glue on your joints. it wont be as strong as on bare wood, but will certainly add strength. scuff the joint area up with some 100-120 grit first.




oops re-read your post - already assembled....
I was actually planning to apply glue while building it but I totally forgot as I was so excited to build it and when I realized that I missed to put it, then it was too late and I don't wanna disassemble and rebuild it. but this is totally a learning lesson for me and you guys have enlighten me on my next ones

Thanks!!
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