Need help with deciding on Poly - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 10-19-2014, 05:03 PM Thread Starter
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Question Need help with deciding on Poly

Hello all,

In 2007, my husband and I refinished his lovely Pine table. Stained it a beautiful natural color and looks amazing in our dining room. Problem we have been experiencing is, we were very green in our finishing of the table. We asked the "lovely" people of our big box hardware store and was assured to use a lacquer, which left the finish, ok, for the most part. Later on, a few months down the road, we noticed that anything with significant heat was set on it, it would stick to the table. Yes, I used hot pads, coasters, place mats, table cloths, it all stuck. I have set paper plates on the table and they would stick so bad, it would almost seem to meld into the table and we could not get it off.

Well, I finally have grown tired of it and we are going to attempt to refinish it again. same top color, slightly different color for the legs. I do not want to make the same mistake with the top coat of it. We have all that we need for this project, just needed to know what to use to finish it. Also, what method would be best to apply it? Brush, foam sponges, or spray? My husband was able to spray the poly for the door and it came out GORGEOUS! Would this be a good idea for the table as well?

Thanks all!!
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post #2 of 6 Old 10-19-2014, 05:38 PM
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If you want the best possible finish, you definitely want to spray it.

I suggest 3 coats of a nitrocellulose lacquer. After applying the first coat, lightly scuff sand with 320 grit, apply your second coat and scuff sand with 240 grit, then apply the 3rd coat and it should look great.

If you go to most of the furniture stores and look at their tables, most of them will have a nitrocellulose finish on them. Thats all you need for a table top.
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post #3 of 6 Old 10-19-2014, 08:33 PM
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Some of the problems you are experiencing is due to box store lacquer. It's not as good of a lacquer to begin with and then they load it down with retarder thinners to make it brush better or if rattle can lacquer was used the retarder thinner will aid in not getting lap marks from the small volume of finish that comes out of them. If you would get a cheap sprayer you could go to a real paint store and get what is called a pre-catalyzed lacquer. It is better suited for light colored wood as it isn't as prone to yellow as the box store lacquers are. The pre-catalyzed lacquer has a hardener put in it at the store or the factory and this hardener makes the finish much harder than it would otherwise. You could also go one better and use a conversion varnish. This has to have the hardener added to it for each batch you use and only has a shelf life of roughly 8 hours once catalyzed. The conversion varnish has a much stronger hardener which makes the finish so hard that some brands you can't even cut the shine off the table with paint and varnish remover.
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post #4 of 6 Old 10-19-2014, 09:22 PM
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Poly would work fine for putting on that table. Personally, id recommend wiping it on for ease of application and results, but if youre set up for it spraying generally leaves the best finish. One thing id also recommend is brushing on a coat of dewaxed shellac before applying the poly. Poly can have adhesion issues with certain finishes, but dewaxed shellac will pretty much bind to anything, and pretty much anything will bind to it.

I need cheaper hobby
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post #5 of 6 Old 10-19-2014, 11:18 PM
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I like using wiping varnish on all tables. Practically fool proof and the finish comes out flat and smooth. I never use poly. If your set on spraying. Neul has the best answer. It's smart to use shellac too but vinyl sealer is what the manufacturer recommends. It also sands better. If you spray try to find Mohawk brand. If not you can pay through the nose for Sherwin Williams. Another great product .


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post #6 of 6 Old 10-20-2014, 05:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
Some of the problems you are experiencing is due to box store lacquer.
Yes. Stay away from Valspar. LOL
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polyurethane, refinishing, table

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