Not liking the Spar Urethane finish on my dining room table - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 9 Old 08-05-2015, 10:58 AM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Brooksville, FL
Posts: 2
View Woodworking Nonna's Photo Album My Photos
Unhappy Not liking the Spar Urethane finish on my dining room table

I was told by a finish carpenter to use Spar Urethane when putting a finish on an oak table. I followed that advice on a dining room table I recently purchased at a consignment shop. I stripped the shellac off of the table, stained it and then applied the spar urethane. Ugg!! All it shows are brush strokes and thick uneven lines. I've sanded it between applications with 400 grit paper and then tried 0000 steel wool, which was better. I even purchased a $12 brush thinking that might help in the application, but the brush strokes are still there. All of this took place before a found this site. From what I'm reading I probably shouldn't have used the spar urethane in the first place. All this has made me somewhat frustrated. Do I need to strip the spar urethane and start all over again with a different finish?
Woodworking Nonna is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 9 Old 08-05-2015, 11:32 AM
Senior Member
 
RandyReed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 1,311
View RandyReed's Photo Album My Photos
Can you spray a finish? Most dining room tables are too big to be brushed applied, and for the reason you are experiencing. Instead of stripping, you may be able to sand out the brush stroked with 240 grit paper on an orbital sander. I would try that before stripping. Just be careful when sanding because you only want to even out the brush strokes and not actually go through the finish.

If you cant spray, I suggest rubbing the urethane on rather than using a brush. Hereís what you do. Thin the varnish 50% with mineral spirits. Then get yourself a clean cotton rag (old t-shirt material works great), and fold it into a nice square applicator pad. Wet the applicator with your mineral spirits and then dip it into your diluted finish. Wipe on smooth thin coats, overlapping the previous stroke with each pass by about half. This method will result in a super smooth finish with no bubbles and no brush strokes. But remember, you will need to apply twice as many coats to get to your desired film thickness. Because you are actually applying less material to the surface, the dry time is significantly decreased as well. So in some climates (hot and dry), youíll be able to apply as many as three coats per day. Just remember that when you use a wipe-on urethane, you arenít trying to flooding on a real thick layer. You are just coating the surface evenly with a thin wet film.

If you can spray, I suggest using a nitrocellulose lacquer or a precat lacquer, precat offering more durability. This type of finish is used on tables world wide by factories and alot of DIYers.
RandyReed is offline  
post #3 of 9 Old 08-06-2015, 09:24 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 3
View b.hog's Photo Album My Photos
I'd strip it and start over. Spar is too soft even if you hit it with s harder finish over top you'll have issues.
I like General Finishes Hi perf. Grab some wide foam brushes ( cheap) and you're good to go.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
b.hog is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 9 Old 08-06-2015, 11:13 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 25,995
View Steve Neul's Photo Album My Photos
Spar varnish is intended for exterior wood and really not suited for a table top. The deed is done now so I would sand it smooth and keep going with it. 400 grit is too fine to get rid of brush marks. You probably need 180 grit wet and dry paper and sand it with water as a lubricant. How hot is it when you are applying the spar. It would go so much better if you would do it very early in the morning. You might also need to thin it a little. It would also help to add some Flood Penetrol to the spar. It will slow the drying time down some to allow the finish to flow out. What is needed more than anything it technique. The more you brush finish the more the brush marks are going to show. Apply a varnish with the softest brush you can find as thin as possible with as few strokes as possible. If the brush marks are very pronounced it may take a few good coats sanding between to level it out. In the end there will be a slight trace of brush marks. That is inescapable. What you can do is get it level enough you can wet sand it with 1500 grit paper and buff the finish out. Let it dry a month before rubbing it out though.

b.hog is correct a spar varnish is softer than a interior polyurethane and will scratch easier. From time to time when the spar varnish gets some damage you can sand it off and apply a fresh coat and get many years use out of the table. Just keep in mind next time use spar varnish on outside projects. The spar is made softer to be elastic enough to deal with the wood expanding and contracting in the hot sun. It was originally formulated for the mast on tall ships because the mast would bend back and forth so much regular varnish would crack and come off.
Steve Neul is offline  
post #5 of 9 Old 08-08-2015, 05:28 AM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Brooksville, FL
Posts: 2
View Woodworking Nonna's Photo Album My Photos
Well, the concensus was to strip the spar urethane and that's what I finally did! If only I could get the same look as freshly applied min wax stain. I just applied the first coat of the stain and waiting my obligatory 15 minutes before checking the color. For now I just going to let the stain do its work and live with it without a finish coat. Any suggestions?
Woodworking Nonna is offline  
post #6 of 9 Old 08-08-2015, 07:44 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 25,995
View Steve Neul's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodworking Nonna View Post
Well, the concensus was to strip the spar urethane and that's what I finally did! If only I could get the same look as freshly applied min wax stain. I just applied the first coat of the stain and waiting my obligatory 15 minutes before checking the color. For now I just going to let the stain do its work and live with it without a finish coat. Any suggestions?
It just won't work to use stain only. It will get stains and water spots all over it from day to day use. You would at least need to put something like a natural Danish oil finish on it. That would protect it from stains a little but you would need to be careful with water on the table. You really would have been better off with the spar you had on it.

From your description you may have more troubles if you change your mind and put a film finish on the table. If you waited 15 minutes in hot weather before wiping the stain off or not wiped it at all you may be setting yourself up for the finish to fail. Stain doesn't adhere well enough to wood to finish over. None of it would be allowed to dry on the surface. If that happens the finish will adhere to the stain instead of the wood and peal off. If you think that is a possibility I would recommend wiping the surface off with lacquer thinner and allow to dry before proceeding with the finish.
Steve Neul is offline  
post #7 of 9 Old 08-08-2015, 03:28 PM
Village Idiot
 
epicfail48's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Springfield MO
Posts: 4,934
View epicfail48's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodworking Nonna View Post
Well, the concensus was to strip the spar urethane and that's what I finally did! If only I could get the same look as freshly applied min wax stain. I just applied the first coat of the stain and waiting my obligatory 15 minutes before checking the color. For now I just going to let the stain do its work and live with it without a finish coat. Any suggestions?
Yeah, don't do that. The stain won't offer any protection to the wood and will rub off on everything that comes close. Try a wipe-on polyurethane. Applies easy, is extremely forgiving and offers a good bit of protection. I'd go with a semi-gloss or satin over a full gloss

I need cheaper hobby
etsy.com/shop/projectepicfail
epicfail48 is offline  
post #8 of 9 Old 07-21-2016, 11:14 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 1
View rogers710's Photo Album My Photos
I am experiencing the same problem. Is it okay to thin a water based spar urethane with mineral spirits and apply the third coat after sanding down the brush strokes?
rogers710 is offline  
post #9 of 9 Old 07-21-2016, 11:32 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 25,995
View Steve Neul's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by rogers710 View Post
I am experiencing the same problem. Is it okay to thin a water based spar urethane with mineral spirits and apply the third coat after sanding down the brush strokes?
You can't put a water based finish over an oil based finish if that is what you have in mind. You need to continue using the finish you started with. If it's water based you thin it with water however any water based finish I've ever used was already too thin.

The mistake most people make brushing a finish on a table top is brushing it too much. The more you brush a finish the more air gets into it and it sets up before the brush marks flow out. Use as soft of a paint brush as you can find and apply it as thin as possible with as few strokes as possible. It also helps to use an additive in it in hot weather to slow the drying time down. Use Flood Penetrol in oil based varnishes and Flood Floetrol in water based finishes.
Steve Neul is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome