OSMO on antique card table - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 Old 07-14-2019, 11:45 PM Thread Starter
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OSMO on antique card table

A few weeks back I asked the forum about refinishing my moisture damaged 1930's art deco style (folding) card table [most likely mahogany veneer]. The general consensus was that it needed to be refinished (as opposed to being repaired). Although I had not asked, most suggested that I use polyurethane to finish this piece because, most likely, I will be using it as a table for my printers. Truth be told, I don't particularly care for the look of poly (too plasticy for a period piece) -- but totally understood everyone's opinion, since it will be a 'functional' table as opposed to 'just for looks'. I also have a thing about using materials that were probably not used during its initial creation -- but, again, totally understood those that suggested the poly - for practical reasons - so the use of poly was 'still on the table'. :-)

While mulling over all this - that using what was originally on the piece: shellac or varnish, just probably isn't practical and is a fool's errand, I came across a product that I rarely see woodworker's talk about (since it appears to be mainly for the floor refinishing industry -- but, hey, wood is wood): OSMO color and hard wax finish system. It almost seems like the best of both worlds: increased durability with a natural look. Sure, it is not as durable as poly -- but if it is primarily used for floors, I'm guessing it is right up with poly - and definitely more durable than shellac or varnish/lacquer. And because printers don't move, I felt that amount of actual abuse this table would be up against, really isn't all that much. Doing a You Tube search does not yield much for furniture restoration -- but what I did come up with looks like it has potential (
).

But before I look into this further, I thought I would circle back with you guys and hear your opinions. One thing is clear -- you can't used any fillers as a base for this products - so those that suggested a filler for the open pored mahogany, I did wonder how that would effect the end result (would it be blotchy, etc?) without the use of a filler coat.

Thanks!
Diane
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post #2 of 9 Old 07-15-2019, 12:08 AM
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I don't know the OSMO finish. I watched the video and looks fine to me. I have a hunch it's not as water resistant as they claim but for a printer table water isn't an issue anyway. The reason they suggest a grain filler on woods like walnut or mahogany is these woods have a texture to them which you see in the finish. The grain filler is like thinned down wood putty that fills this texture making the surface smooth. If you use a grain filler you need to color the filler to fit the finish you are doing. Most of it comes in a natural color and used on mahogany looks terrible. It makes a bunch of cream colored streaks in the wood. The filler can be tinted just like paints. Tests would need to be done as what ever color you add to the filler tends to stain the wood as well. It wouldn't make the wood blotchy because all of it is contained in the grain only. You apply the filler and let it thicken and then squeegee the excess off. After it dries what little haze is left on the surface is sanded with fine sandpaper so the surface is uniform.

The only time you experience blotchy with any wood is when you stain. Some species of wood has hard and soft places in them which when stained the soft spots absorb more stain than the hard places making the appearance blotchy. You could use a stain with the OSMO finish if you wish but woods such as maple or alder are the kind that go blotchy you would need to use a wood conditioner. Without knowing what kind wood you are using I couldn't say if blotching would be an issue.
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post #3 of 9 Old 07-15-2019, 01:52 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
Most of it comes in a natural color and used on mahogany looks terrible. It makes a bunch of cream colored streaks in the wood.

The only time you experience blotchy with any wood is when you stain. Some species of wood has hard and soft places in them which when stained the soft spots absorb more stain than the hard places making the appearance blotchy. You could use a stain with the OSMO finish if you wish but woods such as maple or alder are the kind that go blotchy you would need to use a wood conditioner. Without knowing what kind wood you are using I couldn't say if blotching would be an issue.
oh! That doesn't sound good. Maybe the poster said I need a wood conditioner (for my mahogany piece)! I had better go back and re-read
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post #4 of 9 Old 07-15-2019, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by dvdnj View Post
oh! That doesn't sound good. Maybe the poster said I need a wood conditioner (for my mahogany piece)! I had better go back and re-read
None of the mahogany species of wood is prone to go blotchy. Therefore you wouldn't need a conditioner. The grain filler is just so you don't see the texture of the wood in the finish. It would otherwise have a texture like you see on oak furniture. Oak has the same grain but most people accept the texture as being part of the wood. Mahogany and walnut are considered a more formal wood where at least the table tops have a glass like finish on the top. You just can't do a glass like finish without filling the grain. It's not carved in stone you have to have a glass like finish on mahogany. Just try the finish you are using on some scraps and see if it appeals to you.
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post #5 of 9 Old 07-15-2019, 04:59 PM
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I used OSMO on this salt mill. I was very pleased. I can’t speak to durability yet, but I like the look and application was easy.
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post #6 of 9 Old 07-15-2019, 10:31 PM Thread Starter
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I used OSMO on this salt mill. I was very pleased. I canít speak to durability yet, but I like the look and application was easy.
Very nice,Quickstep! What wood is that - and did you use any stain (either OSMO or another brand)?
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post #7 of 9 Old 07-15-2019, 10:37 PM Thread Starter
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None of the mahogany species of wood is prone to go blotchy. Therefore you wouldn't need a conditioner. The grain filler is just so you don't see the texture of the wood in the finish. It would otherwise have a texture like you see on oak furniture. Oak has the same grain but most people accept the texture as being part of the wood. Mahogany and walnut are considered a more formal wood where at least the table tops have a glass like finish on the top. You just can't do a glass like finish without filling the grain. It's not carved in stone you have to have a glass like finish on mahogany. Just try the finish you are using on some scraps and see if it appeals to you.
This is good to know, Steve -- as a newbie to refinishing (this will be my first project - lol!) I wouldn't know thing from another -- but I definitely did not want the result to be blotchy. It is a nice piece of period furniture, and I would like to make it look exactly like it looks now -- just not damaged. :-)

Any suggestions are appreciated! Thanks!
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post #8 of 9 Old 07-15-2019, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by dvdnj View Post
This is good to know, Steve -- as a newbie to refinishing (this will be my first project - lol!) I wouldn't know thing from another -- but I definitely did not want the result to be blotchy. It is a nice piece of period furniture, and I would like to make it look exactly like it looks now -- just not damaged. :-)

Any suggestions are appreciated! Thanks!
The wood looks more like walnut to me.

If you want to put the finish back like it was, it should first be chemically stripped and sanded. Then the top should be grain filled and finish with a film type finish such as lacquer with a high gloss sheen. It's your table though so I would recommend refinishing it to fit your liking.

Be careful sanding the top. It's veneered and has at least been sanded once already. If it has been refinished before there may not be much veneer left.
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post #9 of 9 Old 07-16-2019, 12:51 AM
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Very nice,Quickstep! What wood is that - and did you use any stain (either OSMO or another brand)?
The wood is mesquite with OSMO clear with no stain. The turquoise wonít absorb any oil, so I polished it to match the sheen. This is OSMO satin, I want to try their gloss at some point.
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