what finish am i dealing with? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 12-11-2019, 12:50 AM Thread Starter
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what finish am i dealing with?

hi everyone. I just bought a new dinning room table and it is scratching and denting unusually easy, for example, I was doodling on a piece of paper while on the phone and it scratched the table through the paper or I used my thumb to scrape off some dried up food and it left a scratch. this can't be normal. I was thinking of adding a layer of whatever its finished with but not 100% sure what that is and what to do to figure it out. My thought is to add layers to give it some more durability. I am no pro by any means but it looks like a water based polyurethane finish to me.....I think any suggestions would be great
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post #2 of 6 Old 12-11-2019, 08:31 AM
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Welcome to the forum! Add your location to your profile so it shows in the side panel. Add your first name to your signature line so we'll know what to call you.

Is this a new table from a store? What did they say the finish is on the table? I don't know how successful you'll be putting another finish on top of that finish, especially if you're unsure of what this finish is now. If you decide to go that route then test your new finish somewhere other than the top of the table.



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post #3 of 6 Old 12-11-2019, 11:20 AM
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It might help if you post a photo of your table.

We put a sheet of glass on our heavily used wood furniture tops to protect them. You raise the glass off the table surface with small flat plastic "dots" that the glass shop supplies.

I understand that not everyone here will agree with our solution. We love the look of natural wood as much as everyone here. We raised our children around nice wood furniture, many of them quite old, and have seen the results of not protecting them.

We put glass on wood dining tables, dressers, nightstands, and desks. I just asked Spouse, and she agrees that knowing what we know now, we would not change a thing.

* Rectangular draw leaf table with leaves extended.
As a surprise for my spouse, I replaced the glass top about two years ago. The old glass top had accumulated a lot of scratches from over 25 years of everyday use, including family meals, plus homework, projects, etc. If memory serves, the cost of the ~36 x 58 inch replacement glass top was around $60.

* Shaped glass top on draw leaf table with leaves retracted.
This table seats 4-6 closed, 10 open. My spouse made a paper template that we brought to the glass shop. We also have less expensive cut-to-fit acrylic tops (not shown). They go on the extension leaves for the rare times when the table is extended. The acrylic tops level the extension leaves with the glass, and are hidden under a tablecloth in use.
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post #4 of 6 Old 12-11-2019, 02:27 PM Thread Starter
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what are some ways i can test to see what the current finish is
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post #5 of 6 Old 12-11-2019, 09:17 PM
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My guess is your problem is not the finish, but the species of wood. Soft woods, such as those in the pine family, soft maple, and many quickly generated trees can be very soft and indeed scratch with a pen or finger nail. Putting additional finish on will not help. A harder finish, such as a high gloss poly will add some hardness, but also tends to be brittle. Remember, the flattening agents used to create semi-gloss, satin, and flat finish also softens the finish, If you want a satin finish with durability you will need to do several coats of high gloss with a final coat of satin.
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post #6 of 6 Old 12-12-2019, 01:30 AM Thread Starter
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the table is mango wood which isn't a soft wood
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