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I was hoping someone could offer a suggestion on what type of finish I could apply to a coffee table top I just stripped.
After years of abuse, the dark finish (which I assume was some kind of gel stain) had chipped off in many places or became discolored. I assume its a slab of wood covered in veneer. I stripped the finish off, and to my surprise I like the color of the wood as it is.
I'd like to apply something to the wood that will give it a matte to low gloss finish, perhaps an oil/wax type finish. I'd prefer something that is 1) easy and 2) won't discolor with heat, heavy use, etc. Thanks for any suggestions.
 

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An oil finish won't give very much protection from water. You would need a film finish for that. If you use an oil based finish it will yellow with age. You could use a water based polyurethane but those tend to leave the wood looking bland. To counter that you could put a natural stain or boiled linseed oil on the wood to make the grain pop and then finish with the water based poly. Now having said that the water based poly is incompatible with the linseed oil contained in stain. In order to use linseed oil you would have to either allow it to dry for a week or put a coat of Zinsser Sealcoat as a barrier coat first.

The satin sheen can be achieved by either using a satin finish or if not dull enough use either a flat or mix flat with satin. If you purchase the finish from a real paint store such as Sherwin Williams if the finish isn't flat enough they can also add a flattening agent to the finish to further dull it.

If you have the means of spraying a finish the simplest solution would be to use a cab acrylic lacquer. It will remain clear and be very easy to work.
 

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An oil finish won't give very much protection from water. You would need a film finish for that. If you use an oil based finish it will yellow with age. You could use a water based polyurethane but those tend to leave the wood looking bland. To counter that you could put a natural stain or boiled linseed oil on the wood to make the grain pop and then finish with the water based poly. Now having said that the water based poly is incompatible with the linseed oil contained in stain. In order to use linseed oil you would have to either allow it to dry for a week or put a coat of Zinsser Sealcoat as a barrier coat first.

The satin sheen can be achieved by either using a satin finish or if not dull enough use either a flat http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/search.php?do=getnewfinish or mix flat with satin. If you purchase the finish from a real paint store such as Sherwin Williams if the finish isn't flat enough they can also add a flattening agent to the finish to further dull it.

If you have the means of spraying a finish the simplest solution would be to use a cab acrylic lacquer. It will remain clear and be very easy to work.
I am just getting a blank screen with your link Steve.
 
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