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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Im building a table from recycled lumber i have pulled off of palletts. All of my pallett wood is from heat treated pallets. I am wanting to paint the table white to match my modern/contemporary house. While I am familiar with using sanding sealer, stains, poly etc, I am not familiar with painting furniture. I want the piece to be really smooth and do not want any exposed grain on the wood. So far all of the nail holes and staple holes have been filled with wood putty and have been sanded down with 80 grit paper.
 

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In History is the Future
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I'm working on a job at the moment that calls for high gloss white. The picture is a test board I did prior to starting - yes that is a reflection of the clouds in the sky above.

It is two coats of automotive lacquer primer which name I don't remember. Sanded to 120x.

Two coats of Gemini Pre-Cat Lacquer in SW Alabaster White.

Two coats Gemini Pre-Cat Gloss Clear.

All through a gravity feed HVLP gun.
 

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What you need to remember painting anything white it will show every tiny defect. If your pallets are an open grain wood like ash or oak you probably should use a grain filler prior to priming. Sanding to 80 grit is too coarse. I would sand the wood to 180 grit. If the table is interior and you have the means of spraying you might prime the wood with Bushwacker white lacquer primer available at Sherwin Williams. Depending on the condition of the table you probably should use two or three coats thoroughly sanding between coats to level the surface. On flat surfaces I use a random orbital sander with 220 grit paper. Then you can topcoat with a lacquer or an oil based enamel. If you are brushing the finish I would use Kilz original primer sanding it between coats and topcoat with an oil based enamel. When you brush enamel you need to use as soft a brush as you can find and apply it as thin as you can with as few brush strokes as possible. The more you brush enamel the more the brush marks show.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
What you need to remember painting anything white it will show every tiny defect. If your pallets are an open grain wood like ash or oak you probably should use a grain filler prior to priming. Sanding to 80 grit is too coarse. I would sand the wood to 180 grit. If the table is interior and you have the means of spraying you might prime the wood with Bushwacker white lacquer primer available at Sherwin Williams. Depending on the condition of the table you probably should use two or three coats thoroughly sanding between coats to level the surface. On flat surfaces I use a random orbital sander with 220 grit paper. Then you can topcoat with a lacquer or an oil based enamel. If you are brushing the finish I would use Kilz original primer sanding it between coats and topcoat with an oil based enamel. When you brush enamel you need to use as soft a brush as you can find and apply it as thin as you can with as few brush strokes as possible. The more you brush enamel the more the brush marks show.
Thank you both for the reply. Sorry for the delay in my response. I own an orbital sander and bought 60-220 grit paper for it the other day just for the project. To help you understand my vision a little better, these are the chairs I am planning on using http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/S49889756/#/S99889754
and this is a similar design, actualy where i got th idea from. http://scraphacker.com/diy-pallet-dining-table/
I have not seen the grain filler at lowes, I might have to look other places for it. I more than likely will have to brush/roll on the finish. Newly wed and not a ton of spare money. My father has an old gun but i have never used one, might be time to learn though. I do have a few questions though. First, do you have any recommendations of grain filler as they are oak. Second, if I use an oil based enamel can I apply lacquer over it for extra protection. For instance something like Melamine lacquer, that's suppose to be real tough, as it is a table and I want it to hold up for a long time.
 

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I can't open the links with my internet. A pastewood grain filler can be obtained at Sherwin Williams. You can just skip it if you want. It just might take two or three extra coats of primer to fill the grain. The grain filler is like a thinned down wood putty that you brush on, let thicken and then wipe off the excess rubbing it into the grain so it doesn't take as much finish to level the surface.

You don't ever want to put any lacquer product over enamel or varnish. The solvents in the lacquer are so hot it will wrinkle up the enamel like you put paint stripper on it. If you want to end up with a lacquer clear coat then you should use a lacquer paint to begin with. Personally I don't like putting a clear coat over paint. You have seen cars with the clear coat pealing off the paint. It can do it on furniture too. Then if you use a nitrocellulose lacquer clear coat it will eventually yellow making your white paint cream color. The cab-acrylic lacquer that firemedic recommended with remain clear.

There are those here that have had good luck rolling enamel but I'm not one of them so I couldn't advise you on the type roller or technique. I always brush enamel when working by hand. Personally I think if you can borrow a sprayer I would go that route expecially working with white. Rustoleum makes a good enamel that works pretty easy. I just painted a door the other day with it and it was dry to touch in an hour. I buy it at walmart.
 

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where's my table saw?
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good advice on how to finish above

I have some additional advice on the design. If you make a top like the one you linked, with spaces between the boards, you will find it hard to clean and maintain because food will get caught in the cracks. If you want the rustic look of pallet wood, you can cover the top glass which will be easier to clean. The table you linked looks like it's made from a pallet....it is. If that's the look you want then proceed as you planned.
Personally if I wanted a clean, white easy to maintain table, I'd use a solid core door in 36" width and 6'8" long and finish it as suggested or seal it, and roll on a quality white enamel with a hardener from a TSC, tractor supply outlet or other industrial paint source. I would not attempt spraying on this, your first project.
Here's something similar except for the rounded ends:


or this:


You can still use your pallet wood for the legs and other supports.
Last time I priced a solid core door they were around $100.00.
I understand your budget limitations, so you may be able to find a clean door in a salvage shop or Habitat Restore shop. If you want the look as you linked, you can still use the trestles for the legs or sawhorses made from pallets or brackets like this:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I can't open the links with my internet. A pastewood grain filler can be obtained at Sherwin Williams. You can just skip it if you want. It just might take two or three extra coats of primer to fill the grain. The grain filler is like a thinned down wood putty that you brush on, let thicken and then wipe off the excess rubbing it into the grain so it doesn't take as much finish to level the surface.
I went to Sherwin Williams today and tried to buy the grain filler. The worker asked mewhat it was. He said that he has never heard of it and that our store has never carried it. Needless to say I didn't buy any filler. So my next question should I buy a wood filler and thin it down or just use kiltz? If I should buy a filler what about Durham water filler thinned out.
 

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I went to Sherwin Williams today and tried to buy the grain filler. The worker asked mewhat it was. He said that he has never heard of it and that our store has never carried it. Needless to say I didn't buy any filler. So my next question should I buy a wood filler and thin it down or just use kiltz? If I should buy a filler what about Durham water filler thinned out.
You should use a wood filler to cover imperfections on your pallet woods. After filling your pallets, sand them using 120 grits at first then follow up with a 220 grit sand paper. The 220 grit sandpaper should come up with smooth finish on your pallets.
 
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