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Hi. Im pretty new to this. So I wanted to get some other peoples opinions on how they would do it.

Im refinishing a table. Im going to take my router and scribe out my girlfriends pets names the fill in what I scribed out with an oak veneer to give it a very different 2 tone apperance so it stand out. Then under the pets nanames I'm going to attach a picture to the table. Then I want to polyurethane over all of thatand have a nice thick finish Of polyurethane.

Question 1.
I already have a whole roll of veneer. But is there a better idea to make the names "pop" and still have a smooth surface (after completion)?

Question 2
Is there a better polyurethane to use for my application?

Question 3
After applying polyurethane. Should I sand with 220 sand paper or use steel wool?

Any other pointers would be immensely appreciated
 

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I'm not sure I understand what you plan to do. Are you looking for a thick plastic type finish like you see on some bars? If so, you want to use a pour-on epoxy (google it) as your top coat. Polyurethane can not be built up to the think film. It won't harden correctly and will crack and peel.
 

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Honestly it's still not clear what thickness you are looking for. Polyurethane creates a thin layer (slike a glossy layer on photopaper and it's still durable surface. So if your goal is protect the table from water and durt poly will do good job. But if you want to have something more durable like bar-table or kitchen coutertop surface when you should go with epoxy.

I usually use 320 or 400 grid sandpaper between layers. Steelwool creates to much mess.

Oilbased poly is more durable but it requres 24 hours pause between layers. Also it adds a few yellownest. I use oilbased poly or varnish for all wood projects unless I want to keep current collor untouced. To apply I use a foam brush. For spraying I use water based.
 

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Hi. Im pretty new to this. So I wanted to get some other peoples opinions on how they would do it.

Im refinishing a table. Im going to take my router and scribe out my girlfriends pets names the fill in what I scribed out with an oak veneer to give it a very different 2 tone apperance so it stand out. Then under the pets nanames I'm going to attach a picture to the table. Then I want to polyurethane over all of thatand have a nice thick finish Of polyurethane.

Question 1.
I already have a whole roll of veneer. But is there a better idea to make the names "pop" and still have a smooth surface (after completion)?

Question 2
Is there a better polyurethane to use for my application?

Question 3
After applying polyurethane. Should I sand with 220 sand paper or use steel wool?

Any other pointers would be immensely appreciated
It sounds reasonable what you are doing but if you are going to inlay the veneer names I would probably mortise in the photos too. That way it wouldn't take so much finish to make smooth. For what you are doing I wouldn't recommend using a oil base polyurethane. The finish will yellow in time and would look bad over photographs. It would be better if you used a water based poly or a pre-cat lacquer so the finish would remain clear. I would use 220 grit paper between coats but since you have photos be very careful not to sand through the finish.
 
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