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Looking for some help from any wood workers/finishers

XLBalcoXLBalco Posts: 604

So our kitchen table isn't really worth trying  to salvage/refinish... BUT the thought of investing $500 at a minimum for a new one with twin 4yr olds and a 2yr old just to see it continue to get marred up/nicked up/painted on, etc doesn't really sound good either... So this table we bought 11 yrs ago when we had an apt was never meant to last this long and now I want to get a few more years out of it before I invest in a new one.

The finish on the table has come off.  Do you think this could be sanded down and refinished?

I am in the trades but this is not a specialty of mine.  Worst case- this doesn't work out and I go buy a new table... but then I have to answer to a higher authority:)

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Comments

  • RRPRRP Posts: 19,738
    that finish strikes me as having been applied after the fact and in all honesty NOT done very well.That is called alligatoring and the new coat "didn't like the old coat"! The side view makes it appear the top was more than just a thin veneer, but OTOH the exposed strip is also a common trick in construction of inexpensive furniture. You'll probably get more advice tonight after I go to bed, but I'd be glad to help more in the morning...
    L, M, S, Mini
    Ron
    Dunlap, IL
  • GrannyX4GrannyX4 Posts: 1,476
    If it were my table I would take the sander to it and not stripper. Then I would use a gel stain follow by a Polyurethane type finish. ;;)
    Every day is a bonus day and every meal is a banquet in Winter Springs, Fl !
  • XLBalcoXLBalco Posts: 604

    @RRP... this table was bought at a chain  furniture store which I don't think is that high end (Rooms to GO) in FLA in 2003 now that I think about it... actually probably in July of 2003 because that is when my now wife but G/F at the time moved in with me.. it made its way back to IL with us thru our first townhome rental and then into our 1st house..  I think the spiderwebbing happened in the latter years I believe from the combination of maybe her putting hot pots on the table with only a towel in between and using harsher cleaners to clean it and combine that with it being not that expensive in the first place.  this table has paid for itself a few times and im pretty much at the point that if I mess with it and it  doesn't work out I can pitch it ..  I would rather try and keep.  even thought about putting a new top on since the base is solid.  my chittlens are home all day with the a nanny so the table gets a workout daily which is why I don't want to invest in a brand new one.

    @granny...thanks and I didn't plan on stripping but rather sanding to remove whats the left of the clear coat and hoping that a new coat would stick.

    definitely open to suggestions!

  • U_tardedU_tarded Posts: 1,434
    I sell furniture so I say buy new :). But in all honesty it looks solid with the butcher blocking, expansion groves on the underside. It's a hardwood but I don't think it's maple or oak probably an Asian import. That being said you need to sand through all the finish then take it down to a fine grit to get rid of the sanding marks. At that point you could stain it or leave it "natural". I would finish with a polyurethane sanding between each coat. About 7-9 coats will give you a finish far better than most mass marketed tables today. A couple cases of beer and a weekend should do you good.
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 21,401
    Looks like solid wood.   Sand it, put a finish on it or just oil it.  It will last many more years. 
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr., smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • XLBalcoXLBalco Posts: 604
    Any recommendations on a finish? Is it all pretty much safe as far as contact with food? Anything to stay away from?
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 21,401
    Polyurethane, Tung oil, Danish Oil.  Stay away from varnish and shellac. 
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr., smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • XLBalcoXLBalco Posts: 604
    thanks nola
  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 7,804
    GrannyX4 said:
    If it were my table I would take the sander to it and not stripper. Then I would use a gel stain follow by a Polyurethane type finish. ;;)
    Good advice, it appears to be solid (glued strips) wood. If you have a scraper, I'd use that first, if not an orbital palm sander so you don't take too much, other than the old finish, off. 
    With two young ones, you have the right idea.
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
  • lilwootylilwooty Posts: 215
    edited July 2014
    The good news is the top is solid wood so you can sand away.  That alligatoring effect you have may be due to the original finish being lacquer and someone applied a varnish or poly on top of the lacquer.  Varnish and poly can't be applied over lacquer without problems.  If that is a possibility, I would sand it down to the bare wood just to be on the safe side.  Once you have it down to bare wood, that gives you the option to apply a stain if you want.  As far as the final top coat is concerned, I would go with a wipe on poly.  It is easy and you don't have to worry about runs or brush marks.  Just be sure to apply several coats, say 4 or 5 because wipe on is a very thin application.  You can make your own wipe on poly by mixing about 40% mineral spirits with 60% polyurethane.  It will look fantastic when you are done.

    Living Large and XL

  • XLBalcoXLBalco Posts: 604

    thanks for all the feedback thus far.  question on the finish..

     

    if I go with a poly finish, am I  better off going with an oil base vs a water based poly?  seemed like oil is the way to go?

     

    would a zspar varnish be unsuitable?  I used that on my egg table and liked how that came out.

  • tgklemantgkleman Posts: 216
    You will have better luck if you start with a card scraper, and then sand.  Otherwise, your sand paper will gum up pretty quickly.  Do a youtube search on card scraper and you will get the idea.  They are fairly inexpensive.
  • lilwootylilwooty Posts: 215

    XLBalco said:

    thanks for all the feedback thus far.  question on the finish..

     

    if I go with a poly finish, am I  better off going with an oil base vs a water based poly?  seemed like oil is the way to go?

     

    would a zspar varnish be unsuitable?  I used that on my egg table and liked how that came out.

    It is true that water based poly is not as durable as the oil based, however it dries much faster which is convenient.  For a table that will get considerable use I would use oil based poly.  You could use a spar varnish if you want, but it isn't necessary if the table will be indoors.  Ditto on @tgkleman suggestion on using the card scraper.  It will save you a lot of sandpaper.


    Living Large and XL

  • henapplehenapple Posts: 15,617
    My Lil company refinished tables. Strip with Jasco (lowes), sand with 80,120,220 grit. We apply a conversion varnish. 3 coats with a fine sanding in between. We can spray a table and one hour later the restaurant can serve on it. Hard as a rock and impervious to anything.

    If you were close to Mid Tennessee, I'd help. We might be able to find a local cabinet shop to spray the varnish after you prep.

    The stuff is amazing. I did our tables in the bonus room because the kids think a coaster is something you ride.

    It's Sherwin-Williams white water conversion varnish. Flat, satin or gloss. Comes out slicker than an automotive paint job.
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • XLBalcoXLBalco Posts: 604
    thanks for the advice everyone.
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