06/17/2014 at 3:56 pm #68731
I cleaned and lightly sanded this table today planning to paint the sides and legs. (the top will be tiled). However, I have second thoughts about painting solid wood. I have never refinished fruitwood and wonder whether I would stain it a transparent wood tone, color or a dense wood tone. After all, it does not appear to have much of a grain that I can see so far.
Does anyone have opinions or familiarity with fruitwood?06/17/2014 at 5:17 pm #68735
I have not finished fruit wood before (do you know what kind of fruit it is?)
if your goal is to paint it (why were you having second thoughts?), I think if you prime it really well, it should not matter.
with a product like this perhaps:
the semi-transparent stains and such will be totally hit-or-miss. maybe try to finish a small area on the bottom first?06/17/2014 at 5:27 pm #68739
gi, my hesitancy about painting is that I usually think staining is more respectful to a natural material. That is the issue stopping me.06/17/2014 at 5:29 pm #68741
I hear ya.
since you (likely) don’t have a chunk of identical material lying around to experiment with, I would definitely practice on inconspicuous areas beneath.
hopefully someone has some more experience/expertise to offer.06/17/2014 at 5:57 pm #68744
Mr. jburgh’s contribution (he is one of those old timey woodworkers that only will use hand tools, which must be at least 100 years old) is that you do not use stain on tightly grained wood with no figure as it can be very patchy. He recommends applying a tung oil finish.06/17/2014 at 7:09 pm #68746
Mr. Burgh is right about tight-grained hardwoods. One of my refinish projects was a walnut Lane Acclaim side table. Even using a pro-grade deep-penetrating dye stain, it was VERY difficult to get even coverage.
My best advice is to bring the table up to Rockler and look at it with them. It’s really easy to screw up this type of project.06/17/2014 at 7:14 pm #68747
Oh…stripping. Use Jasco. Scrape what you can with a plastic scraper. Then use a green scrubby saturated with lacquer thinner. Keep doing this til all the finish is gone. Then when it’s all clean, go over it with mineral spirits or denatured alcohol to get the residues off. A plastic bristle brush can help with nooks and crannies. Best of luck.06/17/2014 at 7:40 pm #68750
jburgh, aw, that is exactly what I wondered, although I couldn’t even formulate the question– just a gut reaction. Thanks
aw, the tung oil idea sounds good if I want it light-colored, but don’t think I do.06/17/2014 at 7:44 pm #68753
If you like the color of it as is, no need to stain. If you do stain with a pigment dye, you would need to use a prestain to mitigate splotchiness. But the light color seems to go better with what is in the picture.
Since you are tiling the top, you might consider shellac as the finish for the sides and legs,dyed or not. Many woodworkers use this on fine furniture. It is totally natural, fairly easy to apply, easy to touch up and repair and it is easy to remove if you don’t like it. Zinsser makes a good premixed product. They have an orange shellac which is very orange in color, I would suggest the plain shellac. You would also want to use a natural bristle brush to apply it.
You have to work quickly to flow on the shellac, but any mistakes are easily sanded and blended with the next coat, or wiped off with alcohol. The tung oil mentioned above is good to pop the wood, you can use the tung oil followed with shellac as a top coat. When you have the last coat of shellac on, rub it out well with 0000 fine steel wool or a nylon pad, and coat it with paste wax. It will look gorgeous!06/17/2014 at 8:04 pm #68758
If you want to go darker, a good safe choice is Watco Danish Oil in the walnut finish. I did the one in my avatar picture in the clear version and keep it looking rich with Wax n Feed. Came out great.06/17/2014 at 8:07 pm #68759
Just a warning though–that coffee table was AT LEAST 30 hours. I did it as a therapy projrct last fall when my dad was diagnosed with cancer.06/17/2014 at 8:20 pm #68760
just paint it, BOC.
that wood is not all that pretty that it’s worth that sort of investment (I’m sure your ceramic tiles will look so good that no one will pay attention to the legs anyway).06/18/2014 at 6:10 am #68768
If you do stain/laquer/varnish, test the underside of the top, sanded and prepped as you would the visible parts to make sure the finish acceptance characteristics are the same. If you go natural and you want some sheen, I’d suggest Minwax Rub-On Poly (semi or full gloss) instead of Watco Danish Oil. Watco will give you a matte finish with much worse durability than a polyurethane.
With tight-grained woods the wipe-on poly will give you a finish that looks as good as sprayed with an application process that’s very easy and virtually foolproof. Sand to 320 grit, de-dust with mineral spirits, wipe on 1st coat, wait 24 hours, quick sand with 320, de-dust, and apply second coat. You can do a third coat if you wish but it’s often unnecessary.
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