Refinishing Fruitwood

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This topic contains 12 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  saffythepook 3 years, 11 months ago.

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  • #68731

    SmartsyArtsy
    Participant

    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?


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    #68735

    great idea
    Participant

    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:

    primer

    the semi-transparent stains and such will be totally hit-or-miss. maybe try to finish a small area on the bottom first?

    #68739

    SmartsyArtsy
    Participant

    gi, my hesitancy about painting is that I usually think staining is more respectful to a natural material. That is the issue stopping me.

    #68741

    great idea
    Participant

    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.

    #68744

    jburgh
    Participant

    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.

    #68746

    Allison W
    Participant

    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.

    #68747

    Allison W
    Participant

    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.

    #68750

    SmartsyArtsy
    Participant

    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.

    #68753

    Salmon Bay
    Participant

    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!

    #68758

    Allison W
    Participant

    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.

    #68759

    Allison W
    Participant

    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.

    #68760

    great idea
    Participant

    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).

    #68768

    saffythepook
    Participant

    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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