Dining Table refinish
#6
  
I refinished a dining table for a friend a few years back. I used a General Finishes water-based finish. It was one not normally available in stores, I had to order it straight from them.  My friends has issues with that finish having a sticky surface. Been like that for a while, we just haven't got around to fixing it. Not sure if it was a cleaning product that they used, or if I screwed up the finishing process. I used that finish on other pieces with no issues so I kind of think it is a cleaning product they used. Anyways, I need to refinish it and make it right. 

It is an old antique red oak table. I initially stripped it down, sanded, used two different pigment stains to get the right color and now I don't remember which stains.

Any chance I can strip the water-base finish off without affecting the stain?

What would be a good product to top coat it with, preferable something that I can spray with a cheap HF spray gun. I would rather spray than wipe. 

I will add that when I installed hardwood stair treads, I milled them myself, and finished with Minwax Oil modified water-base finish (sprayed), and that finish has held up to foot traffic fantastically. I am sure it would work fine for the table.
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#7
  Re: Dining Table refinish by Scoony (I refinished a dinin...)
(10-06-2021, 05:03 PM)Scoony Wrote: I refinished a dining table for a friend a few years back. I used a General Finishes water-based finish. It was one not normally available in stores, I had to order it straight from them.  My friends has issues with that finish having a sticky surface. Been like that for a while, we just haven't got around to fixing it. Not sure if it was a cleaning product that they used, or if I screwed up the finishing process. I used that finish on other pieces with no issues so I kind of think it is a cleaning product they used.  I suspect you are right.  I've had a couple of failures with WB finishes and both were caused by cleaning products.  Anyways, I need to refinish it and make it right. 

It is an old antique red oak table. I initially stripped it down, sanded, used two different pigment stains to get the right color and now I don't remember which stains.

Any chance I can strip the water-base finish off without affecting the stain? I doubt it. Every stripping product I've used has removed at least some of the underlying stain, too.   

What would be a good product to top coat it with, preferable something that I can spray with a cheap HF spray gun. I would rather spray than wipe.  The MinWax Oil Modified WB finish you discuss below should work great.  You can spray it or apply it with a brush.  My friend used it on a dining table that I made for him using a foam brush and it looks like it was sprayed.  

I will add that when I installed hardwood stair treads, I milled them myself, and finished with Minwax Oil modified water-base finish (sprayed), and that finish has held up to foot traffic fantastically. I am sure it would work fine for the table.

John
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#8
  Re: Dining Table refinish by Scoony (I refinished a dinin...)
I got the table back in the shop. Tested plain lacquer thinner and it strips the water based finish off fairly easy. Not affecting the stain, but I may have to go over it with some stain just to even out the surface. After seeing how easily the water based product softens up with the thinner, I am reconsidering what I want to refinish this with. Now I am considering an oil based varnish/poly. I know that the Varathane varnish is pretty tough and not terribly hard to get a nice finish with. Any other suggestions for something that brushes on easily, or can be sprayed?

I have used a lot of different finishes on a lot of different projects over the years, but not large dinning table tops. I also have a walnut dinning table that I will be building once I get this one back to the friend, so will probably use the same finish for that as well.
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#9
  Re: Dining Table refinish by Scoony (I refinished a dinin...)
Ammonia or Windex will soften WB top coats.

I used GF’s Enduro clear poly on our kitchen table top probably 6 years ago and it has held up very well. My wife doesn’t use anything other than mild dish soap and warm water to clean it.

I believe it’s KCMA rated and John T found it to be much more durable than GF’s High Performance. I used Seal Coat shellac as a sealer coat. I would use it again.

I have used a handful of various WB “poly” finishes and a ton of lacquer over the years. For me, my days of using solvent based lacquers and slow drying oil finishes are pretty much over. Enduro clear poly isn’t cheap but it’s worth it to me.

I also like GF’s High Performance but only on low wear projects or pieces and it’s readily available. If I were doing a high end walnut gun cabinet or something similar, I would tolerate a solvent based finish.


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#10
  Re: RE: Dining Table refinish by Scoony (I got the table back...)
Most finishes will be damaged by lacquer thinner, some ruined in short order.  As KCFS said, ammonia containing cleaners often damage WB finishes.  If you want nearly bulletproof then I would use an oil based varnish.  Waterlox and Arm-R-Seal are as close as you will be to that w/o going to a catalyzed finish.  They look great on walnut, too.  On the other hand, they take significant time to dry and stink up your shop or house in the process.  

In the WB field, if you can spray then Target Coatings EM-8000CV is pretty darned bulletproof after 30 days or cure.  If you can't spray, MinWax Oil Modified Poly is very good and goes on great with a brush.  Before it was reformulated I was very impressed with GF's EnduroVar, but I haven't used it since it was reformulated and haven't heard such great reviews about the new product so I'd stay away from it.    

Whatever you use, you are best to wait at least 30 days before subjecting anything to hard use.  I did some testing over the past year that showed even WB products take much longer to cure than the 5 - 7 days the manufacturers claim.  And that can be the difference between bulletproof or disappointment.  

John
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