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By steeluth
Hi to all

Very first post..

Due to some foggy stains, I have decided to re-coat the table (beech I believe). From the photo you can see what I used to strip all the chemicals, can you please advise how do i restore the colour?

I appreciate it could be difficulkt to match it perfectly but i know it wasnt a stain as I wouldnt be able to remove(?). I read about gels but they are difficult to come by in the UK...

Many thanks for all your advise in advance.

before (original colour)
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By ED65
Looks like you did a good job stripping the previous finish off. I don't know if you'll have done this already but if you want to confirm that you haven't missed any spots wet the tabletop down with white spirit. Any pale spots will indicate where some finish remains.

So new finish, it's possible the previous finish wasn't coloured. If the table was varnished, oil-based varnishes start out light (a fairly pale amber colour) and over time they go much darker, towards a characteristic orange-yellow colour that's very obvious on paler woods like pine. It's hard to be sure from just the one photo in this lighting but that could be what we're seeing on the legs.

If that is the case you're left with a quandary, to match the colour right now (which will end up noticeably darker after a few years) or use clear varnish now and just be patient for the inevitable colour change over the next few years. The choice is up to you.
By steeluth
Thank you for you rinput and tips, though I was hoping for a solution I dont have to wait this long :)

When you say to match the colour, could you please elaborate? Im interested in what products to use here (assuming the expected finish would have to be hard-wearing)

What if I mixed up a stain with varnish? Anybody tried it?


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By ED65
steeluth wrote:What if I mixed up a stain with varnish? Anybody tried it?

You can do this, but there's no need since they make coloured varnishes already.

If you do the check with white spirit the colour you get while the wood is wet will be very similar to the colour you get from an untinted oil-based varnish, so if you'd be happy with that you can proceed accordingly.

If it's not then you need to stain/dye the wood and then apply a clear finish, or use a coloured finish. Over here a coloured finish will generally mean a coloured varnish.

I couldn't tell you the exact colour you'd need, but colours with names like Honey Pine or Antique Pine would generally be of the right type. Please note though that colour names have no consistency brand to brand, various "Old Pine" varnishes can be any shade the manufacturer decides they should be – some are more orange, others more a tan or light brown. You have to pick based on the brand you're buying and the colour you're going for.

BTW I don't think this changes anything in terms of the finishing process but your tabletop looks like it's hevea (rubberwood). I suspected this from the stripped image but the before pic which wasn't showing for me earlier (??) is a bit clearer and I think that's what it is.
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By ED65
If you're new to using varnish I can highly recommend converting it to wiping varnish. A lot of members using varnish do this and agree it's a game-changer in terms of how easy varnish is to use and get a good result.

You convert any normal varnish to wiping varnish by decanting a little to a clean container, then thinning it with from 1/5 to 1/2 white spirit. Shake well (don't worry about the bubbles) and it's ready to use.

There are many more tips about this to be found online as it's become a very popular method. In case it's not emphasised though, you need to apply more coats to get equivalent protection to a few coats of undiluted varnish. So where you might use 3-4 coats of varnish straight from the tin you'd need to use 6-9 coats of wiping varnish. But these coats will dry more quickly, you should have zero problems with bubbles, it'll be far less prone to dust nibs if you're not working in a sterile environment (and who is?!) and best of all you'll more easily achieve a uniform surface, with minimal sanding.
By steeluth
I have not heard/read of such technique but i have faith in my skills :)

Also hevea makes more sense - so thank you for bringing my attn to that

Thanks again - will browse for options and get back if in doubt

Have a good wekeend all