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philpolish

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Hi all
I have a table to refinish it is oak with tiled insert horrible German creation. I think it is laquered at present it has a few scuffs in it i need to remove so I may have to remove laquer.what i would like to know is what finish would you advise. It is a coffee table so needs to be hard wearing. I would like to do a wipe on finish I have some Danish oil would this do?. Hopefully there is no colour in the laquer that is on there on the moment I will strip a piece out of site. Also do I need to strip the old laquer off before I apply the oil ?.
I have done a little bit of finishing before but would like all your comments before I dive in.
By the way I would like a gloss finish.


Thanks in advance Phil.
 

Midnight

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phil... my take on table finishes might not be what you're looking for.. but then again perhaps it'll give food for thought...

I've sworn off "hard" finishes (varnish etc) after dealing with the aftermath of an accident that trashed a varnished top. In this particular instance the protection I was looking for when I chose to varnish simply wasn't there..

Since then I've accepted that "life" happens to table surfaces; scratches, spills, dinks etc... with a hard finish any one of those is a castastistrove... Thesedays I prefer an "easy to refinish" finish... wax over oil being a favourite... When adversity happens I can have a top stripped to bare wood and returned to its former glory inside an hour...
takes me another hour to recover from it.. but that's another matter altogether :wink:
 

Sgian Dubh

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Phil, for hard used tables avoid soft finishes such as teak oil, Danish oil, tung oil finish and the like. These are basically long oil varnishes with the emphasis on long. They offer little protection unless built up to enough coats, and even then they don't protect much.

Below these finishes in order of protection are things like pure tung oil, linseed oil and wax. These three are virtually useless as surface protectants as they never dry to a protective film.

Their one advantage over film forming finishes is their ease of repairability. They damage easily-- they repair easily, and that's about all that can be said about them.

For protection of things like coffee tables you need hard, relatively brittle finishes such as AC melamine lacquers, post-cat lacquers, down to conversion varnishes, pre-cat lacquers all the way to a soft'ish finish such as nitro-cellulose lacquer-- and this last one has its idiosyncacies too.

For the amateur lacking spray kit the most protective finishes readily available are things like oil based and water based varnishes. These can be got at places like Bloody Awful & Questionable (AKA B&Q, ha, ha.)

If you follow the instructions on the can you should be able to get a decent finish.

Shellacs of various types are pretty much useless on hard working items like coffee and dining tables. The solvent for this film forming finish is alcohol, therefore spilt wine and other bevy dissolves the stuff.

It-- shellac-- has its use though in such situations. Layed down as a first coat in its dewaxed form it will warm up the underlying wood, and you can apply any film forming finish over the top of this base coat. Water based varnishes are notorious for their lack of warmth, dry milky appearance, and ugly blue tinge, and the shellac sealer coat can alleviate this to some extent whilst the more durable varnish upper coatings offer better protection. Slainte.
 

philpolish

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Hi all
Thanks for your comments so far. Normally I jump straight in and strip the finish off with stripper as it is not my table I am a bit hesitant.If I was french polishing it I would be a bit happier cos I know I can get a satisfactory finish. The table is not in that bad condition just a bit flat and a few dings.To take the finish completely off is not my original thought but if I have to to get a decent finish I will. I have used a waterborne varnish from B&Q with a foam brush before with pretty good results.
Thanks Phil.
 
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