Finishing Pine bar top

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6 Jul 2020
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Howzit all. Only discovered this gold mine today - so bare with me if this has been covered previously (I'll gladly accept links to previous posts!)

Long story short, I've rebuilt a summer house over the recent past (more past than recent). Final job is to install an L-shaped bar top. Constructed from 50mm planed pine (biscuit joint and PVA glued). Enough back story.

I'd like to tap your combined wisdom on how to sand and finish (stain, not paint) this bad boy so 1) it looks semi professional and 2) it withstands the wear and tear of Guinness fuelled rugger-8uggers.

(Interior walls are bead & butt panel clad and painted in F&B Babouche Modern Emulsion. Bar counter and display painted F&B Down Pipe. So looking for a yellowish undertone on the top to blend with walls and contrast with bar).


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cheers both. have used yacht varnish on some outside bits before so may test that out. Re RPC - have seen that recommended on other threads, but never used it before. what sort of prep would i need to get a smooth finish?
For the varnish, after the usual fine sanding, with yacht varnish it's usual to do a first coat of 50/50 varnish and white spirit. Give that at least overnight, rub down and continue with as many coats and rub downs till you get enough build.
The same as you would for anything else. I would think RPC would outlast yacht varnish by years (I could show you two counters in busy pubs I did 30+ years ago). It can be thinned slightly for the first coat with its own thinners, not white spirit. One drawback is the stink, but a few days and it's gone - in that sense it's probably better than varnish, which smells for months. (Two part ones are better.)
I've used RPC way back a couple of times only. One thing I'm thinking is YV may be easier to patch up if/when required.
Phil - reading up on RPC on some of the other threads. Seems quite a difficult customer to work with. What's the best "fools guide to" you can point me to? (assume i know nothing on the topic!)
It really isn't difficult. Thin the first coat slightly, and be prepared for it not to dry very quickly. It might ..... it might not, it reacts differently with different woods. Make sure there's no dust around, and for what the thinners costs use throw away brushes. If you buy it as a kit it'll contain a small can, enough for thinning and cleaning up the odd accident, but it's beastly stuff to get out of brushes properly. On horizontal surfaces do only two or three coats when the first couple are touch dry then leave to dry properly overnight before putting on any more - it's quite likely to orange peel if too many coats are done in a short time. Iirc I put five coats on counters. De nib after a couple of coats just to make sure it's not picked up any dirt, but there's no real need to sand. You can wrap the mixed plastic and brush in a polythene bag overnight in the fridge - it'll keep for a day or two. When finished you can shine or flatten it to suit yourself - it's no different than polishing a plastic. If you want a French polish finish it can be done. It's thinner and to my mind easier to use than polyurethane. I used to do dance floors with the flooring grade and a fifteen inch roller.
saffer":2p61n8c7 said:
Droogs":2p61n8c7 said:
I use these guys for the majority of my dyes, stains, paints and finishes

new to dyes... and appreciate it comes down to individual taste... but what shade would you recommend to get a natural (slightly aged) pine look? line in the sand then i can go and test from there!

I would give you the exact code for antique scots pine if I could get to workshop but I'm not allowed past the garden gate :( But if you give them a call and let them know what you are after they will be helpful and have a massive pallette as they make it to order