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How to finish this Teak (?) table

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Jeremy Nako

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I'm looking to refinish this dining room table which we've had for donkey's years, and which has seen better days.

I *think* that it's Teak - hopefully someone will be able to confirm that.

It obviously needs a good sanding, but thereafter, what's the best way to finish it..?

It's used every day as a dining room table, though it's had table cloth on it since I can remember, so it would be lovely to finish it and use it without a cloth.

Cheers

J
 

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Sgian Dubh

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I suspect it's European beech, not teak. The small brown flecks of the medullary rays suggest it's beech - it's definitely not teak, anyway. As to a finish, a tough and durable one would be a short oil interior varnish which would be as good a finish as any, although there are no doubt other options other contributors might suggest. Slainte.
 

Peterm1000

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I agree - almost certainly beech.

Hard wax oil - I've used Bona and Osmo on beech. I don't like varnish because it scratches easily and when it scratches, you have to sand and refinish entirely. With hard wax oil, you can just deal with worn patches individually. Hard wax oil is expensive, but goes a really long way. You probably don't need more than 250ml for a whole table top.

Also - speaking from bitter experience... be careful sanding. The top on most dining tables is a veneered panel - very easy to sand through when trying to get back to bare unmarked wood.

Good luck - a small amount of work to get back to a like new table!
 

Jeremy Nako

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Thanks Sgian Dubh and Peterm1000


In this (possibly rare) case.. its solid wood, but I'll be careful nonetheless.

I use Osmo satin for most things so I'll look at their range.
 

Sgian Dubh

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In this (possibly rare) case.. its solid wood, but I'll be careful nonetheless.
I could tell from the photograph that panel is solid wood. The shake at the top right of the photograph, and just to the right of the join line was a pretty sure sign. As to the choice of finish, I'd say that's up to you; I'm not a huge fan of oil finishes of the type you are investigating, but they have their place. There's nothing really wrong with them, although they're not normally ones I gravitate towards, mainly because they generally deteriorate fairly quickly and need quite frequent maintenance, especially on hard used surfaces such as kitchen table tops and the like. Slainte.
 

Peterm1000

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I could tell from the photograph that panel is solid wood. The shake at the top right of the photograph, and just to the right of the join line was a pretty sure sign. As to the choice of finish, I'd say that's up to you; I'm not a huge fan of oil finishes of the type you are investigating, but they have their place. There's nothing really wrong with them, although they're not normally ones I gravitate towards, mainly because they generally deteriorate fairly quickly and need quite frequent maintenance, especially on hard used surfaces such as kitchen table tops and the like. Slainte.
I have Bona hard wax oil on my oak kitchen worktops. I am a keen cook and it has chopping boards and all kinds of stuff dragged over it every day. 5 years on and it's starting to get to a point where I am thinking about refinishing it - for the 3rd time in the 15 years they have been there. Refinishing consists of a light sand and another layer of hard wax oil. The main thing is to never use a spray cleaner - they are far too harsh. Soapy water is all that's needed. Osmo was MUCH less durable. My experience hasn't been the same as the post above.
 
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