Previous finish for refinishing

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TRITON

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Ok. Sister had a dining table. oak/oak veneer, main table top is veneer. A bit back she tried to refinish the table in varnish, which didnt take, and left the top sticky to the touch.

I couldn't honestly say for sure but i think a cellulose finish originally.

Recommended a few things for her to try, acetone, wipe down, meths, but if anything it made the stickiness worse.

So showed her how to scrape back the finishes using a stanley blade, as those are easy to come by, and i didnt think she would get on with an actual cabinet scraper.

Well that removed all the stickiness, and the high spots of the original finish, but obviously due to the textured nature of oak, which they like to leave 'rough' so people can feel the grain and think their oak dining table is really an oak dining table.

Now to refinish.
If she could remove the lacquer totally, maybe an oil finish, but as its only veneer, cant really sand it back enough without risking cutting through, does anyone agree that I should suggest to her to redo it in a cellulose lacquer, which can be brushed or rollered on.

As to cellulose, my experience of it is only spray(2 pack) which we cant really do here using my set up(got a minimite3) so paint/roller on.

Anyone got any recommendations ? by cellulose, im probably more meaning nitrocellulose, and its better hardwearing and more suitable for something like a dining table.

I believe the nitro is fast drying, so would i apply as a thick coat and sand to do maybe 2 coats, or thinned multiple layers, with just a bit of light denibbing.
 
If she can get the finish off by scraping then a light sand with 150g will give enough key for an oil finish but I would be more inclined to brush on a water based floor varnish (SCREWFIX no nonsense is really good) when hardened cut back flat with 240g, wire wool with '0' with the grain then wax. it should give an acceptable finish that will be good and tough. I have had this finish on my Gillows oak dining table and it has stood up to 10 years of abuse so far and still looks great. P.S. Don't tell anyone I'm a French Polisher !!
 
I've used fadding lacquer in the past. It's shellac with cellulose. That london supplier had it. They make harrells wax. Jenkins.
 
Ps Jenkins are a little known supplier with a massive range of products. Old school pamphlet(I've not seen any online other than resellers) trade only though.
 
If she can get the finish off by scraping then a light sand with 150g will give enough key for an oil finish but I would be more inclined to brush on a water based floor varnish (SCREWFIX no nonsense is really good) when hardened cut back flat with 240g, wire wool with '0' with the grain then wax. it should give an acceptable finish that will be good and tough. I have had this finish on my Gillows oak dining table and it has stood up to 10 years of abuse so far and still looks great. P.S. Don't tell anyone I'm a French Polisher !!


Thats what she used before and it fkd it up royally. I think varnish is not a finish we can use here

I thought oil for ease of use, doesnt really require any training- wipe on/wipe off. But with a residue of cellulose probably hanging around a replacement cellulose is likely the better option.
 
Maybe, bite the bullet, sand completely back to bare wood, chase the grain with a soft to medium brass brush, to get back to the tactile touch she wants. Then a simple hard oil and wax.
Hard work, yes, but done once, last forever.
 
When you said the varnish remained sticky I assumed she had used a traditional oil based varnish, I am very surprised a water based varnish remained sticky!! That said, if she has already tried that route with no success then Sachkins suggestion of using a wire brush to scrub out the grain would seem to be the best route to go down.
Some photos might help!
 

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