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Staining/Finishing Reclaimed Timber Table

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Def4free

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Hi all,

First time on these forums so apologies if this has been asked previously.

I'm looking to refinish a reclaimed timber table (bought from RCC Furniture). The timber is apparently UK/European softwood, and I'm looking to stain it dark oak. My question is, between sanding and staining, should I use a pre-stain conditioner to prevent blotching/streaking? And once stained, what would be a good, hard-wearing topcoat? This is a daily used dining room table, so I'm after something a bit liquid/food stain proof.

Any help at all is much appreciated!
Ryan
 

mrpercysnodgrass

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I had not heard of RCC before so had a quick look. It seems their table tops are made from joists and the finishes presented on their website are frankly bloody awful, patchy with great circular marks left from what I presume is a disc sander on an angle grinder! Im sure you can do better. If your table has these heavy sanding marks on the top you will need to give it a good sanding with the grain to get them out. To get the colour and finish you want I would be inclined to use a coloured wax oil applied with a mini sponge roller, work it well in all directions and finish with the grain to get an even colour, you may achieve this in one application but may need two or even three. When you have the colour to your liking, you will need to apply one more coat of clear wax oil. This should give you a good hard wearing finish.
 

Def4free

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Yeah, thankfully the finish on our table is fairly good, so I shouldn't have too many issues refinishing it. I'll be sanding it anyway, so if there are any of those marks that should remove them. That's great though, I hadn't thought about coloured hard wax oils. Had a look online and Fiddes seem to have the most comprehensive colour choice for a UK based company. Thanks for the response and tips!
 

Def4free

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Superb. Had a look on their website. Not sure they've the exact colour I'm after, but I'll give a few of their samples a try.
 

envy77

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You could try a finish that sits on top of the wood, which is a lot more forgiving when dealing with softwood or mixed woods. I recently refinished the tops of some second hand side tables and used 3 coats of Ronseal DiamondHard Interior varnish in walnut to get a dark oak finish (I actually added 2 walnut, 1 teak to better match the existing legs), followed by three coats of an oil based poly varnish for maximum protection as these tables get a lot of use.
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