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widerstehe
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Posted: 9/7/2010 4:45:14 PM EST
We have an old wood kitchen table. I sanded it down, then used pre-conditioner. I applied 3 coats of stain and we have the table colored exactly how we want it.

I am now in the process of poly-ing the table. My intention is to provide as much protection as possible from dents, nicks, scrapes, etc. I don't want to have to repeat my work. I want it "bulletproof!"

I have applied 3 coats of the polyurethane already. Each coat seems to get easier to apply. I feel like I could go forever, and there's plenty of poly left in the can. The only thing holding me back from putting on 100 coats is that we want to use the table soon!

But seriously, at what point can I expect diminishing returns as far as work involved vs. protection for the table? What do you guys recommend?
mayday
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Posted: 9/7/2010 4:46:11 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/7/2010 4:46:52 PM EST by mayday]

87 coats.

Not one less; not one more.
superdav
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Posted: 9/7/2010 4:49:11 PM EST
If its gloss you could get it looking good in 3 coats sanding with FINE sandpaper between, i also use a foam brush i've never put more than 5 coats on anything and that was our computer desk and it has held up very good (i have 4 kids) the only reason i put 5 coats on was to get a perfect finish
widerstehe
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Posted: 9/7/2010 4:49:12 PM EST
87? ok
widerstehe
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Posted: 9/7/2010 4:50:33 PM EST
Originally Posted By superdav:
If its gloss you could get it looking good in 3 coats sanding with FINE sandpaper between, i also use a foam brush i've never put more than 5 coats on anything and that was our computer desk and it has held up very good (i have 4 kids) the only reason i put 5 coats on was to get a perfect finish


I am using a foam brush. It's not gloss, it is Satin. The Mrs. specifically said "Not Gloss!"

I also forgot to sand between coats 2 and 3. I did it after the first coat, though. Did I screw it up?
tojan19
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Posted: 9/7/2010 5:00:01 PM EST
No, its fine. 3 coats is usually enough build but if you want to do one more give it another light sanding first.
Ohio_Bill
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Posted: 9/7/2010 5:10:33 PM EST
I would have said no coats of poly, use Behlen Rockhard Tabletop Varnish instead.
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piccolo
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Posted: 9/7/2010 5:15:48 PM EST
several.


seriously
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cyborg543
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Posted: 9/8/2010 4:44:43 AM EST


the thicker you apply the stain and poly, the more likely it is to flake off when it takes an impact.

the ideal thing would be a stain that soaks into the wood and 3 thin coats of poly.

if you used minwax oil based stain, you already have 3 coats of linseed oil on under the poly.

RIA45ACP
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Posted: 9/8/2010 4:51:46 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/8/2010 4:52:23 AM EST by RIA45ACP]
Dad did my kitchen cabinets, he used 5 coats of semi gloss, buffing it with 0000 steel wool in between coats, my cabinets reflect like glass. I'm nowhere near as good as he is, but in my experience if you go more than 6 coats, especially if you lay it on thick, the poly will dent and crack easier. YMMV.
gonzo_beyondo
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Posted: 9/8/2010 4:57:05 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/8/2010 4:57:48 AM EST by gonzo_beyondo]

Originally Posted By superdav:
If its gloss you could get it looking good in 3 coats sanding with FINE sandpaper between, i also use a foam brush i've never put more than 5 coats on anything and that was our computer desk and it has held up very good (i have 4 kids) the only reason i put 5 coats on was to get a perfect finish

This is about what I'd say. Although I use 00 steel wool, not sandpaper.
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hilljb
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Posted: 9/8/2010 4:58:00 AM EST
Poly looks trashy, just use a natural finish or something like Tung Oil.
jmarkma
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Posted: 9/8/2010 5:04:33 AM EST
Originally Posted By hilljb:
Poly looks trashy, just use a natural finish or something like Tung Oil.


Not if it's applied properly with the correct sheen. It's a much better finish, especially for a table top application.

I would apply 3-5 coats depending on the openness of the grain and how slick you want the table to look. As far as protection goes you should be GTG with 3 coats. You can always put on another coat in a few years if it gets a little rough.
jmarkma
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Posted: 9/8/2010 5:05:22 AM EST
Originally Posted By gonzo_beyondo:

Originally Posted By superdav:
If its gloss you could get it looking good in 3 coats sanding with FINE sandpaper between, i also use a foam brush i've never put more than 5 coats on anything and that was our computer desk and it has held up very good (i have 4 kids) the only reason i put 5 coats on was to get a perfect finish

This is about what I'd say. Although I use 00 steel wool, not sandpaper.


If you want a really slick finish use sandpaper and steel wool.
Schadenfreuda
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Posted: 9/8/2010 5:06:17 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/8/2010 5:07:54 AM EST by Schadenfreuda]

Originally Posted By widerstehe:
We have an old wood kitchen table. I sanded it down, then used pre-conditioner. I applied 3 coats of stain and we have the table colored exactly how we want it.

I am now in the process of poly-ing the table. My intention is to provide as much protection as possible from dents, nicks, scrapes, etc. I don't want to have to repeat my work. I want it "bulletproof!"

I have applied 3 coats of the polyurethane already. Each coat seems to get easier to apply. I feel like I could go forever, and there's plenty of poly left in the can. The only thing holding me back from putting on 100 coats is that we want to use the table soon!

But seriously, at what point can I expect diminishing returns as far as work involved vs. protection for the table? What do you guys recommend?

If you want it to "last forever", you're going to want a two-part epoxy-based coating.

The polyurethane you get in a can at Walmart or Home Depot is, at best, aimed at novices.

You could find-out from someone who refinishes wood floors what MIGHT be the best single-stage urethane to use.

Also, you said that you got the stain to "exactly" what you want it to look like? You do KNOW that once you introduce a clear finish, it will get DARKER, right?

ETA: Just noticed she wanted a "satin" finish...it won't be as dark as a gloss, but will still rich-up the color.
gonzo_beyondo
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Posted: 9/8/2010 5:12:31 AM EST

Originally Posted By jmarkma:
Originally Posted By hilljb:
Poly looks trashy, just use a natural finish or something like Tung Oil.


Not if it's applied properly with the correct sheen. It's a much better finish, especially for a table top application.

I would apply 3-5 coats depending on the openness of the grain and how slick you want the table to look. As far as protection goes you should be GTG with 3 coats. You can always put on another coat in a few years if it gets a little rough.

I definitely agree, especially for any sort of surfaces.

A little steel wool knocks the shine off of poly and you have a pretty natural looking finish... that you can set a beer on.


"If you get the impression that I just don't like anyone and will complain about anything, you'd win a prize, if there was one. " L_JE
gonzo_beyondo
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Posted: 9/8/2010 5:13:07 AM EST

Originally Posted By Schadenfreuda:


You could find-out from someone who refinishes wood floors what MIGHT be the best single-stage urethane to use.


Gym floor sealer. Basketball court shit.
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Surtr
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Posted: 9/8/2010 5:53:15 AM EST
Stain
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Poured epoxy Resin Finish < "Bulletproof"
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RDak
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Posted: 9/8/2010 5:53:39 AM EST
Originally Posted By tojan19:
No, its fine. 3 coats is usually enough build but if you want to do one more give it another light sanding first.


salsa
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Posted: 9/8/2010 2:49:02 PM EST
If you have a good build already with the three coats, lightly sand or 000steel wool lightly, and apply a slightly thinned version (10-15%) of the poly and it will give you a nice finish. A cup warmer to warm the poly makes a big difference as well.
1GUNRUNNER
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Posted: 9/8/2010 2:50:10 PM EST
First post nails it.
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