Hello, I’m Thomas, Your Friendly Carpenter!
Embarking on a journey to give your furniture a facelift? Let’s dive into the world of wood finishing. Adding a finish to your wooden treasures is not just about aesthetics; it’s about protection and enhancing durability. Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned DIYer, I’ve got some tips and tricks to share with you!
The Best Finish for Your Dining Table
For dining tables, lacquer is your go-to finish. Not only does it accentuate the beauty of your table, but it also offers much-needed protection. Lacquer is applied in slim layers, letting the wood’s natural charm shine through. Its water-resistant nature adds to its allure.
Restoring Old Wooden Furniture
Bringing an old wooden piece back to life? There are two main finish types to consider, each varying in composition, cost, and time investment. Keep in mind that choosing the right finish is a balancing act between pros and cons. And don’t forget to add a stain to your shopping cart!
Selecting the Right Stain and Finish
If you prefer customized colors, pick a stain separate from your finish. This gives you more control over the hue and allows for corrections before the final finish. Remember, not all stains play nice with all finishes. Also, porous woods like alder, birch, and maple, may need an extra step of conditioning for optimal results.
⚙️ Types of Finish
When it comes to finishes, you’ve got two categories: surface finishes and penetrating finishes. Surface finishes form a protective layer on top, ideal for frequently used pieces. Penetrating finishes, on the other hand, seep into the wood, offering protection while keeping the natural look.
Think about your maintenance willingness when picking a finish. Also, layering different finishes can yield benefits in durability, color, and aesthetic accents. Aim for a finish that reduces the need for future refinishing.
️ Painting Your Dining Table
Considering paint? It’s a basic surface finish that doesn’t bring out the wood’s natural charm. If you do choose paint, use a separate primer for a vibrant, lasting color. Remember, priming is crucial; it’s the backbone of your finish.
Lacquer and Its Application
Lacquer is a fast-drying, durable surface finish with a glossy shine. However, it may discolor over time. When applying, use aerosol spray lacquer and ensure good ventilation.
✨ Shellac: A Glossy Option
Shellac offers a glossy finish but is heat-sensitive. It’s not ideal for dining tables. For added durability, consider mixing it with other finishes.
French Polish Technique: This involves a mix of Shellac and oil, applied in circular motions with a rag.
Polyurethane: A Varnish Finish
Polyurethane, absorbed into the wood, provides a satin to dull-gloss look. It’s often mixed with other finishes for added shine and protection. Choose between oil-based and water-based varieties based on your needs.
Wax: For Beauty and Shine
Wax, usually mixed with oil, is all about preserving natural color and shine. It doesn’t yellow over time but isn’t the best standalone finish for dining tables due to its limited protection.
Oils: Natural Beauty Enhancers
Oils like tung and Danish oil are popular for their natural enhancement of wood. However, they may require more upkeep and are less resistant to water.
How to Refinish a Dining Table
Ready to refinish? Here’s a quick guide:
- Clean the Wood: Sand down the surface and remove any residue.
- Brush on the Stain: Apply the stain evenly and let it dry.
- Brush on the Finish: Check for imperfections, re-sand if necessary, and apply multiple coats as needed.
Supplies You’ll Need
Most hardware stores have what you need: sanding blocks, rags, natural bristle brushes, drop cloths, and protective gear. Choose wisely based on your project’s specifics.
Most of your budget will go towards stain and finish. Prices vary, but you can expect to pay around $15 for a quart-sized finish, $8 for stains, and a few dollars for brushes and rags.
|Best for dining tables, durable, water-resistant
|Choose separate from finish for color control
|Surface and penetrating types, consider maintenance willingness
|Use separate primer for better color
|Glossy but heat-sensitive, not ideal for dining tables
|Oil-based or water-based, offers satin to dull-gloss look