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The DIY Guide to Finishing a Table Top

The DIY Guide to Finishing a Table Top

Tent the workspace

Open trusses and rafters are a limitless source of falling dust. If you’’ re working under an open ceiling, hang plastic sheeting above. Keep the plastic a minimum of 12 in. from lights or eliminate the bulbs. Often, including plastic ‘‘ walls ’ is a lot much easier than tidying up the whole location. If you’’ re utilizing oil-based surfaces, hang the sheets about a foot from the flooring to enable ventilation.

.Wet the flooring.

A flooring moistened with a mop or spray bottle has 2 advantages: It avoids you from kicking up dust as you walk. And it raised the humidity, so polyurethane dries slower and stays practical longer. Here’’ s how to select the very best dust mask.

.State war on dust.

Airborne dust is the’wood finisher ’ s bane. It decides on damp finishings and produces awful pimples in the dried surface. You can sand them out, however it’’ s much better to lessen that labor by decreasing dust sources. Tidy up the workspace and alter out of the dirty clothing you used while sanding. See how you can utilize a store vacuum for dust collection.

.Limitation air motion.

If you’’ re utilizing water-based surfaces, control air-borne dust by switching off forced-air heating or cooling, and by closing doors and windows. This doesn’’ t use to oil-based surfaces; ventilation is needed to get rid of damaging fumes.

.Set it Up  The DIY Guide to Finishing a Table Top Prop up the tabletop.

Set the top on screws so you can quickly complete the edges.

 The DIY Guide to Finishing a Table Top

.Personalize your lighting.

Overhead lighting is excellent for many store work, however it’’ s bad for ending up. Attempt this rather: Turn off the overhead lights and place a brilliant light 4 to 5 ft. off the flooring. The low-angle glare will highlight every defect.

.Eliminate the legs.

A taken apart table is a lot easier to move and the legs are much easier to complete. On a common table, getting rid of each leg is as easy as loosening a nut.

.Video: How to Sand Wood By Hand The Family HandymanHow to Sand Wood by Hand Sanding Tips  The DIY Guide to Finishing a Table Top Vac and tack.

A vacuum with a brush accessory will get rid of 99 percent of the sanding dust. That’’ s not enough. This picture demonstrates how much dust is left over. After vacuuming, clean with a tack fabric (offered in the house centers) if you prepare to utilize oil-based stain or finishings. If you’’ re utilizing water-based surfaces, utilize a lint-free rag moistened with mineral spirits.

 The DIY Guide to Finishing a Table Top

.Avoid remorses.

The absolute best method to prevent wood finishers’ ’ regret is to check your surfaces on wood scraps of the very same types as your work of art. Sand the scraps in precisely the very same method you sand the table: Sanding lighter or more difficult or utilizing various grits will alter the appearance of any surface you use.

.End up a Tabletop: Do a last sanding by hand.

A random orbital sander is best for the majority of the sanding. Do a five-minute last sanding by hand utilizing the exact same grit. Hand-sanding with the grain eliminates swirls and torn wood fibers left by the orbital action of the sander.

.Complete a Tabletop: Sand every square inch the very same.

Any variation in sanding actions can appear in the last surface. If, for instance, you lack 80-grit sanding discs midway through the preliminary sanding, you may be lured to change to 100-grit. Put on’’ t. Even after sanding with greater grits, stain might look various in differently dealt with locations.

.End up a Tabletop: Don’’ t oversand.

Most experts we spoke with stop at 150-grit on coarse-grain woods like oak or walnut and 180-grit on fine-grain woods like cherry or maple. That doesn’’ t use to end grain. End grain reveals sanding scratches more than face grain, so you might need to sand to 220- or perhaps 320-grit.

.Complete a Tabletop: Skip grits when sanding.

You wear’’ t need to utilize every offered grit as you advance from coarse to fine. Rather, you can leap from 80-grit to 120- to 180-, avoiding 100-and 150-grit.

.Tabletop Staining Tips Avoid spots with tabletop staining.

Most typical wood types- pine, birch, maple and cherry- soak up stain unevenly. For a more constant surface, use a pre-stain conditioner.

.Check your tabletop sanding work.

Stain will highlight any defects in your sanding task (swirls or cross-grain scratches). You’’ ll have to resand- and sanding stained wood is a genuine discomfort. To discover defects prior to you stain, utilize low-angle light. Cleaning on mineral spirits likewise assists to expose issues.

.Tabletop Finishing  The DIY Guide to Finishing a Table Top Start with high-gloss poly.

A couple of coats of semigloss or satin polyurethane appears like a sheet of dull plastic over the wood. Construct up coats of gloss poly. If you desire less shine, dull the surface by damp cleaning or sanding on a couple coats of satin or semigloss.

 The DIY Guide to Finishing a Table Top

.Tabletop completing: Go with polyurethane.

There are great deals of clear surfaces. For a mix of functionality and sturdiness, you can’’ t beat polyurethane. Oil-based poly, which dries slower than water-based, is finest for newbies since it permits more operating time. The other crucial distinction is clearness: Water-based poly is definitely colorless, while oil-based has an amber tone, which can be bad or great depending upon the appearance you desire.

 The DIY Guide to Finishing a Table Top

.Apply water-based poly with a pad.

Water-based poly dries faster than oil, so it’’ s even harder to brush over a huge surface area. The option is a paint pad, which uses poly quickly and smooth. Simply dip the pad into a pan of poly and drag the pad throughout the surface area. Make certain to ravel any ridges rose by the edges of the pad.

.Tabletop ending up: Work quick.

Depending on the conditions, oil-based poly might end up being too sticky to deal with after simply 5 to 10 minutes. Water-based poly dries even quicker. Have all your products lined up and all set to go prior to you begin. And when you’’ ve began, there’’ s no time at all for coffee or restroom breaks.

.Tabletop ending up: Roll on oil-based poly.

Coating a huge surface area with a brush-before the poly ends up being gooey-requires speed and ability. Rolling, on the other hand, is quicker, simpler and nearly goof-proof.

Rolled-on poly looks awful in the beginning, however the bubbles vanish in minutes, leaving a smoother surface area than the majority of us can attain with a brush. Be careful of ridges formed by the edges of the roller and bulges where you stop and begin. You can lessen both of those defects by using lighter coats. We try out a number of sort of rollers and got the very best outcomes with microfiber mini rollers. We likewise attempted rolling on water-based poly; put on’’ t do it.

. Tabletop completing: Sand Again  The DIY Guide to Finishing a Table Top Wet-sand prior to last coats.

Load a sanding block with 600-grit wet/dry paper, dribble on some soapy water and rub the surface smooth. Clean the table dry, look for defects and rub some more. Don ’ t stop up until you attain excellence. Smooth shaped edges with artificial steel wool.

. Tabletop completing: Sand in between coats.

A fast hand-sanding in between coats flattens our defects prior to the next coat. Polyurethane tends to gum up sandpaper, so utilize paper or pads that withstands obstructing( 320-grit ). On shaped edges, utilize artificial steel wool, such as Scotch-Brite pads , identified ‘ really great. ’

. Tabletop ending up: Clean off the white things.’

As the table dries after wet-sanding, a white residue will appear. Make certain to clean it off entirely. Residue left in the grain lines of coarse-grain wood will be caught under the last coat and haunt you permanently.

. Tabletop ending up: Don ’ t sand through.

If you sand through the polyurethane and eliminate some stain, you can retouch with more stain. The repair work won ’ t be ideal, so take discomforts to prevent that error. Sand extremely gently after the very first coat, simply enough to eliminate the dust hairs. After the 2nd coat, you can sand a little more difficult to flatten bigger defects. Constantly beware around the edges of the table; that ’ s where it ’ s simplest to sand through.

. Ending up Touches  The DIY Guide to Finishing a Table Top Fill the grain.

The deep grain lines in woods like oak or walnut will telegraph through the clear surface, no matter the number of coats you use. Which ’ s fine; it ’ s part of the character of coarse-grain woods. If a completely smooth surface area is the appearance you desire, utilize a grain filler. You ’ ll discover numerous items online or at woodworking shops. With a lot of, you clean on the filler, squeegee off the excess with a plastic putty knife and after that sand after it ’ s dry for a smooth-as-glass surface area.


 The DIY Guide to Finishing a Table Top

. Clean away leaks.

After the table is totally layered, cover a rag aroundyour finger and rub out any drips along the underside.


 The DIY Guide to Finishing a Table Top

. Watch on edges.

Regardless of how you use poly, you ’ ll most likely wind up with some work on theedges. Continuously examine the edges as you’work and be all set to smooth out runs with a brush.


 The DIY Guide to Finishing a Table Top

. Spray the legs.

Table legs– particularly shaped legs– are nearly difficult to coat efficiently with a brush. – rather, hang them from the – ceiling with wire and spray them.


 The DIY Guide to Finishing a Table Top

. Pluck out issues.

Tweezers are a vital emergency situation tool.If a fly, brush bristleor lint winds up in the surface, you can surgically eliminate it.


 The DIY Guide to Finishing a Table Top

. Clean on the last coats.

Wet-sanding leaves the surface area dull however completely smooth. To bring back the shine, use2 coats of wipe-on polyurethane (readily available in gloss, satin and semigloss ). Cleaning lead to a really thin, fast-drying coat, so defects like dust nubs or droops are less most likely.

. Tabletop completing: Coat the underside.

Wood takes in wetness from the air, swelling and diminishing with modifications in humidity. Polyurethane( or anyfinishing) slows that absorption. If you coat just the topside, the incomplete underside will swell or diminish at a various rate. That suggests a distorted table. One coat on the underside will support the tabletop.

. Tabletop completing: How numerous coats? Apply a minimum of 3 coats.

With a thicker layer of defense, damage to the underlying wood is less likely-so your tabletop will look much better longer, andrestoring the surface will be simpler. Some finishers use 4 and even 5 coats.

. Tabletop completing: Never utilize wax or polish.

All you require for regular cleansing and care of your table is a wet fabric. When regular wear ultimately dulls the surface, you can restore it in simply a couple of minutes with another coat of wipe-on poly. If you ’ ve ever utilized furnishings wax or polish, a fresh coat of poly might not stick.

. Tabletop ending up: Seal end grain.

The end grain of wood absorbs surfaces and typically turns much darker than the face grain. Look for this on your test block. If you get an awful outcome, pretreat completion grain with a dosage of surface that will restrict absorption (wood conditioner, sanding shellac, sealant or polyurethane thinned 50 percent). Use the treatment with an artist ’ s brush and take care not to slop onto the face grain.


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