DIY guide to finishing the table

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Completing the table is complicated. The ultimate test of speed and skill, especially on large tables, is to cover the entire surface before the finish is sticky. And your work must be perfect. The table reflects more than any other piece of furniture and shows all the small imperfections. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do it. These tips will help alleviate difficult areas and get the perfect finish.
Follow these unmistakable tips and tricks to complete your perfect table.

Set up a tent in the work area

Open beams and windows are an inexhaustible source of dust. Therefore, when working under an open ceiling, a plastic sheet is hanging up. Keep the plastic at least 12 cm away from the lamp or remove the bulb. In some cases, it’s much easier to add a plastic wall than to clean the entire area. When using an oily finish, the seat hangs from the floor on one foot to allow ventilation.

Wet the floor

Floors moistened with mops and spray bottles have two advantages. Prevents kicking dust while walking. In addition, the high humidity slows down the drying of polyurethane and increases working time.

Declaration of war

Dust in the air assumes a wood finish. Wet coating stains and dry finish creates unsightly bumps. You can scrub, but it’s best to minimize and reduce the source of dust. Clean your work area and change the dusty clothes you used during sanding.

Avoid regret

The best way to regret the finish of a piece of wood is to test the finish on the same type of piece of wood as the table. Polish the residue in exactly the same way you polish a table. Lightening or hardening the polish or using different particles will change the appearance of the finish you apply.

Limit the movement of air

When using a water-based finish, dust in the air should be controlled by turning off forced heating or cooling and closing windows and doors. It does not apply to oily finishes that require ventilation to remove harmful smoke.

Adjust the lighting

Ceiling lighting is ideal for most shopping tasks, but not suitable for finishing. Rather try it. Turn off the ceiling light and place a bright light 4.5-6 feet above the floor. The low-angle glow accentuates all imperfections.

Spread sand every square inch in the same way

Changes in the sanding step can appear in the final finish. For example, if you run out of 75 grind chips in the middle of the first grind, you may want to switch to 100 grit. Dirt may look different in areas of different treatments, even after sanding with higher particles.

Do not sprinkle too much sand

Most experts stop at 150 grains for coarse wood such as oak and walnut, and 180 grains for fine wood such as cherry and maple. But that doesn’t apply to the final fiber. The grain is more scratched than before and should be polished with 220 or 320 wood.

Skip grain when sanding

If you’re migrating from coarse to fine, you don’t have to use all the available grains. Instead, you can skip from 80 to 120 to 180 grit and skip 100 and 150 grit.

Examine the sanding

Dirt highlights sanding imperfections (vertebral bones and scratches). Then you need to sand it again, and sanding colored wood is a real headache. Before dyeing, use a low-angle light to find defects. Cleaning with a mineral spirit can also help detect problems.

Start with high gloss polyester

Several layers of satin or semi-glossy polyurethane look like opaque plastic sheets on wood. Therefore, first, build a layer of glossy polyester. If you want less shine, sand it or rub a few layers of satin or semi-gloss to dull the finish.

Use polyurethane

There are many transparent finishes. However, the combination of ease of use and durability is second to none. Oil-based polyethylene dries slower than polyethylene on water and therefore takes longer to work, making it suitable for beginners. The other big difference is transparency. Water-based polyesters are completely colorless, while oil-based polyesters are amber and may or may not be good depending on your taste.

Work fast

Depending on the conditions, oil-based polyester can be difficult to work within just 5-10 minutes. Polyester on water dries even faster. Therefore, all inventories are ready and ready to start before they start. And once that starts, I don’t have time to drink coffee or go to the bathroom.

Oil-based polyester roll

Brushing a large surface before the polyester is sticky requires speed and skill. The role is faster, easier, and almost certainly. Rolled polyethylene looks terrible at first, but the bubbles disappear within minutes, leaving a smoother surface than most of us can achieve with a brush. Note the ridges formed by the ends of the rollers and the bumps that start and stop the rollers. By installing a thin coat, both defects can be minimized. We experimented with different types of rollers and got the best results with microfiber mini rollers. I also tried rolling with water-based polyethylene. Don’t do it.

Wet sand before the last layer

Place 500/600 grit of wet/dry paper on the sanding block, add a little soapy water and rub the finish smoothly. Then dry the table, look for defects and rub further. Do not stop until you reach perfection. Smooth edges with synthetic steel wool.

Apply at least 3 times

The thicker the protective layer, the less likely it is that the underlying wood will be damaged, resulting in a longer tabletop that looks better and the finish can be restored more easily. Some finishers apply 4 or 5 coats.

Clean the white well

When the table dries after wet sanding, white residues will appear. Make sure you clean it completely. The debris left on the coarse wood particle beams is trapped under the top layer and annoys you forever.

Do not sprinkle sand

If you rub the polyurethane off the dirt, you may touch it further. However, the repair is not perfect and you should do your best to avoid the error. Very lightly sand after the first coat, just enough to remove the hair from the dust. After the second layer, it can be polished a little harder to express larger imperfections. Always pay attention to the edges of the table. This is the easiest place to apply sand.

Fill the grain

The deep grain of wood such as oak and walnut gives a clear finish no matter how many layers are layered. And this is a good thing. It is part of the characteristics of rough wood. However, if you want a perfectly smooth surface, use a grain filler. You can find a variety of products online or at the woodworking shop. At best, wipe off the contents, wipe off excess with a plastic knife, and when dry, remove with sand to give a glass-smooth surface.

Clean the top layer

Wet sanding makes the surface completely smooth, but dull. To restore luster, apply polyurethane twice (available in luster, semi-gloss, and satin). The result of cleaning is a very thin, quick-drying layer that is less prone to dirt on dust plugs and bags.

Cover the bottom

Wood absorbs moisture in the air and shrinks and expands as humidity changes. Polyurethane (or any layer) slows uptake. Therefore, if you want to cover only the top, shrink or inflate the unfinished bottom at a different rate. That means a distorted table. However, the lower layer stabilizes the surface of the table.

Do not wash or polish

All you need for regular table cleaning and care is a damp cloth. If the normal finish eventually dulls, you can update it with another layer of polyester in minutes. However, if you have used furniture polish or wax, the new polyester coat may not stick.

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