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Thread: Finish for white oak dining chairs

  1. #1
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    Finish for white oak dining chairs

    I have 10 white oak dining chairs that I am getting ready to finish. The matching table is finished with minwax polyurethane. I was thinking of just using the same for the chairs but I am going to re-level the table and refinish it since it warped since the wood was too moist when I built it so I can use whatever for the chairs and just use the same when I redo the table. I am in the process of scraping the chairs smooth with a card scraper. Do I need to sand them after they are scraped? I remember that I had to sand the table after it was scraped smooth. When I finished the table I did not sand it and the second coat of poly started to pull the first coat off the wood so I had to strip it and start from scratch, I sanded and everything was fine. I know I have read several places about people just planing and scraping then finishing and no sanding. Is the polyurethane just not good for doing that, or should I have thinned it before applying it if its not sanded? If possible, I would like to spray the finish since I have 10 of them to finish and theres a lot corners and whatnot, and I would prefer not to have to sand all of them after I scraped them. I scraped them instead of sanding them because there was some blackening that happened when they were glued together and scraping is much faster than sanding... and its quieter. Any ideas for what finish to use and how to prep it?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Black View Post
    I have 10 white oak dining chairs that I am getting ready to finish. The matching table is finished with minwax polyurethane. I was thinking of just using the same for the chairs but I am going to re-level the table and refinish it since it warped since the wood was too moist when I built it so I can use whatever for the chairs and just use the same when I redo the table. I am in the process of scraping the chairs smooth with a card scraper. Do I need to sand them after they are scraped? I remember that I had to sand the table after it was scraped smooth. When I finished the table I did not sand it and the second coat of poly started to pull the first coat off the wood so I had to strip it and start from scratch, I sanded and everything was fine. I know I have read several places about people just planing and scraping then finishing and no sanding. Is the polyurethane just not good for doing that, or should I have thinned it before applying it if its not sanded? If possible, I would like to spray the finish since I have 10 of them to finish and theres a lot corners and whatnot, and I would prefer not to have to sand all of them after I scraped them. I scraped them instead of sanding them because there was some blackening that happened when they were glued together and scraping is much faster than sanding... and its quieter. Any ideas for what finish to use and how to prep it?
    Dave, I have found that if you don't let the poly fully dry between coats it will solve the pealing problam. as for sanding after scraping, is the surface smooth, if so the don't sand it.
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  3. #3
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    Yeah... no sanding, if you can't tell I hate sanding. It makes sense about letting the finish dry fully. When I did the table I let the finish dry the minwax recommended 4 hours. When it started to peel I called minwax and the person I spoke to was kinda baffled, she then talked to somebody else that was there and asked me if it was sanded, when I said that it was scraped she told me to sand it before applying the poly. Any thoughts about polyurethane vs polycrylic or other finishes. These chairs are going to be used and abused daily. In the past I have had good durability with polyurethane but I don't have much experience with the polycrylic. From what I hear the polyurethane yellows the wood some, and the polycrylic doesn't. I don't have any comparison so I don't know. I am not sure if I would want the yellow or not. Heres a pic of the table right after it was built and one of the glued up but un-scraped chairs.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DSC00100.jpg   DSCF1299.jpg  

  4. #4
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    Dave, I've used Polycrylic for a number of shop fixtures and jigs, and it's proven to be real stout stuff. I've also had pretty good success spraying it with a cheap HVLP spray setup like this one from Rockler.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  5. #5
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    I have a high pressure sprayer like you would use for painting cars. Its an older one, not gravity feed, but it works fine, I used it to spray poly on a computer desk and got great results, If I remember right, I didn't thin the poly when I sprayed the desk, but I seem to remember thinking that it would have been helpful.

  6. #6
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    If all goes well I should be shooting polyurethane on the chairs tomorrow. Any last words before I pull the trigger (pun slightly intended) Should I thin the poly when I shoot it, or just let it as is as long as it sprays fine?

  7. #7
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    Mar 2007
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    Woodstock, Ontario, Canada
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    Wipe on poly sprays real good , right out of the can!. After having poor results wiping on 4th- 5th coat, I tried the Wagner plastic gun HVLP set up I have and it really sprayed on nice.
    hobby woodworking since 1972

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