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Thread: What kind of finish to use?

  1. #1
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    What kind of finish to use?

    I'm working on building my first real piece of furniture. It's just a small cabinet (like an end table) with a couple of small doors in front. It will sit in my TV room between to chairs. I'm making it out of pine. The wood is very soft and I want to put a finish on it that will make it much harder. I'm assuming I will stain it first then apply some kind of clear finish. I do not want a "glossy" finish but I do want it to look nice. What should I use? Is a satin polyurethane tough enough? Should I use a sealer of some kind first? Before or after the stain?
    I'll take a few photos as I go here. I got my panels glued up ok with some help here and they turned out nice. Now I just need to get it all put together and finished.

    Thanks guys/gals,
    Tom
    It's not what you achieve in life...It's what you overcome!

  2. #2

    Finish

    A water-based polyurethane would give you the hard finish you are looking for. In my home shop I use Wood Kote's "Clear & Clean" which is a clear water-based polyurethane. They also have a version "Clear & Clean II" which is a catalyzed version giving an even harder finish. What kind of stain are you planing on using as well as what color?

    Include some pics also when you finish each step if its not to much trouble.

    Cheers
    Harry

  3. #3
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    The only stain I have ever used is Minwax. I do not want a dark walnut type color but I don't want the "yellow" pine color either....so something in the middle. I'm taking a few photos tonight as I piece it together so hopefully tomorrow I can post some photos. I probably will not get around to staining and finishing until next week so I have a few days to decide what to use.

    Tom
    It's not what you achieve in life...It's what you overcome!

  4. #4
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    Tom,
    Instead of a Stain think about using a Dye. In my restoration business I use both Transfast and Transtint dyes. The nice thing about a dye is you can control the color. If you want it darker, add more pigment, if you want it lighter add more water/Alchy. They are easy to use and i find I have less problems with bloches.
    You can seal the pickes with dewaxed shellac then use a wipe on poly as a top coat. I tend to use the satin finish and several coats can be applied in a few hours.
    "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

  5. #5
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    Maybe we could offer better suggestions if we saw the piece. With 269 posts, you should know this by now!

    Hopefully this will get the Family pic brigade off my back too!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Kosmowski View Post
    Maybe we could offer better suggestions if we saw the piece. With 269 posts, you should know this by now!

    Hopefully this will get the Family pic brigade off my back too!
    Well that's all I have right now is pieces. It should all start to come together tomorrow evening.....I hope.

    Tom
    It's not what you achieve in life...It's what you overcome!

  7. #7
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    Ok..here is a quick photo I took tonight after putting the sides together. It will actually be set in between two chairs in our TV room. It still needs the solid top and the front put on. The front will have two doors on the lower section, each door will be trimmed with pine then have a wainscot panel section inset in the center of it. The upper section will also be trimmed in pine but be solid with a wainscot panel inset in it as well. The cutouts in the sides are for access to small wicker baskets that will slide in and out from each side to allow items to be stored but easy access to them.

    I'm thinking of using Minwax stain and Minwax satin Poly as a topcoat.

    Tom
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 279 resized.jpg  
    It's not what you achieve in life...It's what you overcome!

  8. #8
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    The basket idea is very clever. I like that.

    But FWIW, grain is usually oriented up and down, rather than horizontally. With it sitting between two chairs, the grain orientation may not be so noticeable. It is one of the things you learn when beginning. Soon you will be building with hardwoods that cost more and you will do it with more confidence. Good beginning, Tom. You'll get a lot of good use out of this piece.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carol Reed View Post
    The basket idea is very clever. I like that.

    But FWIW, grain is usually oriented up and down, rather than horizontally.
    See....I told you all I was new to this furniture stuff. Now I really feel like a dope! Oh well...live and learn.

    Tom
    It's not what you achieve in life...It's what you overcome!

  10. #10
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    Don't feel like a dope, Tom. Feel like you learned something new today. Big difference!

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