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Thread: Finishing white oak

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Painesville Ohio
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    Finishing white oak

    I have a Coffee table and some end tables i need to finish. They want it to be clear no stain and coated with satin poly. What do i have to do to get it ready for poly? A grain filler? Or just sand and poly? Thanks for any help.


    Also will be brushing it on. Another note. Water based or solvent base?
    Last edited by John French; 05-18-2011 at 03:10 PM.
    "Its only by minute attention to every detail that you will achieve perfection"

  2. #2
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    Whether you decide to fill or not is determined by the final finish you are trying to achieve. If you are trying for a high gloss you don't have any choice but to fill. Also, with regards to waterborne finishes. Some of the waterbornes out there do not play nice with white oak. Check with the mfg before using them or you may be in for a dissapointment.
    You may consider using a good sanding sealer before coating (make sure it is compatible with urethane) This will help fill the pores somewhat and let you build your finish quicker. Also, may provide you with a sufficient barrier coat for a waterborne finish should you go that route. Most sanding sealers as with solvent based urethanes will give you an ambering effect as will some waterbornes (GF EnduroVar is one I use) but you can also get "water clear" or "ultra clear" in the waterborne finishes.

    General finishes puts out some very good products that will give you great results. Shoot them an email their customer service is very helpful.
    Also, you might email Jeff Jewitt at Homestead Finishing he has helped me out quite a bit in the past.
    Good luck

  3. #3
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    I'll add that if you do fill apply a couple of coats of sealer 1st.
    I dream a lot. I do more painting when I'm not painting. It's in the subconscious.
    ::: Andrew Wyeth :::
    colonialrestorationstudio.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Thanks for the great replies. Going to go with a solvent-base poly satin. So if its not a high gloss finish i can just use poly with out sealer and filler? At least thats what i gathered from the above posts. Just slap me on the head if I read it wrong.

    And thanks again for the help.
    "Its only by minute attention to every detail that you will achieve perfection"

  5. #5
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    Their are 2 reasons to use use grain filler on the oak. One is Gloss as stated and 2 if you do not like the deep grain. Some I fill and some I don't, But its a quick fix with a good grain filler.
    I dream a lot. I do more painting when I'm not painting. It's in the subconscious.
    ::: Andrew Wyeth :::
    colonialrestorationstudio.com

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