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  • What finish for table

    I have a couple table projects coming up and starting to look at finishes. These tables will be daily used dining tables so I want them to stand up to water from glasses and cups of coffee/tea without marking and also be somewhat durable from daily use where kids will do homework or set up the computer and work. I am looking at a water based finish or maybe Osmo finish. Any recommendations on which finish I should use based on your experience? I have the ability to spray water finishes.
    John Bartley likes this.
    Jamie www.turneddesignsbyjamie.etsy.com
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  • #2

    Re: What finish for table

    Watching and learning .....

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    • #3

      Re: What finish for table

      Originally posted by jaywood1207 View Post
      Any recommendations on which finish I should use based on your experience? I have the ability to spray water finishes.
      My #1 choice for tabletops that will see "hard" use has always been a solvent based conversion varnish, simply because it is extremely durable, is easy to apply, cures easily and looks fantastic. My go to is Durovar by ML Campbell. It hasn't let me down in 20yrs. We have an ash ply/solid top over our washer and dryer, and as it's in the mudroom it sees daily abuse. A quick wipe with a damp cloth and it's as good as new.

      If a customer wanted waterbased, then I used either Target's EM 2000 or Fuhr 255. Both are excellent quality finishes that stand up well to daily household abuse. The Fuhr formula is based on the company's early experience in floor finishes so it is a well balanced urethane that I can rely on. The EM2000 is a high quality hybrid varnish finish from one of the leading waterbased manufacturers and if you can get the catalyst/hardener for it this product is absolute top quality for the job you want to do.
      I have refinished shuffleboard tables with EM2000 and I know one is still in excellent condition.
      In my own home I have several pine harvest tables that are finished with Fur 255 and they have withstood the test of time and two growing kids extremely well.

      I have no experience with oils other than teak oil (as we have a lot of the "Scandinavian" furniture that was all the rage in the early 80's. I will say that this furniture has stood up well as it didn't get the hard everyday use the other tables did. It gets reoiled periodically and still comes up looking good.

      Oils will also give a different look than a film finish, some folks love it, some not so much.

      Rubio Monocoat is another finish that is mentioned a few times as being good for tables, but I have no experience with it so can't comment. Likewise for Osmo, although having seen Bob Krits' Kaui table thread it is certainly a product I feel I must try.

      Paul
      Last edited by Paul O in Paris; 10-24-2020, 09:56 AM.
      John Bartley likes this.

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      • #4

        Re: What finish for table

        Originally posted by Paul O in Paris View Post

        My #1 choice for tabletops that will see "hard" use has always been a solvent based conversion varnish, simply because it is extremely durable, is easy to apply, cures easily and looks fantastic. My go to is Durovar by ML Campbell. It hasn't let me down in 20yrs. We have an ash ply/solid top over our washer and dryer, and as it's in the mudroom it sees daily abuse. A quick wipe with a damp cloth and it's as good as new.

        If a customer wanted waterbased, then I used either Target's EM 2000 or Fuhr 255. Both are excellent quality finishes that stand up well to daily household abuse. The Fuhr formula is based on the company's early experience in floor finishes so it is a well balanced urethane that I can rely on. The EM2000 is a high quality hybrid varnish finish from one of the leading waterbased manufacturers and if you can get the catalyst/hardener for it this product is absolute top quality for the job you want to do.
        I have refinished shuffleboard tables with EM2000 and I know one is still in excellent condition.
        In my own home I have several pine harvest tables that are finished with Fur 255 and they have withstood the test of time and two growing kids extremely well.

        I have no experience with oils other than teak oil (as we have a lot of the "Scandinavian" furniture that was all the rage in the early 80's. I will say that this furniture has stood up well as it didn't get the hard everyday use the other tables did. It gets reoiled periodically and still comes up looking good.

        Oils will also give a different look than a film finish, some folks love it, some not so much.

        Rubio Monocoat is another finish that is mentioned a few times as being good for tables, but I have no experience with it so can't comment. Likewise for Osmo, although having seen Bob Krits' Kaui table thread it is certainly a product I feel I must try.

        Paul
        Thank you for your time and detailed reply Paul. I have always heard good things about Target so will check into them. I really would like to go with solvent based but the only place I have to spray right now is in the basement.
        Jamie www.turneddesignsbyjamie.etsy.com

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        • #5

          Re: What finish for table

          Like Paul, I've found Target Coatings EM2000, augmented with their CL100 cross-linker to be quite an effective finish for demanding conditions (read: grandkids!).

          But after hearing quite a bit of positive comments about General Finishes Eduro Conversion Varnish, which the manufacturer recommends be augmented with their cross-linker they call "NCO Catalyst (Part B)", I decided to give that finish a go on a bar shelving unit I was requested to make. That waterborne finish sprayed like a charm and according to the client, has stood up really well. And everyone knows how hard alcohol can be on finishes.

          I'll close this with my sales ptich for waterborne finishes, starting first with a one word comment about why I originally started using waterborne finishes and why I've stuck with them over the years: health. Waterborne finishes are safer to spray, do not require solvents for cleaning your spraying equipment (all you need is water, unless you're lazy or forgetful and leave the finish to harden in your gun!) and are considerably more environment friendly then their solvent based counterparts. And today's waterborne finishes are arguable every bit as good as solvent based finishes. End of sales pitch!

          Please let us know what you eventually decided to go with and how well it worked for you.
          All the best,

          Marty

          - Instagram: @apexwoodworks
          - facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Apex-Woodwo...0243458908979/

          Secretary of Kingston Wood Artisans Inc. https://kwoodartca.wordpress.com/

          Master Mistake Fixer (because I've made them all... at least once)

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          • #6

            Re: What finish for table

            Enduro Var is a bit of a paint to get to lay down nice, but is bulletproof. If you like the look of "natural" wood, I have found that 2 coats of OSMO hard wax is super easy to apply, builds fairly well, and is actually quite tough! The nice thing about OSMO is that if you run a scratch in it, you just hit the whole thing with 220, then buff another coat right over the old one, and you look new again!

            I use hard wax(OSMO) and wb lacquer all the time in my shop, and base my decision on look/feel and use of the product.

            Simon
            jaywood1207 likes this.

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            • #7

              Re: What finish for table

              Originally posted by TCustom Design View Post
              Enduro Var is a bit of a paint to get to lay down nice, but is bulletproof. If you like the look of "natural" wood, I have found that 2 coats of OSMO hard wax is super easy to apply, builds fairly well, and is actually quite tough! The nice thing about OSMO is that if you run a scratch in it, you just hit the whole thing with 220, then buff another coat right over the old one, and you look new again!

              I use hard wax(OSMO) and wb lacquer all the time in my shop, and base my decision on look/feel and use of the product.

              Simon
              Take all this with a grain of salt a sI'm not a super experienced professional finisher.


              I've been using Enduro -Var ( General Finsh- Wood Essence, lee valley) for most of the furniture and casework built over the past few years with very good results.

              ( General finish Exterior 450 for a few outdoor projects)

              The Enduro -Var has a very nice amber tone similar to an oil based product. It lays down very nicely when the right consistency and right gun/tip is used.

              ( it took some time to get this figured out)

              It seems to be very durable and I've had no complaints from customers after several years.


              I've also found it leaves less tooth and requires less sanding between coats than other finishes I've experimented with.


              I'm not a fan of target coatings or Mohawk water based products I've tried based on results (but I might be doing something wrong).

              Will have to try the Osmo as an alternative to Danish oil ( for small boxes and casework)as I've heard good things.


              To each their own.


              jaywood1207 likes this.
              http://www.woodmonkey.ca

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