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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    3

    Question Table top Finish

    My father built a beautiful solid oak table for my wife and I. however over the last year the Polyurthane, has begun to bubble and come off in spots. We tried to refinish it once but it happened again, any ideas how we can fix this?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Portland, Oregon, formerly of Chicago
    Posts
    1,611

    Default Re: Table top Finish

    Question: Do you mean the polyurethane is actually bubbling or rather just flaking off? Polyurethanes are very particular about what they will stick to. I learned the hard way to never tape anything to a urethane finish that had a white pickled stain. The finish did not have a good bond to the white pigment sitting on the surface and when the tape was pulled, everything came off, including the white pigment. I have also seen polyurethane peel off a wiped oil stain floor finish when blue tape was applied to it. Flaking off of the polyurethane varnish is not uncommon. When using polyurethanes you should follow the instructions to the letter as to what stain to use underneath it and how you apply subsequent coats of the finish. Polyurethanes do not like to stick to themselves. They usually have instructions not to re-coat sooner than so many hours or later than so many hours. Pay attention! I never use polyurethane over an existing finish. I would only used it if I was going over virgin wood or a complete strip job.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Table top Finish

    Good point, yes it is flaking. It was over virgin wood with a stain that I have used many times. We followed the directions to the letter, both times we did it. Anyone have any suggestions about a better finish for a table top?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Portland, Oregon, formerly of Chicago
    Posts
    1,611

    Default Re: Table top Finish

    Zalab,
    I don't know of any finish tougher for a table top that is subjected to everyday wear than a polyurethane. There are some really tough finishes that are used in commercial applications which probably would be difficult to get hold of and to use, i.e. catalized lacquers and urethanes. A polyurethane if used properly should hold. Was your stain lacquer based? Did you use non-de-waxed shellac as a sealer? Both are no no's with urethanes. Did you wipe the stain or leave much pigment on the surface? Also a no no. Was the stain thouroughly dry when the polyurethane was applied? Other then these factors, I am drawing a blank.

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