Monday, December 19, 2011

Refinishing the table part 3

I've lost count of how
many finishing coats I have on
this table.
I'm thinking 7... with one more to go.

Hazy & bumpy to the touch
Each coat either ends up streaky or has air bubbles.
So for the fifth attempt I went and bought a can of spray varnish 
hoping that would produce better results but instead it 
turned out to be a disaster.
It ended up hazy and foamy.  I let the spray dry overnight and
when I checked it out in the morning the finish was bumpy and rolled up
into gunky little balls when I rubbed my hand along it.
Four complete sandings later the spray coat was removed and I went
back to using a brush but the air bubbles still keep rearing their ugly little heads.  
The top measures out to be 70" long ... I wonder if the size of the surface has something to do with it.

Air bubbles and streaks ... oh you dirty dawg!
I use the correct brush, apply a thin coat
and tip off but I can't manage a flawless finish.
Yesterday I discussed this with my dad and he suggested using a rag
instead of a brush.  Wet the rag down with mineral spirits first, squeeze out any excess and then use that to apply a thin coat of varnish.  
I'm heading into town today and will pick up more supplies and return the evil spray can!
I've never returned used paint before and feel slightly rude 
doing so but I'm thinking something is wrong 
with that spray nozzle because I can't
imagine anyone wanting to buy a product that turns out that way.

I created a room from drop cloths to help deaden the air flow and
 help keep particles off of
the surface while the finish dries.

Anyway ... I'll try out the rag application and see if that produces better
results ... wish me luck.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Refinished kitchen chairs

While waiting between coats to dry on the refinishing of the
table I've been working on the chairs and they are now completed.

A friend of mine was getting rid of these ladder backs and asked
if I wanted them.  They were certainly in need of a new
finish but they matched our kitchen table better than
what we were using at the time ... and they were free, so umm
... yeah I'll take 'em.

A before shot
I started out with just deglossing them which did wonders but then I
decided to hand sand to smooth them over.  The original finish had
worn down so much that the wood was drying out and had gotten rough.

Cleaned and baby smooth

I used Minwax PolyShades in Bombay Mahogany. 
It was only after I had started to work on the first one that I realized that
I should have used just stain instead of a stain/polyurethane mix.  There are
so many curves and corners (again!) that it made keeping the finish a constant even shade pretty much impossible.

Using a brush wasn't very productive.  The turned legs and stretchers
don't mash well with a straight lined brush, so I had to rag it on ... that's not how
you apply polyurethanes.  It took me 2 very full days to complete
all 6 chairs but I'm pretty happy with how the finish turned out on the frames. 

A little distressing on the edges to amp up the details.

I'm not sure if I like how the seats turned out but these are just temporary 
chairs anyway, so this will do for now.

So the chairs are done and just waiting for the table to come back up
and join them ... hopefully just one more coat of varnish to go.

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