Thankful to be done

IMG_0675Now don’t get me wrong, I love this table. But I do NOT like going out in my cold garage.  I also do not LOVE the finishing process.  But I did it.  I turned on my heater for 4 days straight and during nap time or after baby bedtime, I applied layer upon layer of polyurethane.

Obviously spraying poly is the most ideal. However, as I mentioned before, I don’t have time for the cleanup and I can’t always depend on a two hour nap.  I HATE brushing on poly.  It always bubbles at least a little and you always get the occasional drip.  I’ve proclaimed how much I like wipe-on poly in previous posts, but it actually made me enjoy my time in the garage.  Something about running your hands (covered in gloves holding a poly-soaked lint-free rag) over the smooth oak is really satisfying…maybe it is because I know I’m nearing the end or maybe it is just because how beautiful it all comes together in those last finishing steps.  But I LOVE wipe-on poly.

I’ve only used Miniwax but I’m sure other brands work equally well.  A couple of things I’ve learned, however.  First and most obvious, it is oil-based.  So you can only use over oil (although some say you can use over water-based if it has completely cured…I don’t dare try).  I found some new water-based wipe-on but many say it does not work well.  Something about the sediment not staying suspended if I remember correctly so you get splotchy spots.  I rarely use water-based so moving on.  Second, as with any oil-based poly, it yellows over time.  Fine for me as I use darker stains.  Third, even with a lint-free rag, it does not do well on rough-sawn wood.  The fibers get trapped in the crevices as you may imagine.  So it really only works on smooth surfaces.  Lastly, it goes on super thin.  It is a very fine coat you are applying.  This makes sanding out an unwanted hair really easy!  It also means you should put on a few more layers.  I always do at least 1 more layer than the layer that no longer stains my cloth.  For high-traffic zones, I do at least two more layers.  That is usually between 3-5 layers…so not many more than a foam brush.  You should probably do 5-7 ideally,  but I’ve never had issues.  I love that you don’t have any strokes or bubbles, it dries super fast so you can re-coat quickly (unless you are in your 65 degree garage), you can buff out any unwanted lint/hairs easily and when you’re done, you throw your rag away!    Mama-approved!!

Stay-Tuned next week for the final table reveal!


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