Monday, August 24, 2009

Poly for the Sofa Table

The sofa table top has been stained. Twice. Well, you see the first time I didn't sand it properly. I sanded it. Plenty. What I missed was a proper raking light. Now I know better. A raking light is all-important. If you don't have a good, strong light source to rake across the surface then you don't really know whether you've sanded enough. It looked great to me. I couldn't see any scratches - until I stained it, that is. Oy.
So I had to strip it and sand it all over again, and I stained it again. This time I didn't seal it... I wanted the stain darker, so I decided to take my chances with the potential blotching. As it is I got a very minor amount. I'm happy with it. The natural colour of the wood that this table is made out of varies somewhat. This makes for an uneven colour when you 'strike the stain' (wipe off the excess after wiping on plenty and letting it sit for ten minutes). When you rub the excess stain off you can rub a bit more and/or harder on the areas that had darker wood so as to even out the colour a bit. You can get close enough for jazz just by doing this on each coat.
Anyway, I put the last coat of stain on at about 7am this morning. The instructions on the can say that you can apply polyurethane after 8 hours. I waited 12 hours, but it wasn't really long enough... I was picking up stain with the brush. Not a lot, though. I think it will be fine. I laid on one heavy coat of poly with a brush (the raking light helps a lot with this procedure, as well!) and in the morning I'll see if I can add another coat. I'll probably put four coats on, scuff-sanding in between, then let it dry for a good week, then level the finish, then wipe on another couple of coats of wiping poly. I'm not good enough with a brush to be able to brush on a finish coat of poly, so my final coats are best wiped on. Safer. :) I'll let you know how it goes...

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