Hi, I have a question regarding the water based finish Paul is using on his table tops. Both the sofa table and the trestle dining table is finished with a milky water based varnish of some kind. Since I don’t live in UK, I don’t necessarily have access to the same brands and products, so I need some help identifying it.
The only products I find that would look like this in my local stores are floor finish. This would seem like a good choice since it is obviously very durable. After all, you can walk on it for several years, even spilling water on it (as long as the water isn’t allowed to get between the boards). So would this finish be a good choice for a table top?
Is it water based? It would probably work either way. My local Woodcraft store sells General Finishes and you can get water based poly or varnish. For table tops I would definitely go with a either one.
Located in Honeoye Falls NY USA. The Finger Lakes region of Western NY.
"If you give me 6 hours to fell a tree, I will take the first 4 to sharpen my axe" Abe Lincoln
There is usually two groups, one is water based, and the other is based on som kind of nasty solvent. Each of these product groups usually comes in a couple of versions (gloss, semigloss, slik matte, matte and so on)
General Finishes “High Performance” is water based and is excellent. All of the water based finishes that I’ve seen (not many, admittedly) have gone on with this milky appearance. It can have a slight blue hue to it. I like to build with gloss and then put on the final coat or coats with whatever I want for my sheen, e.g., satin.
In the past I used a water-based Poly on a maple cabinet and it came out looking great. More recently I used the same water-based Poly on a black walnut top and I did not like the result. Before applying the Poly the black walnut grain looked great but the poly seemed to dull the contrast in the grain; especially in the lighter areas. What other finish would people recommend? Should I add a wax polish over the Poly?
This is a good reason to always use a piece of scrap and test out your finishes before putting on the piece you just put your heart and soul into. That’s a real soul-sucking feeling to ruin a finished project.