Coffee Table
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Coffee table: stain and polyurethane

I have come to an anxious time in this project – time to apply stain and see if I prepared the wood properly. This is both fun and a little stressful. I have my stain picked out; Minwax Golden Oak. My finish is Minwax satin wipe-on polyurethane and it is time to get started…

Brush it on. I use a chip brush and liberally apply stain to everything at once.

Golden oak. I love this stain color. Oak has to be the easiest wood to stain.

Ready for poly. By the time I finish brushing on the stain, I can go ahead and wipe off any excess stain. By the way, my shop lighting is so bad that I did not realize I missed staining the edge of the table top. It has since been fixed (the camera never lies!).

The finish. I use a wipe-on polyurethane finish. Of all the finishes I have used over the years, this has been the easiest to apply with good results.

Wipe it on. The poly is applied with a lent free cloth. I use an artist brush to get into corners.

The non-visible parts of my projects.
I know that some woodworkers put a lot of effort towards making the non-visible parts of their furniture look as good as the parts that are visible. Not me. I once saw an article on how some early American antiques – very prized, high style, highly carved museum pieces had somewhat sloppy looking backs and poor looking interior parts to them. These craftsmen simply put all their attention to the parts of their furniture that people would actually see.

Now, I don’t want my projects to look sloppy, but I don’t put a lot of effort in making non-visible parts of my projects look great. I want them to look good though. I will simply paint the undersides of the top and the lower shelf.

After the paint, I need make the clips to attach the top and shelf and then I’ll be through!

UPDATE 10/23/11: If you are interested in staining pine, cherry or maple, consider a pre-stain conditioner to help even out the color. See my review of Charles Neil’s Pre-Stain Conditioner by clicking here.


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This entry was posted in: Coffee Table


During the week, I sell flooring products for The Dixie Group. Weekends, you'll find me in my basement workshop making furniture.

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