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ANTIQUE FURNITURE RESTORATION DISCUSSION BOARD

Re: polyurethane bad choice?

Posted By: Greg Scholl <beatkat@adelphia.net> (ct-waterbury1b-56.wtrbct.adelphia.net)
Date: 4/3/4 21:00

In Response To: polyurethane bad choice? (Bret)

As you have already noticed, polyurethane is a surface coating that can be applied quickly and will protect your woodwork well, allowing you to wash it occasionally and seals and protects the wood. An oil finish will soak into a soft wood and harden from within with very little gloss...typically, oils can be applied in many coats, and the more you put on, the glossier they will get, but the softer the wood, the more coats it will absorb..but a few coats will yield a soft sheen and decent protection as well, but not a surface film as a varnish or poly. A Satin polyurethane might have been a better choice, as it's less reflective and tends to look less "plastic". No matter what finish you choose, the labor involved in an oil finish will be more, as it need to be applied several times to really protect well...and a poly or varnish or even shellac can yield a decent result with one or two coats..unfortunately, reversing the poly application can be a nightmare...requiring more work than the application to reverse...your finisher should have been willing to show you samples of the finishes available if you were unsure, thereby eliminating the guesswork on the final result. Typically, pine can be pretty difficult to finish nicely, yet the amateurs out there are too quick to slap on a stain coat and poly it, quick, yielding so-so results.

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