Taking care of a bare wood table and chairs

  martd7 11:22 26 Apr 2014

I have a dining table and chairs,supposedly mexican wood,its light in colour,unvarnished,unstained,ive been on a few forums relating to wood protection,im not looking to colour the bare wood,or indeed varnish it,it would take me forever to do the table and chairs and my diy capabilities are minimal,its more the table top id like to protect from scratches,scuffs etc I was advised to use a matt varnish which i may do just on the table top,also use Olive oil to feed and protect the wood as you do with these wooden chopping boards

Just interested to know if any other forum members have other alternatives?

  martd7 15:01 28 Apr 2014


thanks for the info,i think your phrase "cheap pieces do not warrant an extensive finish" sums it up,im no diy expert and the furniture was cheap thus i intend to follow the advice given and purchase a good brush and some polyurethane matt varnish

  mbc 15:09 28 Apr 2014


Thin it down a little and apply with a lint free rag in the direction of the grain. A few thin coats are better than one thick coat.Allow to dry between coats.

  wee eddie 15:44 28 Apr 2014

Agree with "mbc"; The first coat, the thinner the better, as it will sink deep into the wood providing a good base for future coats, but you should consider giving that first coat about 3 days to cure, before you use a 'well worn' piece of fine glass paper, to remove anything raised from the surface.

  Forum Editor 19:27 28 Apr 2014

Don't use yacht varnish, it is specifically formulated for external use, and will not provide the kind of sophisticated finish you need for a table. There are far better products available nowadays, and they will be more stain and impact resistant than any other finish.

For the best possible finish try Liberon natural finish interior varnish. Liberon make products that are used in the furniture trade, and this varnish is extremely hard wearing. It's water based, and is available in several finishes.

It's not cheap, at around £17 a litre, but it's the best. You can buy it online.

  bumpkin 21:05 28 Apr 2014

Not done a lot of varnishing myself but enough to learn not to use cheap products, A few quid extra for the good stuff is money well spent.

  Aitchbee 21:41 28 Apr 2014

" ... and watch out for any thing landing on them while they are drying. "

If you can 'Paint Your Table' on, or just after a rain shower - [ mart7, a pity it wasn't a wagon you were paintin' so's I could give an apt musical link to a film] but, there will be less dust particles and pollen if you are indoors and your windows are open [for ventilation] or if you are working 'al fresco'.

PS. Lee Marvin gave me that paintin' tip.

  bumpkin 22:37 28 Apr 2014

" ... and watch out for any thing landing on them while they are drying. " especially if you live in Roswell USA.

  carver 08:12 29 Apr 2014

FE do not know how you can come up with a statement like that about yacht varnish, I use Epifanes on all interior work and the results are brilliant and it is NOT specifically formulated for external use, far better than any of the cheaper varnishes.

That is the problem, to get a good finish you need to spend a decent amount on not only brushes but material as well, so this cheap job that mart7 is doing then turns into an expensive and time consuming job.

Using varnish and doing the job properly is about a weeks time in total and the finished job depends on the last coat, get that wrong and you need to do it again.

The sugestion I came up with would have meant starting and finishing in 2 hours for a table top and cost about £15 in total + enough material left over to protect the chairs from grubby hand marks and no brushes to buy or clean.

  martd7 19:55 01 May 2014

Thanks all,happy to report table top now finished,used ronseal matt varnish and a good brush,its slightly coloured the wood but its brought out a warmth if thats the right word

click here

  lotvic 22:46 01 May 2014

mart7, I thought that was going to be a pic of the table, lol

glad you got it done okay, and you can put your mug of tea down on the table now :)

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