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Old 12-14-2016, 04:55 PM   #1
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Default Refinishing 14 solid maple dining tables

Im the maintenance supervisor at a club and have 14 36" square and 30" x 48" rectangular solid maple (2 1/2" strip) table tops to refinish. I have a moderate background in painting and woodworking. So far I have stripped and sanded (to 120) the tops and bottoms of the tables, and will route a new edge on all of them. (Basically chasing the old profile, milling out about 1/16", waiting for the bit to be made).

The environment is coastal New England, and I plan on turning part or the dining room into a spray booth.
I'm wanting to use a pre or post cat lacquer and would like some suggestions on good pro quality stains, sealer, and lacquer. I considered conversion varnish, but I don't think I wanna mess with it. Sounds complicated.

Ill be using a 3 stage turbine, and i'm gonna zip wall a large part of a dining room to spray in. Boss doesnt like the expense of an explosion proof fan, so Im just gonna seal myself and the room off well. I was planning on using a good respirator w/ new cartridges, head sock, goggles, vasaline face, long sleeves and gloves. Thoughts? There are windows I could open, but I dont want the temp to go below 70. I would have liked to use the explosion proof fan in a window, but the cost is an issue, which I know compared to my life is stupid, but if I have the right PPE, I was hoping to get around it.

So again, questions are, product selection for stain, sealer and pre or post cat lacquer, and also suggestions on spraying in the environment Ive described. With no ventilation, and blowing all 14 tables at once, I know there will be a lot of fog. Will there be a problem with that settling on the tops, especially the ones I do first?
Any other suggestions would be welcome.

thanks in advance for help.
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Old 12-14-2016, 05:18 PM   #2
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My first question would be about the choice of finish, I think you'll be disappointed in the service life of lacquer in that setting. Repeat business? Yes. Reasonable service life? No.

I'd take another look at conversion varnish, or even a floor finish.
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Old 12-14-2016, 09:58 PM   #3
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I'd look for a hybrid...
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Old 12-14-2016, 11:18 PM   #4
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Ok, I was under the impression that pre cat lacquer was more durable than nitro. it seems like Ive heard of guys, even pros having trouble with CV, so that why i hesitate on that. Especially with 14 tables.

Im not real familiar with hybrids. Could you elaborate on that?

Also, someone else suggested putting a couple box fans in the windows with 20"x20" filters sealed to them. Seems ok as long as it doesnt flash...
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Old 12-15-2016, 01:18 AM   #5
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Sounds like a project. I'm assuming these table tops are meant for inside somewhere and not outside?

If they are inside, I would suggest using a polyurethane. Conversion varnishes are good and strong, etc., but I figure a good poly is just as strong and many are rated for floors which take a lot of abuse so they should fare well.

Here's another tip: Ditch the HVLP.

Unless you have nothing else to spray with then go ahead and use it. Reason being, is it leaves a nice finish, but it takes forever to spray with and you have a lot of work to do from the sound of it.

Your better off getting a small titan 440 impact or small 395 or 495 graco unit. Reason being: Your do maintenance work on probably a decent sized facility from the sound of it and those units come in handy to paint siding/stucco, doors/trim, interior drywall, etc. So you might be able to sell the purchase to your boss as a multi-purpose tool. Then either return the HVLP or sell it and cover some of the cost if not all of the cost of the new unit.

Long story short:
  • Wear the cartridge masks.
  • Have good ventilation if your going to spray a ton in a closed room, especially a poly or for sure a nitro.
  • If spraying nitro, vent it really well and no with a regular fan. It's a bit too risky to have a spark and the whole place go up, not to mention the place will reek of lacquer smell for awhile.
  • Grab some waterborne poly or something water based, it will dry faster especially with any heat you might give it. Yes it does cost more, but you save money in the long run with greater durability.
  • Switch your sprayer, if you can't, make sure to spray heavy with the HVLP. If you have a thick poly, than chances are you'll have to thin it down before you can achieve a good spray. Otherwise get something like a 512 tip and hit the table top heavy and it will level out on it's own.


Good luck to yah and let us know how it turned out!

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Old 12-15-2016, 06:47 AM   #6
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You're over thinking this one. Just brushes and roll several coats of Old Masters oil or water based poly. Oil is preferable IMO but will amber in time so if you want clear use water. A quality 1/4" microfiber nap will leave a good finish.
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Old 12-15-2016, 09:23 AM   #7
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Well many will likely disagree but I have a strong like for minwax hybrid floor poly. I use it as my goto. It is easy to over brush it as it dries quickly so spraying it with an airless (or hvlp if so inclined...if I didn't own an airless I'd go rent one and buy a 410 or 412 ff tip) would work well.
I put 1 thin coat on my kitchen cabs over some solid deck stain and they're tough as nails (it was a science project...emulating a rustoleum cabinet product,lol).
Easy to work with, easy clean up, tough finish and easy to maintain down the road. All the hardness of an oil in a waterborne product. And it's easy to find at HD or sw or wherever they sell minwax in your area...
This assumes these tables are to be used in an interior space. If not then hybrid is out and I'd suggest a spar urethane such as helmsman or sumthin or maybe zar (which is waterbased)....I just like to take maintenance into consideration. Make it easy down the road but minimize it by using a good product in the first place.

And good luck staining maple...especially after stripping a finish off it. That's gonna be a pita. I'm thinking a lacquer based stain or maybe look at waterborne deck stain...your color is gonna sit on top anyway.. I can't come up with a better idea as nothing will penetrate so ya may as well find something that'll dry fast and you'll have to play with the coloring....

Last edited by lilpaintchic; 12-15-2016 at 09:42 AM..
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Old 12-15-2016, 10:23 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilpaintchic View Post
Well many will likely disagree but I have a strong like for minwax hybrid floor poly. I use it as my goto. It is easy to over brush it as it dries quickly so spraying it with an airless (or hvlp if so inclined...if I didn't own an airless I'd go rent one and buy a 410 or 412 ff tip) would work well.
I put 1 thin coat on my kitchen cabs over some solid deck stain and they're tough as nails (it was a science project...emulating a rustoleum cabinet product,lol).
Easy to work with, easy clean up, tough finish and easy to maintain down the road. All the hardness of an oil in a waterborne product. And it's easy to find at HD or sw or wherever they sell minwax in your area...
This assumes these tables are to be used in an interior space. If not then hybrid is out and I'd suggest a spar urethane such as helmsman or sumthin or maybe zar (which is waterbased)....I just like to take maintenance into consideration. Make it easy down the road but minimize it by using a good product in the first place.

And good luck staining maple...especially after stripping a finish off it. That's gonna be a pita. I'm thinking a lacquer based stain or maybe look at waterborne deck stain...your color is gonna sit on top anyway.. I can't come up with a better idea as nothing will penetrate so ya may as well find something that'll dry fast and you'll have to play with the coloring....
Last week, we stripped and stained a set of maple stool seats. We used a water-soluble aniline dye (Moser's from Woodworker's Supply) and it worked great.
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Old 12-15-2016, 06:14 PM   #9
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Nothing complicated about conversion varnish. If people are running into problems with it, more than likely, they're the problem. Best bet is to spray it with a siphon cup gun for furniture quality finish. So, you'd have to have access to a decent sized compressor.

Said it many times on here about Varathane WB Diamond Floor finish. That was my go to finish for cabinets, tables, etc., on high traffic / use surfaces that would be subjected to multiple cleanings. Nice flow out, no offensive odor, fast dry. Tough as nails once it's cured.
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Old 12-15-2016, 06:18 PM   #10
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As far as staining maple, it can be done. Use a wood conditioner before staining and do it in the time frame the mfg says to. Yes, you can use a wood conditioner on hard woods.
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Old 12-15-2016, 07:01 PM   #11
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I have yet to see a water based product that can stand up to alcohol. I assume the club serves alcohol drinks and they will get spilled on the tops causing the finish to fail. I would go with the 60 coats in one pour on varnish.
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Old 12-16-2016, 05:23 PM   #12
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Thanks everyone for all the input! I have a couple dozen tabs open in my browser looking at all the info that you've all shared here and on the woodworker talk forum too.

The tables are inside. I just got done with a couple dozen teak table that go outside. Used Semco's stuff and love it.

I probably am gonna take another look at CV, especially the V84F series by Sherwin WIlliams. But Im also gonna look at the Varithane Floor finish. Is the Varithane going to be as clear as the CV though? Not ruling out pre-cat lacquer yet either. I'm not even going to be able to set up till January 14 anyway, so I still have some time.
Im curious about water base, and some of it looks really nice, especially Crystallac, but the alcohol thing is an issue.
I do have a nice little 440i at home. Haven't used it in a few years though. I know I put it away clean and with spirits in it, so I guess I'll check it out. I kinda want to use it only for latex, but I guess I could have the club spring for a new line and a tip, its just that I'm lazy and have the HVLP here (Capspray 8100 3 stage) already.
As far as stain goes, it seems like people like Old Masters or even Minwax, as long as theyre dry, and I am going to use a conditioner.

I know I'll have more questions, like how do you deal with cracks that are going to be stained etc. Glue and clamp or fill em? I'll post a pic.

Thanks again and Merry Christmas!
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Old 12-16-2016, 05:45 PM   #13
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If you're thinking about going Waterbased you may want to look into Target Coatings. They have a Pre Catalyzed Waterborne Conversion Varnish that might be a good fit for your project. @RH has used it on several cabinet projects with good success. Maybe he'll chime in.

Here's link to the Data Sheet:
https://www.targetcoatings.com/wp-co...M8000CV_R3.pdf


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Old 12-16-2016, 05:49 PM   #14
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Since when do we cater to non painters in here?

We have a guy with 3 posts pumping the pro's for information.

I'm surprised that a mod participated in this thread.

What happens next when Betty-Lou asks about getting her picnic table painted?

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Old 12-17-2016, 07:09 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Smith View Post
Since when do we cater to non painters in here?

We have a guy with 3 posts pumping the pro's for information.

I'm surprised that a mod participated in this thread.

What happens next when Betty-Lou asks about getting her picnic table painted?
I appreciate your concern but this thread is perfectly fine. The OP is a maintenance supervisor who will be getting paid for applying a coating, that's close enough to professional for me to keep a thread open.
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Old 12-17-2016, 05:32 PM   #16
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The Varathane WB is clear. I've used it for years in medical/dental offices that are wiped down many times a day with bactericidal solutions and has held up with no problems.
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Old 12-17-2016, 05:34 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Smith View Post
Since when do we cater to non painters in here?

We have a guy with 3 posts pumping the pro's for information.

I'm surprised that a mod participated in this thread.

What happens next when Betty-Lou asks about getting her picnic table painted?
I give my word that when Betty-Lou shows up about getting her picnic table painted, we'll refer her to you.
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Old 12-17-2016, 05:40 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfgang View Post
The Varathane WB is clear. I've used it for years in medical/dental offices that are wiped down many times a day with bactericidal solutions and has held up with no problems.
Lots of bactericidal solutions are no longer made from alcohol, Plus they are wiped down not spilled and left. I have worked for a few companies that have done night clubs and used WB varnish on the bar top. It has always failed.
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Old 12-18-2016, 10:05 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Smith View Post
Since when do we cater to non painters in here?

We have a guy with 3 posts pumping the pro's for information.

I'm surprised that a mod participated in this thread.

What happens next when Betty-Lou asks about getting her picnic table painted?
We have paint store owners, vendors, wallpaper jockeys, pressure washers, and any number of hacks posting every week.

At least I've actually learned something from this thread.
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Old 12-18-2016, 01:00 PM   #20
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Ya, I figure if you own spray equipment (not just a 5 pack of plastic brushes from HD), and get paid to paint, yer good.
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