I am building a coffee table for our living room. i'm modeling it after this piece from restoration hardware:
my dad is welding up the frame out of 1" steel square tubing. i would love to blacken the steel with the heat and oil treatment but i think that would be hard to do at home in a garage with a piece this big. im going to paint it black with some semi gloss then sand it and scratch it up to expose the steel. then do a quick rust treatment on it, and then finish it off with a matte clear coat.
for the wood top i am cutting up my old picnic table that has been sitting outside in my parents backyard for 30 years. it has a great grey color to it. i think its either redwood or red cedar.
so two questions:
1. whats a good clear coat to use on the steel? i was going to use rustoleum matte clear coat spray.
2. i would like to either achieve a color/finish like this:
or keep the natural grey and just put some poly on it. is the wood in the picture stained or do you think that its natural color? i was thinking of using a water based satin poly. any suggestions on a finish to keep the natural wood color and feel?