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Old 10-04-2018, 10:17 AM   #1
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The hardness of walnut wood.


We've made several wood working projects out of walnut, one being
a bird cage for our love bird, and the other a table top for our kitchen
table. Prior to the walnut top, we made a Oak tabletop.

The oak was hard as a rock. It blended too much with the kitchen
table, so, I talked the head knot into making a new walnut top. I love the
walnut top, however, it scratches like crazy...we have already sanded it
down twice and refinished it ( no stain, just poly)

Once again its scratched to holy heck! I just don't feel like re-doing it again.
With all the stuff we have to do, just to maintain this house, there's just
no time to be re-doing projects...Unless I get up a major spark
of enthusiasm I think I'm going to have to lower my standards and
embrace the distressed look.
That's my tale of woe,

So, I'm wondering what kind of kitchen table do you have?
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Old 10-04-2018, 10:35 AM   #2
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Re: The hardness of walnut wood.


If it's getting scratched, it's not the wood per se, but the finish on the wood. You have to get through the finish before you can scratch the wood.

Also, your oak table was likely the same, but with it's open grain structure, the scratches just weren't as noticeable.
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Old 10-04-2018, 11:23 AM   #3
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Re: The hardness of walnut wood.


Oh, so what do you recommend I use as a finish?

I used gloss minwax poly and rubbed it down with
fine sandpaper to bring it down to a soft luster.
Three coats, at least.
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Old 10-04-2018, 11:31 AM   #4
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Re: The hardness of walnut wood.


Normally poly is pretty tough, but if it was a waterborne poly, then it won't be as tough. My preference is for using a precatalized lacquer.
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Old 10-04-2018, 11:55 AM   #5
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Re: The hardness of walnut wood.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BrowneyeŽ View Post
Normally poly is pretty tough, but if it was a waterborne poly, then it won't be as tough. My preference is for using a precatalized lacquer.
I used oil based poly.
Can I buy precatalized lacquer in Home Depot or Lowe's?

If it's that hard poured plastic look, ( like I've seen in
cheap restaurants ) I know I won't like it.
Unless I can bring it down to a soft luster?
thanks, Browneye...
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Old 10-04-2018, 12:09 PM   #6
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Re: The hardness of walnut wood.


I wouldn't trust HD or Lowes for good finishes. There should be a paint store near you that you can browse. It looks like Sherwin Williams has a few in your area.
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Old 10-04-2018, 12:11 PM   #7
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Re: The hardness of walnut wood.


8 to go, and Bob's my uncle.
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Old 10-04-2018, 12:16 PM   #8
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Re: The hardness of walnut wood.


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Originally Posted by Two Knots View Post
If it's that hard poured plastic look, ( like I've seen in
cheap restaurants ) I know I won't like it.
Unless I can bring it down to a soft luster?
thanks, Browneye...
Oops, I missed this part. No, lacquer does not have a plastic-y appearance. You don't need to dull it yourself, though. You can buy it in different lusters.

Talk to the experts at the store about whether you need to add retarder to it for better brush leveling.
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Old 10-04-2018, 03:34 PM   #9
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Re: The hardness of walnut wood.


Thanks...
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Old 10-04-2018, 03:54 PM   #10
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Re: The hardness of walnut wood.


Cover it with a nice pieces of glass.
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Old 10-04-2018, 04:27 PM   #11
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Re: The hardness of walnut wood.


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Cover it with a nice pieces of glass.
Neil, the first top we made for this table we made an octagon frame
with a glass insert. The glass drove me crazy trying to keep it clean.
It's a sunny kitchen and the table always looked smudgy.

After we made the birdcage in walnut, I fell in love with the walnut
in the kitchen. So, we made the next top out of walnut.
The wrought iron base was the head guys grandfathers base for his
outdoor patio top.

Besides, the glass on top of the walnut would look like plastic slip covers

The little chairs we made from oak (quarter sawn white oak) I stained
them to match the table. They look like walnut.

The seats of the little chairs are the same height as a regular chair. It's
deceiving and looks smaller cause the backs are low.
We also made them with lift up seats for storage under the upholstered seat.
Thanks for the idea though. : thumbsup:
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Old 10-04-2018, 09:51 PM   #12
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Re: The hardness of walnut wood.


I've got an antique oak table, and it's finished with shellac top coated with wax. I think it's a great way to go. The wax gets redone every 6 months or so, and that part takes all of 15 minutes, if that. No problem with water spots or anything, and if it gets scratched, just hit it with wax. Just have to be careful with hot pans.
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Old 10-05-2018, 12:47 AM   #13
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Re: The hardness of walnut wood.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BrownEyedGuy View Post
Oops, I missed this part. No, lacquer does not have a plastic-y appearance. You don't need to dull it yourself, though. You can buy it in different lusters.

Talk to the experts at the store about whether you need to add retarder to it for better brush leveling.

Lacquer gives more depth to the wood and has almost a natural glass appearance vs a cheap plastic look of poly. Any good lacquer you can't brush, you'll have to spray since it dries almost immediately. While maybe not as durable as poly, it looks better, will bring out some sparkle in black walnut and is easily repaired since you can just lightly sand the area and respray it. No need to completely strip the piece so it blends properly. Lacquer is self dissolving too so adding another layer just becomes part of the previous layer. Not like poly where they are independent layers. Sher Wood from Sherwin is a very good product and comes in multiple sheens but only has a 6 month shelf life once catalyzed. You can also buff it to a mirror finish if you prefer or dull it up a little more than the original sheen. Although if you want a mirror finish, think of high gloss Oriental furniture or guitars (I've heard upwards of 20 coats to perfectly achieve the look), you'll want to start with gloss. Also word of warning, it's HIGHLY flammable.
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