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  1. #1
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    polishing a pinewood table

    I have a softwood (pine) table that is my main office table at home. It doesn't have a very smooth surface, so I decided to sand and polish it. Last weekend, I sanded it down with the finest grit sandpaper I had on hand, but it didn't come out very smooth. I assumed that polishing it with beeswax will fill all the microholes in the wood and make it really smooth and shiny.

    Contrary to my belief, the table is in worse condition than it was before. I applied 3 layers of beeswax I bought from Ikea, but still no good.

    One thing I definitely need to do is sand it down more with the finest sandpaper available. But I am confused about what wax to use. Maybe I have been using the wrong polish. Do you guys have any recommendations as to what should be used. Also, I used brush, is that the best way to do it?

    As you can see, I am not very knowledgeable in this area, so detailed instructions would be fantastic. When I get home this evening, I will post photos of the table so you can get an idea.
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  2. #2
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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  3. #3
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    You could use a strong hot TSP solution to get the first bunch of wax off before using the stripper.Just make sure to wear good gloves when using both tsp and stripper. By gloves I don't mean bicycle gloves but vinyl or rubber ones.

  4. #4
    mechanically sound frankenmike's Avatar
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    Wax bad. If you can get the wax off, the way I've always finished pine is to apply a coat of sanding sealer, let it dry. Now you can get a super smooth surface with fine sandpaper. Vacuum off the dust and apply a coat or two of varnish(lacquer). Voila! P.S. You can get the finish lacquer in high gloss or satin, whichever you prefer.

  5. #5
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    Thank you all for advice. Let me understand this correctly.

    1. Remove the applied wax with TSP solution (Trisodium Phosphate?).
    2. Apply first coat of sanding sealer, let it dry
    3. Sand with fine sandpaper, vacuum the dust
    4. Apply second coat of sanding sealer, let it dry
    5. Now stain using glossy or satin stain (oil or water based); wipe off excess stain with a piece of rag.
    6. Let it dry.

    Is that it? Thanks.

  6. #6
    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    No matter what you do or how well the finish comes out, a soft pine table will always get dinged up again.

    I've designed and built a good deal of pine furniture, and when I do, usually plan for it to be distressed. It gives a nice lived-in look when done right and fits in well with rustic decor.
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  7. #7
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    Wash it twice with the tsp to make sure you get all the wax off otherwise nothing will stick to or penetrate the wood. Hopefully the wax you used in the first place did not have silicone in the mix if it did all bets are off.

  8. #8
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    overthehill: I used this http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/40186303. I don't think it has silicone. It has beeswax, linseed oil, and wood treatment oil.

    Anyway, I went to home depot and bought following stuff:

    1. Minwax pre-stain (I suppose this is like sand stainer; I couldn't find anything named that in the store)
    2. Minwax Wood Finish Natural 209
    3. Minwax fast-drying polyurethane (clear semi-gloss)
    4. 220 grit sand paper

    I could not find the THP stuff. The store employee I talked to said just use three grits of sandpaper to take any wax off and smoothen the wood. Will the wax I applied come off with sand paper? If not, where can I buy THP? Any brand name for it?

  9. #9
    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
    Ski, bike and wish I was gay.

  10. #10
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    try a real hardware store/paint store or the detergent aisle of your local food store and it's not THP it's TSP short for Tri Sodium Phosphate. I'd try the paint store first as it is a common pre-painting cleaner

  11. #11
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    I bought TSP from Home Depot not too long ago in the paint aisle. It comes in chipboard container, like a pint of milk comes in. It is a powder you mix with water to make a rinse with.

    a quick search of the HD site though yields no TSP but several TSP substitutes. They may no longer carrry TSP

    http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/...atalogId=10053

    You can get it at Lowes still

    http://www.lowes.com/SearchCatalogDi...dium+phosphate

    or from Amazon

    http://www.amazon.com/Savogran-10621.../dp/B0001GOGQW
    Last edited by jsharr; 08-19-10 at 09:31 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorider View Post
    Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

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