Stain and finish for parawood

franksmom_2010March 27, 2011

Hi! I'm buying an unfinished dining table made of parawood (rubberwood) and would appreciate any info on how best to finish it.

I've done a lot of furniture stripping and sanding, but usually paint. The last time I stained anything, the only consumer products readily available were the Minwax products. I understand there's a whole lot more on the market now.

My plan is to sand lightly, stain (the goal is a mahogany color), and finish.

I've read conflicting things about staining this wood. Some sources say it stains beautifully. Other say it tends to be blotchy. Some recommend a wood conditioner, some don't. They all say that the wood is similar to oak in hardness and staining abilities.

My questions:

-what has been your experience with this wood?

-any recommendation for stains (brand, oil based, water based)

-I'd like to stay within the same brand for stain and finish, so any recommendations for a finish? Hand rubbed poly? I'd like a soft, satin finish.

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Well, after a lot of internet reading, I may have answered some of my own questions.

It looks like an oil based stain would be fine, and I see no reason not to use the Minwax products. I like that there's an assortment of colors that I can find anywhere, so I can easily custom mix my own stain.

About the finish...the wipe on poly sounds like a perfectly fine product. I did some reading about Waterlox, and it sounds like a great finish, but a bit cumbersome to apply, and requires a separate product (sealer) as a base coat. Is there any really compelling reason to use one or the other? The dining table in question will get infrequent use.

It turns out that I have an old can of the wipe on ploy that I never used for a project. Would it be ok to still use it, or does the product need to be fresh? Do you sand between each coat of the poly, or just after the first coat?

Sanding- so, I don't want to go up to a super-fine grit on the raw wood? I've read that sanding too fine on a hard wood will make it more difficult for the stain to penetrate. So, I want smooth, but not glassy?

What I've been able to find so far about the conditioner is that I won't need it for this type of wood, and it's used for mostly soft woods, like pine.

I'd appreciate any other advice or experience anyone has. Thanks!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2011 at 2:15PM
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