When it comes to a finish sometimes you want the grain, other times you want glass. There are many ways to get a glass like consistency on your projects, this is just how I do it. The following is a video tutorial of how I finished a salvages oak sideboard.
Hand Rubbed Poly
When deciding on a finish you really need to know they type of use your item will be subject too. In this case I opted for the hand rubbed poly because it was too cold for me to spray in the shop. I would not consider this sort of finish to be overly durable. The sanding slurry goes along way towards filling the grain and pores but it takes a long time to build a good hard protective barrier this way. I would think twice about using a finishing method like this on a dining table that will see serious use. I would use it however to fill the grain for that glass smooth base, then spray it with poly. For items not subject to frequent spills or abuse, a rubbed poly like this will be fine.
PRO&CON of Hand Rubbed Polyurethane Finish
PRO- Ease of application, it is darn near fool proof
PRO- Provides a stable smooth base for topcoat aplications
CON- Durability, unless you are going to do numerous coats the film barrier produced will be thin
CON- It takes some skill when sanding for slurry not to cut to deep and effect the color of the stained wood. Practice first!
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