I finally finished the year long coffee table project. Almost sounds like a suspense/thriller. Anyway, it’s a pretty nice table with a finish that I’m not completely happy about. The finish coat is a bit poorly done, I’m afraid, and working with the poplar proved to be a little more difficult than I imagined.
The stain was actually pretty nice, but I used a very diluted shellac wash coat, which worked perfectly with the birch ply top and pine edge banding, but needed to be a little less diluted on the poplar parts. Despite that I am pretty happy with the results as the wash coat REALLY brought that grain out (and darkened the green/brown of the poplar a little bit much).
Applying the polyurethane was a new thing for me. I’ve never really worked with oil based stains or top coats, and it was a real pleasure. The only issue I had with it was that it bubbled. I read that I needed to think the polyurethane in order to prevent that, but I’ve also heard my brush stroke could have an affect. I’m not sure what I could have done better, but it ruins the top coat for me (but no one else really cares). Anyway, I’ll post some photos as soon as I take them.