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Thread: Transtint on farm table

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    243

    Transtint on farm table

    I am getting ready to finish a farm table with turned legs. The top and aprons are soft maple, and the legs are (unfortunately) rubberwood.

    For the top, I was planning to spray normal strength (1 oz to 1 quart ratio) Transtint / DNA directly on the wood sanded to 180 in very light, successive and not overly wet coats, then spray with dewaxed shellac before some other finish, maybe arm-r-seal. Doing the Transtint mixed with shellac did not work out well for me on the last table, although I probably had too much Transtint, probably did not dilute the shellac with enough DNA and probably had the sprayer putting down too much finish so that it did not dry fast enough. As mentioned in a different post, the Transtint seemed to have a surface tension that made it migrated to the dry outer edges of whatever I sprayed, creating dark lines of dye along the edges.

    For the legs, I am wondering if it would be better to use glue sizing (recommended on the Transtint instruction chart, rather than 1 lb cut of shellac, when using Transtint/alcohol), before spraying.

    I bought the legs pre-turned and don't have any extras or rubberwood pieces for test samples.

    It seems to me that the round "bulbs" on the legs will be mostly end grain-ish and get a lot darker than the rest really quickly without some kind of wash coat.

    I also wonder if, when spraying a finish on legs like this, it is better to make a bunch of short horizontal passes (with the table legs upright) rather than trying to spray one single pass along the length of the leg, as a means of getting a consistent amount of finish on elements of varying diameters on the leg. Or is there some other approach.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Unfinished farm table.jpg

    The chairs look like this. To get something somewhat related in color but quite as dark as the chairs, I am going to use straight up Dark Vintage Maple Transtint and start light and get a little darker through the successive passes with the dye. It wasn't identical but looked good on a test sample.

    Leg to match.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    2,769
    I don't know how you guys get away with spraying stain and thin coatings. Certainly it works but I'm amazed.

    For me this would be a wipe on or brush on finish.

    Best of luck.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    WNY
    Posts
    9,693
    Use the inside of the legs up where the aprons meet them, where it can't be seen, for testing your color mix. No way I would want to try it blind. I don't know how rubberwood takes dye, but my guess is Dark Vintage Maple is not the right color, but that's why you need to test it.

    I always spray turned legs with the gun traveling across the leg, not lengthwise. Where the turnings are deep, I tilt the gun towards one side of the recess and then another pass with the gun tilted towards the opposite side. You have to spray light coats whether spraying dye or finish to avoid runs.

    I'm not a fan of glue sizing. I'd rather spray a coat of Sealcoat shellac because it can be removed, if need be. With glue sizing, when it's there it's staying there.

    If you have a lathe, I'd put the legs on the lathe and spray the color there. You'll get a nice even coating all the way around. Once the dye is done, spray them with a coat of Sealcoat. And then I'd apply the finish by hand, also on the lathe, with Arm-R-Seal or some other wiping varnish on a rag. It will be much easier to get a uniform coating.

    John

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    243
    John, those recommendations are very helpful.

    Tom, I have not yet been successful spraying but am going to give it another try. Hopefully will have less user error on this attempt.

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