Reply
Go Back   TexasBowhunter.com Community Discussion Forums > Topics > Around the Campfire
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-20-2020, 08:52 PM   #1
Brad96
Four Point
 
Brad96's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Allen, TX
Hunt In: Normangee, TX & Tishomingo, OK
Default Options for finishing old, weathered wood?

I want to build a simple desk using some reclaimed wood. I pulled a couple of weathered but serviceable 2x12's off of what remains of an old shed that was on my property.

I pulled the nails, cut each one in half, and brought home 4 pieces of wood, each about 5' long.

I'll add these first 2 pictures and then continue in the next post...
Attached Images
  
Brad96 is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-20-2020, 09:00 PM   #2
Brad96
Four Point
 
Brad96's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Allen, TX
Hunt In: Normangee, TX & Tishomingo, OK
Default

I probably only need 2 of those pieces to build the desk, and 1 of them has a big crack down the middle. So, I decided to experiment a little with the cracked piece.

First, I tried sanding it down smooth. That's the left end of the board in the picture. Not surprisingly, sanding made it smooth, but removed most of the natural patina. I also tried some satin polyurethane over the sanded area. That's up and right from the bare sanded area. Below that is a dark walnut stain that was only allowed to sit for a few seconds, before being wiped off. That's not bad looking, but this could almost be a brand new board, so not much character to it. To the right of that is satin polyurethane over weathered wood. I was surprised at how much the poly changed the color of the wood, compared to the greenish grayish untreated areas around it.
Attached Images
 
Brad96 is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-20-2020, 09:02 PM   #3
Beerdonga
Six Point
 
Beerdonga's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Default

In

Sent from my SM-G970U using Tapatalk
Beerdonga is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-20-2020, 09:03 PM   #4
wcgunns
Six Point
 
wcgunns's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Default

If you’re doing a desk and want the old look but a clean smooth top you might consider a glass top for it.
wcgunns is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-20-2020, 09:07 PM   #5
Brad96
Four Point
 
Brad96's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Allen, TX
Hunt In: Normangee, TX & Tishomingo, OK
Default

I also tried burning the wood a little with a propane torch. That's the upper-left corner in this next picture. That looks pretty good, but it brought some sort of sticky liquid up to the surface. Maybe that's just tree sap, or maybe this is treated wood, and I'm creating poisonous gasses. Who knows?

Below that is burned wood with 1 coat of satin polyurethane over it.

Then I tried 3 different stains that I had leftover from another project, directly on the weathered surface. All of them soaked in immediately, leaving a dark, mostly opaque finish. That mostly obliterated the natural weathered appearance of the wood.
Attached Images
 
Brad96 is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-20-2020, 09:14 PM   #6
Brad96
Four Point
 
Brad96's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Allen, TX
Hunt In: Normangee, TX & Tishomingo, OK
Default

OK, so I'm finally getting around to asking my question. What do you recommend to maintain a somewhat weathered look, but also produce a somewhat smooth surface? It doesn't have to be perfectly smooth, but this is going to be my work-from-home desk, so I need to be able to move stuff around on the surface without hanging up on rough texture or getting splinters.

If I do a glass top, do I need to treat the wood at all, or just leave it as-is? I can't decide if I like the glass top idea. I'm sure it will look nice, but I'm afraid that the glass will be expensive, for what started out as a low-buck project using materials that are just lying around. And, it might be too modern-looking for the style I want.

Is my best bet to coat this old wood in a clear epoxy? I suppose that wouldn't be cheap, either.

I'm open to hearing other ideas.
Brad96 is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-20-2020, 09:20 PM   #7
Brad96
Four Point
 
Brad96's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Allen, TX
Hunt In: Normangee, TX & Tishomingo, OK
Default

It looks like a 48x24" piece of 1/4" glass is $120+. Not completely out of the question, but not super low-buck, either.
Brad96 is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-20-2020, 09:28 PM   #8
ThisLadyHunts
Eight Point
 
ThisLadyHunts's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: Central Texas
Hunt In: Austin, Boerne, Wyoming, South America
Default

For what it’s worth, here’s my two-cents—

I think the polyurethane applications are the way to go. Here’s why: if you go back and look at your image attachments, do you see how nicely the polyurethane brings out the natural beauty of the wood? This is because, whether on the sanded or unsanded areas, the polyurethane raises the grain, just as it would if you were to wipe over the wood with water or mineral spirits.

Now, look at the areas to which you applied a stain. None of the stains enhance the grain of the wood. In fact, the natural characteristics of the wood are obscured by the pigment in the stains making these areas look a little “flat” and without character. The finished look has an artificiality to it, in my opinion.

Of course, this is all a matter of personal preference and I can certainly be argued with on this.
ThisLadyHunts is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-20-2020, 09:31 PM   #9
peterp63
Ten Point
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Default

Cool project. Iím in.
peterp63 is online now   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-20-2020, 09:39 PM   #10
Brad96
Four Point
 
Brad96's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Allen, TX
Hunt In: Normangee, TX & Tishomingo, OK
Default

I might have to try several coats of polyurethane, and maybe brush it on a little thicker. The first coat didn't at all fill in the many tiny cracks in the weathered wood's surface.
Brad96 is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-20-2020, 10:01 PM   #11
wytex
Ten Point
 
wytex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Wyoming
Hunt In: Wyoming , Texas, Colorado, Nebraska
Default

How about some epoxy like for a bar top or something like General Finishes Water based top coat?

Last edited by wytex; 09-20-2020 at 10:09 PM.
wytex is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-21-2020, 07:27 AM   #12
Brad96
Four Point
 
Brad96's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Allen, TX
Hunt In: Normangee, TX & Tishomingo, OK
Default

I would like to try a clear bar-top epoxy. I don't have any on hand. I do have some 2-part epoxy, like you would use for carbon fiber or fiberglass lay-up work. I might try that, even though it's not the right product for a desk top, just to get an idea of what epoxy might look like.

I did try a polyurethane, but it was Cabot satin polyurethane, not General Finishes water-based. That was just what I had lying around. I'll apply another coat today.

I appreciate everyone's comments, since I've never tried something like this before.
Brad96 is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-21-2020, 07:35 AM   #13
KBM
Six Point
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Default

I built a few book shelves and an entertainment center out of cedar fence pickets, I didn’t do anything but a light sanding over it to get most of the splinters out. But then again it’s not something that we’re sitting at either
KBM is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-21-2020, 08:06 AM   #14
Brad96
Four Point
 
Brad96's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Allen, TX
Hunt In: Normangee, TX & Tishomingo, OK
Default

Light sanding is an option that I didn't mention. When I first started to sand this board, the raised ridges turned a light blonde color, while the recessed areas between ridges remained the darker greenish-gray color. I didn't think to grab a picture at the time. I kept sanding until everything was the light color, almost like new wood.
Brad96 is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-21-2020, 06:40 PM   #15
MisterB
Eight Point
 
MisterB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Longview
Hunt In: Hill Country
Default

You might try a hand planer but don’t take down all the weathered grain. I did it with some old cedar fencing for some picture frames and it came out pretty good. Go slow and shallow until you get the effect you what, then experiment with thin coats of light stain, something similar to the original patina only lighter. Just a thought.
MisterB is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-21-2020, 09:03 PM   #16
Brad96
Four Point
 
Brad96's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Allen, TX
Hunt In: Normangee, TX & Tishomingo, OK
Default

What's the advantage of using a hand planer, compared to sanding?
Brad96 is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-21-2020, 09:07 PM   #17
Shane
Pope & Young
 
Shane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Abilene, TX
Hunt In: Mismatched camo
Default

Glass cover or layer of epoxy are likely the best bets to retain the weathered look under a smooth surface.
Shane is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-21-2020, 09:15 PM   #18
Brad96
Four Point
 
Brad96's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Allen, TX
Hunt In: Normangee, TX & Tishomingo, OK
Default

I did put a 2nd coat of polyurethane on today. The first pic is weathered wood plus 2 coats of poly. The second is sanded + 2 coats of poly. The third is burned + 2 coats of poly.

IMHO, the weathered doesn't look very good with poly. The sanded looks nice, but almost like new wood that I just bought at Home Depot. Most of the patina is gone. I have to admit, I'm liking the look of the burned wood more, now that it has poly on it. But, it has too much texture for a desk top. So, I'm thinking maybe one of these two options might work:
1) light sanding + burn + polyurethane
2) burn + epoxy

Light sanding smooths the texture adequately for a computer desk, but leaves blond streaks where the ridge tops get removed. Fortunately, burning darkens the light streaks. I'll have to work outside with a fan blowing on low, to make sure I'm not breathing anything nasty from burning this wood.

Take a look and see what you think:
Attached Images
   
Brad96 is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-21-2020, 09:22 PM   #19
Brad96
Four Point
 
Brad96's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Allen, TX
Hunt In: Normangee, TX & Tishomingo, OK
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shane View Post
Glass cover or layer of epoxy are likely the best bets to retain the weathered look under a smooth surface.
I think you're right. If I'm just going to set my computer on this desk, then a little texture is OK. But, if I want to be able to write or draw on this thing, it will need a layer of epoxy or glass to provide a smooth, hard surface.
Brad96 is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:34 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Copyright 1999-2012, TexasBowhunter.com