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What to use to re-finish a table

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    What to use to re-finish a table

    I'll start by saying that maybe facebook is good for something, after all.

    I've been watching a Primo Oval XL with the table that he said was teak that was advertised on Facebook Marketplace for several months now. He started at about 1,400, and came down a little bit every couple of weeks.

    Last week, I checked on it and saw this:

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    I'd been telling myself for months that if he came down this low, I'd have to become a Primo owner. I even talked with SWMBO about this months ago. When I saw the $600 price, I messaged him about specifics, and had a conversation with my Budget Director/Wife. I now own a Primo Oval XL.

    The cooker itself is in pretty good shape for it's age and price. Cooking grates are fine. A new top vent and gaskets have already arrived. Deflector plates will probably be a Christmas request.

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    The table was not in good shape. It wobbled due to some broken boards and loose bolts in a couple places. A few deck screws have tightened it up some, and I'm going to add some bracing to make sure it can hold the weight when I re-install the cooker. With all the repairs, it's going to be kind of a Frankenstein table, but that's okay. At that price, it doesn't have to be perfect. It just has to work.

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    It was also filthy. This is a "before" picture. Mildew and mold, grease, and maybe even old coats of varnish or something. I've pressure washed it a couple times and it's looking much better (and yes, I failed to take an "after" picture...).

    My question that I've finally got around to is this: Is there a simple, food-safe finish that I can put on this table? I don't really want to get into multiple coats, drying time, sanding, and all that's involved in a good job. I guess I'm looking for something fairly quick that will dress it up a little bit for now, that might last for a year or so until I decide to build a new table. I'm probably more interested in getting it done so I can start using it than I am in making it pretty for years to come.

    It will not be exposed to the elements much. Most of the cooking is done under a porch, and I'll wheel it into the barn when it's not being used.

    I wondered about tung oil or linseed oil, or even cutting board oil, but I don't know enough.

    What kind of finish should I use?

    Edit to add: This first screenshot is actually from Craigslist...he had it cross-posted.
    Last edited by Brian_M; August 31, 2022, 09:01 AM.

    #2
    If you want somthing that is food-grade.....go with mineral oil. (Which is food grade version of Linseed oil, which is great stuff) All you have to do is alley it and let it soak in. Wipe on and that is it. I would use linseed oil since you are not eating off this surface. (Even if you did, you would be just fine)

    That being said, you could stain it. But that is teak and teak really does not need to be treated with anything other than oil. It is naturally resistant to weather. I stained one of my BBQ tables and I love the look. It also helps to protect the wood and will prolong its life. That table is made form Cedar, which will break down much faster than teak. But I was being cheap and didn't wanna use teak to build it from scratch.

    I would leave it natural, cause teak is teak! Oil that baby up.

    BTW, you got an awesome deal. I would have been all over this too. Great work man.

    Comment


    • CaptainMike
      CaptainMike commented
      Editing a comment
      Heck, you don't even have to oil teak, but it would give it some pop. I was going to suggest taking it apart and running the boards through a planer to freshen it up, but teak is pretty hard on machine blades and bits.

    • Spinaker
      Spinaker commented
      Editing a comment
      Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. But since he really did not want to keep sanding it, I figured that was outta the question. LOL CaptainMike

    #3
    What a deal!! I agree with Spinaker Leave it natural and oil it. Just keep up with the oiling and it will last for many years. Be sure to post pics when it’s done!!

    Comment


      #4
      Thanks, Spinaker and Jfrosty27 . I'll finish the repairs and reinforcements and put a couple coats of linseed on it. I hope to have it ready to use by the weekend.

      Yes, it was a fantastic deal. I'm surprised it was available online for as long as it was. I didn't think it would come down to a price I was willing to pay.

      Woo Hoo for social media and online shopping!

      Comment


        #5
        Actual teak oil finish is a thing and can be purchased at your big box store.. And I know you don't want to, but that ugliness will sand off pretty easily. A day or two of sanding and then three or four days of one quick coat of teak oil a day will make this look absolutely brand new. If it lives in a sheltered area, you'd then only need to wipe it down after using and put another quick thin coat of teak oil every six months to a year. I'd use an orbital sander and start with 120 grit paper. If the stains go deeper, switch to 80 grit to clean it up and then progressively back through 120 to 200 for a final smooth surface. All told, maybe 8-10 hours of work to turn this into a table that on its own looks like a thousand bucks.

        If you really don't want to sand, hit the surface quickly with bleach (something like Clorox Clean-Up will work) and then rinse very thoroughly and after only a couple minutes of soaking. Follow-up with Murphy's Oil Soap would be a bonus on the cleaning but not essential. Finally going with the teak oil finish will give you some nice teak color and a bit of shine but will still have the darker fungal-looking stains.

        Comment


        • RonB
          RonB commented
          Editing a comment
          I third this - it's what I would do.

        • troymeister
          troymeister commented
          Editing a comment
          Fourth.

        • CaptainMike
          CaptainMike commented
          Editing a comment
          Fourth! A little elbow grease now will give you great results and that teak will last you a lifetime. There's a reason why they decked battleships and whatnot with teak.

        #6
        Jim White

        Hmm…I have the sandpaper…and an orbital sander. If I made this purchase more aesthetically pleasing, it may make it more likely for SWMBO to agree to the next purchase…

        I didn’t know actual teak oil is a thing. The internet tells me that my local big box store has it in stock.
        ​​​​​​​
        ​​​​​​​You all may be adding to my Holiday weekend chore list.

        Comment


        • Jim White
          Jim White commented
          Editing a comment
          I promise it will be time well spent.

        • Panhead John
          Panhead John commented
          Editing a comment
          I’m with Jim and Don. Pretty that baby up!

        #7
        Congrats! Great sweat equity on that purchase.

        Comment


          #8
          What I would do before I tried sanding it is to try to remove any finish someone has put on previously. You can always sand, but first I would try a mixture of Lacquer Thinner and denatured alcohol. You can buy finish remover already made, but mixing your own is a lot cheaper. About a 3 to 1 ratio works pretty good. If you want to kick it up a little, throw in a dash of acetone. This works really good on old furniture with shellac. Cleans off the shellac and accumulated grime, but leaves some of the original stain. But on this it should remove any original finish, and other stuff left behind. You can always sand if you aren't happy. Apply with steel wool 000 or 0000. Finish with a cloth soaked in the mix. Make sure to use heavy plastic/rubber gloves if you do.

          Comment


          • Alan Brice
            Alan Brice commented
            Editing a comment
            Also a respirator with charcoal canisters for organic compounds. All those chemicals are cancer in a can. The whites of your eyes are the most porous. An ounce of prevention, worth a pound of cure.

          #9
          Click image for larger version

Name:	92D50CB2-C655-49EB-97C5-B12740838BB4.jpg
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ID:	1285371 Here it is right now…after the pressure washing several days ago, and before the sanding begins today.
          I decided to try sanding first, because I already had the stuff to do that. If sanding doesn’t accomplish what I want it to, I’ll look at trying Bogy ‘s method.

          There’s a whole list of things my wife would like me working on this afternoon. Shockingly, this isn’t one of those things.
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          Comment


          • Bogy
            Bogy commented
            Editing a comment
            That totally makes sense to me. I go to our vacation house with an idea of what I want to accomplish, then my wife gives me the list of what she wants. Then we get there, and something happens that puts both lists on hold. Like finding out the grandkids were jumping off a bunkbed onto a another bed, and bending the frame so the mattress is on the floor.

          • Panhead John
            Panhead John commented
            Editing a comment
            I’d find me some new grandkids. 🤭
            Last edited by Panhead John; August 31, 2022, 05:30 PM.

          #10
          Click image for larger version

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ID:	1285490 The first round of sanding, 80 grit, is done and what a difference it made!

          This table is actually maybe going to be pretty, which makes me even more thrilled with the purchase.

          Thanks to all for the suggestions! I’ll keep posting as I get everything cleaned up and in service.

          Comment


            #11
            Just washed all the dust off. The wet look shows a lot of potential.

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            Comment


            • Panhead John
              Panhead John commented
              Editing a comment
              Looking good Brian!

            • Bogy
              Bogy commented
              Editing a comment
              Stuff like this does not need to be perfect. Imperfections add character. That's what I always tell myself! But this looks really good.

            • Jim White
              Jim White commented
              Editing a comment
              Awesome!

            #12
            If you have a router, you might want to consider dressing up some of the edges with a quarter-round bit ... which gives a nice finished look. Almost Scandinavian(ish) ...

            Comment


              #13
              MBMorgan I haven’t used a router since I ruined a project in high school wood shop class. That feels like it was a hundred or so years ago.

              I think that SWMBO is enjoying watching me enjoy this project. I wonder how much a router costs…

              (Sigh). You all are supposed to be cooking-equipment-enablers, not woodworking-tool-enablers.

              Comment


                #14


                😁🤭

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                  #15
                  Heh. Yeah, that’s not what I need to see today…

                  Thanks so much for helping me make good decisions, Panhead John.

                  Comment

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