The table was originally refinished in 2013. I carefully sanded, stained, and sealed it with polycrylic. Everyone in blogland was singing the praises of polycrylic, so I thought I'd give it a try. It went on great, clean-up was easy, and it dried quickly.
Win-Win, right? WRONG!!
After about a year and a half, I started noticing some wear on the edges of the table. You know, the spot where people rest their arms? As time went on, these spots actually started to feel a bit sticky and you could see them:
It was really difficult to get a picture of them, but, if you look carefully where the arrows are pointing, you'll see dull spots in the finish. We lived with it for a while, then I told my husband, "As soon as the weather gets nice, this table has a date with my sander!"
Time for my full disclosure. Normally, I sand things down to bare wood. My husband likes to tease and says that when I get done sanding, the piece is about 1/4 inch thinner. Such a kidder! So, I decided to sand and get most of it off - BIG MISTAKE! The stain wouldn't dry. So after the second day, I got out the palm sander (again) and some 60 grit sandpaper and got to work. Yes, my shoulder and hand got a workout! (Let me just say, the carpal tunnel surgery was a success!)
Sanded down to bare wood:
Two thin coats of walnut stain were applied, followed by 3 thin coats of POLYURETHANE. This time, the table is really done and the dining room is put back together!
On to the next project, but, before you go, I'd like to explain my thoughts on polycrylic vs. polyurethane.
Polycrylic is not a bad thing. I have used it on several occasions, and it does best on furniture that does not get heavy-use.
Polyurethane is my choice for heavy-use furniture, like a kitchen or dining room table. I used it many years ago on my kitchen table when my children were small. That table stood up to many school and art projects and the finish never wore off.
Overall, in my humble opinion, polyurethane is a more durable finish. I'd love to hear your thoughts/experiences though. Have you had greater success with one or the other? Let me know in the comments below!
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