ceemimi

how to protect unfinished wood dining table, from Restoration Hardware

ceemimi
5 years ago
Hi,
Just purchased a dining table from Restoration Hardware (Dumont rectangular dining table). It's a rustic unfinished wood. I feel like this table is not going to withstand everyday use. This table will be our everyday table and I can't return it (purchased from outlet). Anyone know the best way to protect the table from common spills and use, yet keep the rustic look and color.
Thanks!

Comments (205)

  • homella
    yesterday

    I don’t know what it is. But
    I do have a finishing suggestion for those who’s table is still unfinished. Osmo. Is a German finish that is used on floors and tables. I had an unfinished maple table made and finished it my self. You wipe it on with a scrubber. It’s completely non toxic and and do it in your house. It’s a combo oil and wax. Some nice restaurants use it, those whose tables look like plain wood, yet don’t stain. Really durable and matte. Can be spot repaired. From Favaris unfinished furniture, and a few other places. There are videos , just find a furniture one, not a floor one.

  • amyz
    yesterday

    Does anyone know what the powdery finish is on the RH salvaged wood tables is? Im wondering if I should buy that? For those that have treated their table, did you remove that powdery finish first? Im worried that if I wipe it off it will be ugly orange pine.

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  • JJ MAN
    3 months ago

    I tried two methods on samples of Restoration Hardware Gray Reclaimed Russian Oak before doing my table.


    1. 3 Coats General Finishes High Performance Flat and 1 Coat Flat out Flat

    2. 3 Coats of Milk Paint Pure Tung Oil with the first coat being a 50/50 oil/solvent mix


    The GF Flat essentially did not change the color and look at all except for a subtle increase in sheen. The final flat out flat coat did blunt that sheen slightly but it added a subtle opacity/whiteness from the matting agents (i.e. did not dry as clear as the flat) which is stated on GF's website. I used compressed air, followed by 3M ultra fine sanding pad, vacuuming, and tack cloth before 1st coat. Lightly sanded using 320 grit sandpaper between coats.


    The Tung Oil also looked beautiful but it definitely darkened the wood (made the grain pop) and it looked slightly more wet (less with more steel wool rubbing). It had a lot more sheen than the GF flat. I did nothing before 1st coat of 50/50 mix and then used steel wool lightly between each coat.


    Ultimately I did 3 coats of GF High Performance Flat and elected not to do the flat out flat final layer because of the subtle opacity effect.


    Extremely Happy with the results. I spoke at length with the owner of a reclaimed wood supply store near me who said there is NO product that changes the appearance less than the GF High performance flat. It dried completely clear.







  • mikelauraherr
    3 months ago

    Amyz....we used the Modern Masters product and we are so happy with the result. It’s been a year and it is so nice to not be worried about the kids spilling their drinks, dripping salsa, etc. It easily wipes down. Can use a wet rag if it gets sticky. If anything, it’s the crumbs that get in the crevices of the table that are harder to get out. We have to get the vacuum out to clear the crumbs out. But that’s seldom needed.


  • mikelauraherr
    3 months ago

    We didn’t use mineral oil because we were trying to preserve the finish/color of the table as it looked new. The tung oil really darkened the wood and my research showed the mineral oil would do the same.

  • Sister Sunnie
    3 months ago

    I'm surprised no one has suggested plain old mineral oil. Its what we use on cutting boards, chopping blocks, etc. food safe, protects against moisture and staining and provides a nearly flat finish. It does take several days to completely dry but leaves a hard durable finish. It wears off after awhile but easy and cheap to reapply.

  • amyz
    3 months ago
    last modified: 3 months ago

    I too just purchased a RH table in the salvaged natural pine. It arrives next week. It sounds like the Rubio monocoat gets the most positive votes. For those that have theirs coated with Rubio monocoatt, what do you wipe the table down with. I have an 7 and 8 year old so its bound to get some sticky spills... Also, is it the Rubio monocoatt in Oil Plus 2C? Pure or Natural? Thanks for your feedback in advance!

  • Larysa Ihnatowycz
    3 months ago

    I have the Boulangerie table in natural finish from RH and also applies 100% Tung Oil first to the legs... turned out good then to the table top which is just horrible. Completely altered the colour and left black marks on every indentation. Whatever you do DO NOT USE 100% TUNG OIL on natural salvaged wood. It not only soaks in but also discolours the wood.

  • Karen Lazar
    4 months ago

    We sanded ever so lightly...with corrugated cardboard, a trick from our painter...lightly...

  • David Nebout
    4 months ago

    i did not do any sanding. I did wipe it down and blow it off with air before applying the product.

  • JJ MAN
    4 months ago

    la5678 and jwsargent4 and any others who used the GF high performance flat and then flat out flat method, did y'all sand your table lightly before the first coat? If so didn't that change the powdery finish from RH?

  • mikelauraherr
    9 months ago
    last modified: 9 months ago


    After purchasing a RH salvaged trestle table in the natural, we as well realized we had a challenge on our hands with protecting it. We initially thought we had the answer with the 100% tung oil we read about online. We applied it to the bottom of one of the table leaves and excitedly thought our problem was solved. Then we applied the Tung Oil to the top side of the leaf. Yikes! The wood looked charred! So back to the drawing board. We ordered a sample swatch of the wood from RH. We then ordered three products we had read about online: General Finishes Flat Out Flat Topcoat (GF), Modern Masters Dead Flat Varnish (MM), and Saman Flat Mat waterbased varnish. We tried all three products on the wood swatch. The Saman product had more of a sheen than the other two, so we ruled that one out as we were wanting the table to look as close to the way it looked when we received it from RH. The GF and MM looked really close. We decided to try the MM on the bottom of the second table leaf. So far so good, so we then applied it to the top of the leaf...this is where things went terribly wrong with the Tung Oil, so our expectations were low. But it looked great! It did darken the table ever so slightly, but we were pleased with the results so we decided to go for it. We applied three coats of the MM to the top of the actual table, and at this point we are so relieved...we think we've found a way to protect the table while still keeping the look we loved. We've tested it by pouring water and hot sauce on it...both easily wiped up with no change to the table. Phew! What a relief!

  • felizlady
    last year
    If it is truly unfinished, you could apply mineral oil with a soft cloth. It WILL change the color of the wood. I have used mineral oil on my butcher block island counters for years. The unfinished oak was almost beige in its natural state, but turned a beautiful golden brown color with the application of mineral oil.
    The other choice would be a commercial wood sealer recommended by your local paint store. It will probably not need to be reapplied like mineral oil does.
  • KCee
    last year

    @Kristin - thank you!

    I have 2 kids who I am so afraid will not use placemats, etc.

    I will definitely try underneath first.


    @MS Colours - thank you for responding. I originally decided to go with MM dead flat, but after reading online for 2 days straight, it seems you aren’t supposed to use it on unpainted wood? Is that true? I’m not familiar with cerusing...


    @redsilver - thank you also! I have thought about the glass...

  • redsilver
    last year

    Any finish I have seen will not protect from water unless you use apply regularly also...a wax product over a lacquer sealant....or a polyurethane varnish.

    If you don't want to change the hue, I'd have a glass company cut a piece of 3/8 inch thick glass to lay on top of it, like they do lacquer finish desks at commercial businesses. Ask them for some felt circles to place under it, so it can breathe or place some pretty crochet small doilies in strategic spacings at the corner and centers....

    After that,or instead of that option, go online or find a commercial business that deals in upholstery fabric. There you can purchase a heavy quality piece of CLEAR plastic to use as a 'table cloth' over your table.

    You could also place a vinyl tablecloth(one that has a reverse side that is fleece...usually you can find them at places like Target or Family Dollar stores, or anyplace that sells camping supplies or picnic supply departments.

  • PRO
    MS Colours Inc
    last year

    We use MM dead flat on many of our cerused projects with great results.

  • Kristin
    last year

    KCee, Congratulations on your new RH table! Our table has held up beautifully with General Finishes Flat (looks the same after almost two years without any signs of wear or discoloration). Granted, the table hasn't had much use in our formal dining room. We have a second Restoration Hardware table (Salvaged Boatwood Rectangular) in our kitchen nook for everyday. I've been meaning to seal it with the GF Flat, but haven't gotten around to it. We use placemats and are careful and it has held up very well too. You might consider trying out several different sealants on the underside of your table and going from there. Good luck! :)

  • KCee
    last year
    last modified: last year

    @jwsargent4 and @Kristin - has held up over the last 2 years for you? I have wanted the Reclaimed Russian oak in the grey wash forever.. finally pulled the trigger, and now I’m a nervous wreck about it!

  • Kristin
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Hello,

    I compared General Finishes "Flat," "Flat Out Flat," and "satin" on a Restoration Hardware reclaimed solid white oak table (bare wood after sanding). The "Flat" and "Flat Out Flat" seemed equally matte but the "Flat" seemed to have the least effect in terms of changing the color (very minimal). "Flat" also offers more protection than "Flat Out Flat" if that is a factor. See photos above (Kristin, June 28, 2017 post). It was very easy to apply. Haven't tried Modern Masters Dead Flat.

  • Kristin
    last year

    Hello,

    I compared General Finishes "Flat," "Flat Out Flat," and "satin" on a Restoration Hardware reclaimed oak table (bare wood after sanding). The "Flat" and "Flat Out Flat" seemed equally matte but the "Flat" seemed to have the least effect in terms of changing the color (very minimal). "Flat" also offers more protection than "Flat Out Flat" if that is a factor. See photos above (Kristin, June 28, 2017 post). It was very easy to apply. Haven't tried Modern Masters Dead Flat.

  • retirelake
    last year

    Has anyone compared Modern Masters Dead Flat to General Finishes Flat out Flat. Need to protect my custom made 100+ year old reclaimed wood table but don't want to change the natural color

  • laurenm0423
    last year

    @pthaggard can you give an update on the Mondern Master finish? I bought a canister but now I’m nervous based on some previous posts.

  • saltyqueen
    last year

    Hi pthaggard,


    Did you ever try the General Finishes two part treatment? Please let us know if you're still checking this thread. Thanks!

  • Carrie Verba
    last year

    I have the RH herringbone dining table in weathered brown oak. It's beautiful, but unfortunately I had to return the first one that was delivered to me due to a wood chip being bent back and breaking off. Then, I was ever so gently wiping off the next one that was delivered to me when another wood chip bent back causing you to see the natural color of the wood once more. Has anyone had this problem? Will a protective sealer or oil protect the wood from flaking off, or will that simply protect from water stains?

  • spamella
    2 years ago
    hi debbieduke. I have the same table as you. Can I ask which exact general finishers you used and what was the grit number of the sand paper you used. Thanks in advance.
  • Lisa Snow Plair
    2 years ago

    yes, i felt cheated spending THAT much on a table and they don't even put in the bit of work it would take to put a simple finish on it. so did i permanently damage the table by cleaning it with soap/water? that spot where it's lighter does stand out, but not that big of deal since we intend to not worry about the rough look. we were tired of keeping our finished Pottery Barn table so perfect with 5 boys!

  • PRO
    Sophie Wheeler
    2 years ago

    Plain stained wood isn’t a “finish”. It’s a surface color alteration that can be damaged or removed by normal wear and cleaning. Unless it is protected by a finish. Which RH refuses to do. But people continue to give them masses of money to buy furniture that cannot perform the function for which it is designed.

  • Lisa Snow Plair
    2 years ago

    Thanks, Karen! Yes, maybe I was wiping off some of the lacquer and that's why the rag was so black? Also it uncovered the lighter wood in that one area and maybe I wasn't supposed to do that. I just don't like the thought of our family eating at an uncleaned table, so I thought there would be no harm in wiping it off with a bit of warm water with a tiny bit of soap. Maybe I shouldn't have done that. Thanks for the input on the wax. I think we'll avoid that unless I find new info. The RH salesperson told us there was absolutely zero finish on the table, but maybe he was mistaken.

  • Karen Lazar
    2 years ago

    be careful as to not wipe the RH finish off...I'd suggest a vacuum with soft bristle attachment to start and see what happens... the wax products are lovely in some circumstances but don't think they will afford the protection sought here (ie. for use as a dining table) and the wax products need to be reapplied...I am also uncertain as to whether a wax product can be applied over this RH finish...there is a lot to understand with respect to adhesion etc and what product can be applied over what, tread cautiously and discuss with the product manufacturer first...again the preexisting finish from RH is an NC lacquer as I understand it...

  • Lisa Snow Plair
    2 years ago

    Oh, and what is your opinion on the Howard FeednWax Polish and Conditioner? Will this change the look of my reclaimed wood table? It is highly rated and reviewed, but no one mentions it or Renaissance Wax in this thread. Is that because any sort of wax will not be good for the look of the table? I'm a first-time rookie in this area.

  • Lisa Snow Plair
    2 years ago

    I read to the end...thanks so much for everyone's input. I was at a loss on how to protect our new RH table while maintaining the reclaimed wood effect. I'm planning to go with a few coats of General Finishes HP Flat as I don't mind just a bit of sheen. However, quick question...our table which we got from a RH outlet is VERY dirty! I wiped it down with a damp cloth and had to rinse the rag 20 times. Every wipe left the rag completely coated in black. I couldn't tell the table was so dirty until I started wiping. Is this normal with reclaimed wood? If so, is there a special way to clean it before finishing? Or is it ok to just give it a good wipe down before applying the finish? In one area, once the wood was cleaned, that one small area became a ton lighter than the rest of the table and it stands out.

  • jbtanyderi
    2 years ago
    It will mellow and become more rustic with use.
  • debbieduke
    2 years ago
    I used general finishes flat poly 3 coats and then 2 coats of gf flat out flat. It looks great. I applied with a foam roller, sanded lightly between coats. Did not change look of table one bit. Super easy.
  • Karen Lazar
    2 years ago

    Yes substantially in my experience

  • Tiff
    2 years ago
    Hi Ann,
    Did the monocoat oil darken the color of the table at all?
    Thanks!
    Tiff
  • jwsargent4
    2 years ago

    I finished doing a Restoration Hardware console table using the general finishes high-performance polyurethane in satin and then topcoating with general finishes flat out flat. This is my second time using that combination and I love the finished product!

  • Kristin
    2 years ago

    The General Finishes Performance Flat is also great -- flat as can be, easy to apply, and protective. I posted some photos of my RH table with three coats of the flat (see my previous post). You have a lovely table!

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    2 years ago

    why don't you try General Finishes Dead Flat top coat? I 've had friends of mine use that. it leaves a great protective finish w/no change in the wood. of course if you want a shinier finish, you could do that as well. GF is a great product and I've used it for years. Amazon.

  • Christine Smith
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    @Beth H thanks for the info. After doing lots of online research I still wasn't satisfied with all the knowledge I learned. I decided to just leave the table with stain only and use place mats when eating. YOLO! Fortunately my kids are all teenagers so I have less accidents, but they are all boys (Yikes). I figured if something happens, I can just sand it, and touch up with stain even though I have access to my own personal sandblaster. I waited 3 years for him to sandblast it, and it was a lot of work for me palm sanding it afterwards to get a smoother finish. I'm just too scared that after a few years of use it will once again have that tacky/sticky feeling when you wipe it down with a wet rag. Nothing I hate worse than your arm sticking to the table. Photos of the before and after.

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    2 years ago

    I have used pure tung oil. after repeated applications, it does harden, somewhat. you still have to be careful w/wet glasses. it will leave rings. It doesn't stay tacky if cured properly before use. I don't know about minwax. it has to be a pure tung oil, not a tung oil FINISH. lot's of chemicals in the finishes.

  • Christine Smith
    2 years ago

    @rkwrightj I am in the middle refinishing my rustic reclaimed wood farm table and had a follow up question on the Formbys Tongue Oil. Do you know how this has held up? My dad recommended Minwax Tongue Oil but it would take a few days to get, meanwhile my table is in my yard, and the Formbys is already in hand. Here's another question, my husband is a sandblaster, so I had him sandblast the table first, I have since sanded it to smooth out the rough finish. So my table has valleys and grooves (very rustic), have you used Formbys on a table with more gooves and valleys? Finding the right finish is stressing me out. I want something matte that holds up to stains and water rings, but I don't want it to eventually turn sticky when you clean it. Hence the reason I am refinishing it to begin with.

  • Kristin
    2 years ago

    I applied the finish to table top and legs. ☺️

  • debbieduke
    2 years ago

    Thanks jwsargent4. I plan on following your lead. I will only be doing the top. The table has arrived!!

  • Karen Lazar
    2 years ago
    Did you do just the table top or legs/base too?
  • Kristin
    2 years ago

    I applied three coats of the General Finishes HP flat using a new foam brush for each coat, sanding lightly (until smooth) between coats. Love the finish and it was really easy! Best of luck with your RH table

  • jwsargent4
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    The general finishes website has most of this info on it and is a great resource.

    First off, the HP Poly will add more protection that the Flat out Flat by itself. HP is an awesome product. I did a lot of research before choosing this particular clear coat.

    You can use one or the other or both. The HP Flat still has more of a sheen than the FOF. You can use the HP first for the better protection and then the FOF to dull down the finish, or only the FOF. I did 3 coats of the HP and then 2 Coats of the FOF on our salvaged grey oak table, and it looks AWESOME and I don't worry at all about spills. Some of the pics from my table are posted earlier in this forum.

    FYI, the more flattening agents added, the slightly less durable the finish is. So, a Satin HP is more durable that the Flat HP. If you are going to use the FOF on top to achieve the flattest finish anyway, then I would use the HP Satin first.

    I used a foam brush with excellent results with a VERY light sanding (just barely scuffing the surface) with a very fine sponge sanding pad to knock down barbs in between coats. I think it would be harder to get the clear coat into the cracks and uneven areas of the table with a roller.

  • debbieduke
    2 years ago

    I have the 17cc Priory rectangle table in weathered natural arriving tomorrow. I will be using the GF products to seal the table. Has anyone just used the flat out flat by itself or is it recommended to use the GF high performance poly coat first.? Did y'all sand between coats and as far as the foam brush did anyone use a foam roller or is the brush better.

  • Kristin
    2 years ago

    Thank you for all the super helpful posts! I have the Restoration Hardware Russian Oak Parsons table which I sanded down to the bare reclaimed wood and was looking for a clear, matte finish to protect it. Took one of the legs to a local paint store and applied samples of the General Finish Flat Out Flat, Flat, and Satin. "Flat" and "Flat Out Flat" were equally matte, but I chose "Flat" as it seemed to have the least effect in terms of changing the wood color (very minimal) and offered more protection than the "Flat Out Flat." I applied three coats to the table with ease, sanding with 400 grit sandpaper between coats and it's beautiful! :)

  • cbdewing
    3 years ago
    Does anyone have any long term followup in the general finishes treatment?
  • Lauren Cottrell
    3 years ago

    Hi jwsargent4. Thank you so much for your posts, they are so helpful! Just wanted to confirm how many coats of each product you had used: 3 coats of the General Finish High Performance Poly Flat and 2 coats of the General Finish Flat out Flat? Thanks!