Staining the Racetrack – Oval Poker Table

Posted on April 23, 2008 
Filed Under Poker Table Plans

If you are going to build the poker table as a weekend project I would definitely stain the racetrack on the first day/night. The Minwax stain suggests allowing at least 8 hours to dry.


First, you should sand down the birch racetrack until the surface is silky smooth. The sheets that I usually buy are pretty darn good and don’t require much sanding.














Next, you will want to clean up your shop or garage. Get rid of all that sawdust from earlier. If you don’t have a clean workspace, you’ll likely wake up to messy stain.


Use a paintbrush to apply the stain. Feel free to be very liberal with the stain, but make sure that you are applying it with the grain of the wood. Continue to go with the grain even on the turns. Always keep a wet edge and work your way around the entire surface. Be conscience of any area that may have a pool of stain sitting on it. We are looking for a very even coat. I used the Minwax Cherry color stain on this table and it looks great. After about 5 minutes take towel and wipe any excess off.


After the staining is complete let the racetrack sit overnight. I only used one coat and was very happy with the color.














At this point if you still have some energy, you can move onto page 18 while the racetrack and rail dry.
The next morning, if you have the stain color that you desire you will need to apply polyurethane to protect the wood and give it a nice finish. If not, re-stain and wait.


Again, make sure that you work area is free from dust before you begin. Use a brand new paintbrush that doesn’t shed. Use smooth strokes and spread the polyurethane evenly.


The polyurethane takes at least 4 hours to dry. You can put as many coats as you would like, but for this table I used 4 coats. Between coats you will want to VERY LIGHTLY sand the previous layer of poly. Use very fine sandpaper and use 1 or 2 VERY LIGHT strokes over the entire surface. Keep applying coats until you are happy with the finish.


Next: Covering the Rail



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