Glossy Finish for an MDF and Wood Veneer Table

      Finishers recommend a two-part polyurethane, available as tinted or clear. February 21, 2011

I am finishing an MDF coffee table with the center portion being a shop made walnut veneer. The whole table needs to be highly polished or piano finish and the MDF will need to be black. I am looking for the most durable finish that will give the best polishing properties and coloration. It looks like nitrocellulose lacquer is my best option at this point. If I use pigmented nitrocellulose lacquer on the MDF portion, do I topcoat with non-pigmented nitrocellulose lacquer or some other product?

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor F:
Nitrocellulose isnít very durable. Look at a 2k poly.

From contributor R:
Iím not sure how you determined that the Nitro was your best option, but you might consider the durability of a Nitro coating being used on a table. I like Contributor F's suggestion on the 2K-Polys. There are many benefits to this coating - way too many to list. If you have the time check out the "Knowledge Base" you might be pleasantly surprised in your findings. An auto coating will also buff out to a high gloss too.

From contributor P:
The high gloss look you are looking for is easily achieved with 2K Urethane and can be done in many less steps than a nitrocellulose product. The 2K's will be much more scratch and chemical resistant as well. My experience has been pretty good with Lorchem. You might want to call them and see if they have a distributor in your area.

From the original questioner:
If I use a clear 2k poly to topcoat, what should I use to paint the MDF? Can 2k poly also be pigmented as a color coat, then a clear coat of 2k over the top? It is important that I get a true black finish on the MDF parts?

From contributor O:
Yes they have pigmented 2k poly's and they are great. I use them all the time. I am preferential to Sayerlack, and you can get them through SW chemical coatings.

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