Staining a desk table top

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Sand all of the finish off with a coarse grit, use progressively finer sandpaper to smooth it out, stain, and apply several coats of polyurethane with very light sanding in between.
 
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Bamboo can be difficult to stain. There are a number of articles that discuss the correct preparation and steps required-they are indeed different and more involved than just sand/stain/coat. Bamboo has a high silica content that causes issues with bonding and absorption of stain. It's one of the reasons why it's rare to see bamboo with anything other than a natural color.
 
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Originally Posted By: Pop_Rivit
Bamboo can be difficult to stain. There are a number of articles that discuss the correct preparation and steps required-they are indeed different and more involved than just sand/stain/coat. Bamboo has a high silica content that causes issues with bonding and absorption of stain. It's one of the reasons why it's rare to see bamboo with anything other than a natural color.
+1
 
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I believe Bamboo is steamed to darken it, not stained. Walnut is done the same way. Bamboo will be hard to get a good darkening by staining and you won't be able to steam it yourself (and have the top not warp). Polyshades is an option. If you are going that route you might just scuff up the existing finish (200 grit paper) and apply the poly. Polyshades is not transparent, you will lose some wood look. A better option would be to get an unfinished maple tabletop. You could order that from a home improvement store, or lumber liquidators. That's a more durable and easier to finish option. I would dye maple to whatever color you want, it stains well but is difficult to get dark with a product like minwax.
 

aa1986

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Polyshades says it can be used over polyurethane. Is polyurethane the same as clear acrylic lacquer?
 
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Yes and no. Definitely sand out the acrylic lacquer with 220~ish grit sandpaper to give the poly something to key to. Polyshades is an acrylic with some polyurethane in it for abrasion resistance, the finishes are actually not very far off. I'd guess the factory "lacquer" was a waterborne acrylic resin not much different than a waterbased polyurethane you could buy from Minwax, though I think the polyshades are all oil based? I'm not sure on that.
 
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