Yesterday, after the mineral spirits dried, we brought the table top back inside of our house for the finishing steps. It's getting cold here and I was afraid the finish wouldn't dry. And it's a lot more comfortable working inside right now!
Here are today's photos and comments:
The top stayed inside overnight and this is what it looked like this morning:
Here is a closeup of one of the corners. I looked at the surface and noticed that the color was uneven-you can easily see the blotchiness and it appeared to me to look a little too beat up. So I decided to apply a pine stain over the top to even this out. To begin this process I applied a wood sealer to the surface and let it dry, which took about 50 minutes. After it dried I noticed the color had evened out and a lot of the blotching became invisible. So at the last minute I changed my mind and decided to apply the polyurethane to the surface:
This is the top after after I applied the polyurethane:
And this is the same corner in the photo above. I think it looks better and it didn't remove the "worn" appearance of the surface. I'm going to let this dry and this evening I'll apply a second coat of polyurethane and then the top will be finished: