best finish with polyurethane

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I'm painting a Formica table top with Ronseal ultra tough polyurethane with the *matt* finish . I'm using an old, but best quality bristle brush.
I'm not the very worse at wielding a paint brush, but it's surprising to me how many brush marks are still remaining, especially since it's a matt finish.
Would I be better using one of the Chinese brushes (with artificial bristles or the 'natural' very *thin* bristles)? I normally avoid them, since the ones I've used before have shed a lot of the bristles whilst using them.
Would I get any better looking results by using a paint pad? If so what one is best to get please? Also would a sponge roller or hairy cloth type roller be a better way to go? Thanks for any advice.
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use aerosols? Jim K
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Jim K wrote:

use foam brushes. works good and they are cheap
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I use the purdy china bristle brushes with good results when using poly. A pad works well too. . Your choice. I wouldn't put anything over formica... The plastic laminate doesn't take to many finishes. The bond needs to be chemical, not mechanical.
On 8/14/2010 8:32 AM, john hamilton wrote:

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On Sat, 14 Aug 2010 13:32:36 +0100, "john hamilton"

I'd try to thin with mineral spirits. And brush onto a test piece first. Most varnishes, poly or alkyd, need thinning out of the can.
The matte finish means there is an additive that reduces the sheen. It is generally a very fine silica (think very fine sand). That's why you have to stir the satin or matte poly before applying, because the silica will settle to the bottom of the can. The matte effect happens when the fine particles at the surface of the poly scatter light bouncing off it.
In short, that matte finish won't affect the brush marks one way or the other.

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On 14/08/2010 17:48, Jim Weisgram wrote: On 14/08/2010 17:48, Jim Weisgram wrote:

I apply it very sparingly with a rag. You can do several thin coats in succession that way without waiting for the previous one to dry
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Are you rubbing it down between coats? You can also flat off the final coat with 120 grit paper.
Cheers Richard
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*snip*

I've gotten good results with using paint pads. I cut up old shorts and folded the pieces over to make the pads.
I've only tried this with the gloss poly, so as always test on scrap first and see how you like the results.
Puckdropper
--
Never teach your apprentice everything you know.

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On 15/08/2010 00:22, Puckdropper wrote:

Then you are well on the way to reinventing the french polish "rubber" :-), which IME is the only way to get a really smooth finish on anything. Traditionally used for shellac based finishes, but works well with paint and varnish too.

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Perhaps not, paint pads are not like pads for applying shellac or rubbing out a finish. Paint pads typically hold and release a lot of paint.
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john hamilton wrote:

Faced with the situation you have, I would not apply any varnish to the surface. (I have to say that I would not have done what you did.)
My thoughts would be to apply either furniture or car polish and re apply as necessary. I cannot believe that any varnish will "grab hold" to the Formica for more than a short while.
I could be mistaken and am willing to learn!
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On 15/08/2010 00:39, Clot wrote:

And yet paint sticks to glass. If anything, more reliably than it does to wood

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And as formica is basically varnish and paper, one would have thought them to be fairly compatible.
S

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Try thinning out the stuff with a little Japan Oil. Works good on a flat surface, to make it flow out any brush marks. Either that, or a little thinner, but you will have to wait for it to set longer.
--
Jim in NC



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wrote

That's the idea: brush marks implies it is drying before it gets the chance to flow out. On a hot day you may need quite a lot of thinner.
S
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"Japan Oil" ? - Mr Google's not helping me on this. I've been a long time in DIY and I've never heard of it. Can you give a bit more info please.
Rob
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wrote

I wonder if he meant Japan Drier? Grumbacher Japan Drier An oil painting medium that speeds drying, improves flow, and increases gloss. Add directly to color in small amounts. Color should not be thinned beyond a soft free brushing consistency. Adding too much Japan drier to your oils can cause them to crack as they dry! More Info
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Yep.
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Artificial brushes are useless. Like nylon sheets they are nasty slippery things that give little control.
I solved the varnish/laquer problem when I saw a frighteningly cheap set of flat 'sable' (very fine hair) brushes in the Works cheapo book and stationery shop. For a couple of quid you get several decent widths, and with the modern varnishes they wash out in water too. Some of them have the odd loose hair, but I've achieved very good brushmark free finishes with them, and compared with 'the proper' brushes, they are almost cost free.
S
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I wanna' make sure I read this right; these sable brushes will clean up with water, when using spirits based (non water based) finishes?
Really?
I gotta' find out what finishes will qualify for this ability, and what these brushes are, if that is indeed the case.
More information, please?
--
Jim in NC



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