coatings for large projects


I am laying out a long project to do (and hopefully it will only take a short summer to finish it). It will be a 6' tall TV center, with raised panel cabinets and all that (lots of open wood surfaces, both inside and out). I will use WATCO Oak finish (prefer Natural but so many oaks in the living room is already stained with Oak finishes, so makes senses to follow the surroundings, right?). Now, I like to final coat it (is that called "clear coating"?). What should I use?
Wax? Polyurethane? Lacquer? Spar? Shellac?
Semi-gloss?
Now, the main question, should I use a spray gun for final clear coating? Or use a can spray (like Minwax)? I have air compressor, so...
I never used final coatings, only used WATCO oil and wax, by hand/cloth. Appreciate suggestions. I have kids. This project is going to be something I would actually show off my work (being obvious in open space, like a living room where everyone will see it, instead of small tables thats easily overlooked).
Chuck
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

With what you know, and what you've done, and what you're trying to accomplish, I suggest you find a source for Waterlox. www.waterlox.com You'll get the results you seek, without having to deal with new equipment or techniques.
And it cures more quickly to recoat than WATCO oils, too.
Patriarch
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Just that, one thing does the "oak finish" and seal?
http://www.waterlox.com/product.cfm?productid=5
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yes. It has a much higher solids (resins) content than WATCO, and it's dead easy to use.
Patriarch
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 29 Mar 2005 22:12:51 -0000, the inscrutable CNT

No, it's not quite as amber as Watco Golden Oak, but it looks great. Try a single coat of Watco and finish up with Waterlox.
---------------------------------------------------- Thesaurus: Ancient reptile with excellent vocabulary http://diversify.com Dynamic Website Applications ===================================================
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Not sure what will the outcome be (never tried it). I just want to make this TV center close to all other regular oak finishes furniture. A lot of them are "smooth" feel, yet little grooves by the pores. I don't want to make the TV center shining gloss, extra smooth. Just to blend with other oaks in the living room.
When you say try Watco first then finish with Waterlox, you mean that extra link below or there's a clear coating?
No body mention if I should use spray? It is going to be huge work by hand, but I still can do it if necessary.
Chuck

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 30 Mar 2005 20:40:19 -0000, the inscrutable CNT

No, I meant put a first coat or two of Watco to get the darker amber color, then let it dry. Now wipe on several coats of Waterlox Original.

I tried brushing Waterlox once and went back to wiping. With Watco, you wipe on and off. With Waterlox, you wipe on and let dry (MUCH easier to use; much quicker to build a film finish.)
---------------------------------------------------- Thesaurus: Ancient reptile with excellent vocabulary http://diversify.com Dynamic Website Applications ===================================================
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Forgot to mention that I have the book:
Understanding Wood Finishing: How to Select and Apply the Right Finish by Bob Flexner... it's somewhere since it's been a while I reviewed it.
Chuck
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You can get a great clear finish with Bartleys Gel Varnish. SemiGloss. Or you can also get a great finish using a good FOAM brush and General Finishes Arm-R-Seal.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
CNT says...

My vote would be if you are set on using the Watco to just thin down some varnish and wipe on 2 or three coats. A tung oil varnish would be good. You can get Formby's at Wally-World or Waterlox at a real woodworking store. Remove the high gloss and dust nibs with a light sanding with 320 and finish with synthetic steel wool.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I see this type of advice given here frequently and it causes me to ask - why do you guys use such a coarse sandpaper to knock down dust nibs? Is it just something that sort of just gets repeated a lot and becomes something of a generally accepted suggestion? I ask because (especially for higher gloss finishes) a 1000-1500 grit paper will work very well for knocking down dust nibs and flattening out finishes, and has the added advantage of far less sanding marks to deal with in subsequent steps. 320 as a finishing grit is very aggressive. It is a grit that would normally be used prior to any finishing work even beginning - to prep the surface. Where high gloss is not desired, 1000-1500 would still be an appropriate and perhaps even a more appropriate grit to use. Again - far fewer scratches to deal with. There will be a very noticable difference to the touch between a surface knocked down with 320 and steel wool versus one knocked down with a less aggressive grit. So, the question is... how come?
--

-Mike-
snipped-for-privacy@alltel.net
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Mike Marlow says...

I use 320 wet/dry with mineral spirits as a lubricant. The dust nibs with varnish are pretty substantial and the paper clogs fast. So after cleaning off the paper once or twice, it loses a lot of its aggressiveness. In my experience in trying to get a thicker film 400 quickly becomes useless. But in any case, notice I did say to sand lightly. Plus, with varnish you want to level the surface a little, which shouldn't be much of a problem if it was thinned to wipe on consistency, but it still may not be perfect. If dust nibs are really the only problem, then you may be able to use just about anything 320 or above with lubricant and get the results you want, but 320 is cheap and common and the sandpaper is only for taking down the worst of the high spots. If I'm going to follow up with steel wool, I don't see the point of super fine sandpaper. It's the job of the steel wool to finish it off. I don't go beyond 220 for the final sanding on the wood if I am going to use a film finish. Flexner says 180 is usually good enough. You would want a better surface with an oil finish, but I like the protection of a film finish.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.