My Poly Freaken Pealed Off!!

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I made a maple table a while back and I finished it with Trans Tint dye stain (liquid water based). I diluted the dye with isopropyl alcohol per the instructions on the container. I applied the stain with a rag and let dry about 30 minutes or so. I next applied my polyurethane sealer coat (50:50 poly:mineral spirits) followed by several more coats with 24 hours in between coats.
The finish has cured for 3 weeks now and the table was being used. I noticed a small discoloration in the center of the table tonight which I thought was dried milk. (my son who is 1.5 years old had his milk cup on it earlier today) I scratched what I thought was milk with my finger nail from the surface of the table, but it wasn't dried milk. The discoloration was actually a section of poly that had lifted from the surface of the table. When I scratched it with my finger nail, it spread into a MUCH larger area. I cant tell for sure but I think it went down to bare wood (not just an outer layer pealing off).
I need to resand the entire top and restain. And refinish with poly. What a big f---en pain in the a--.
Why did this happen? I think it may have to do with not letting the stain dry (alcohol) enough before applying the poly, but I'm not sure. You can put an oil based poly over a water based stain, right?
I think I have had it with poly. I am either thinking about giving the poly (minwax) one more try or I am gonna apply lacquer (Deft brush on) on the top.
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I don't think a water stain under poly should make any difference so long as it is absolutely dry. the alcohol should quicken drying but I think you should leave it at last overnight in a dry warm environment.
Read the instructions on the dye you are using to make sure even when dry that there is nothing in the colorant that could react with the finish.....mjh
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"stoutman" <.@.> wrote in message news:N7HUb.183466$Rc4.1373109@attbi_s54...
> I made a maple table a while back and I finished it with Trans Tint dye
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Mike Hide wrote:

I agree, 30 minutes is way too short of time. I've put lots of poly (oil and WB) over water soluble dyes without events, but I've always allowed a day or two to dry.
-Bruce
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One thing I should add, first of all in most cases water based stains are supposidly the best because they penetrate deeper. On the other hand they invariably raise the grain which is a pain in the a..... There are two solutions use a good non grain raising [NGR] stain or secondly raise the grain before staining . To do the latter after final sanding [incidentally I have been finishing for over 30 years and have never had any problem with sterated papers] wet the surface with a dilute glue water solution ,let dry and resand . I used to do this three times , the glue part when it dries will generall hold the "whiskers" out so they sand off easier. If you do this then it should almost eliminate the need to sand the finishing coat bar the need togive the susequent coat a "key" and to eliminate any knobs that got into the existing finish coat while it was still wet.
One you move to stains other than water based [NGR] try and get one that has no pigment , that just colors the wood. then the grain will really "pop" as there is now nothing to obscure it .....mjh
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"Mike Hide" < snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net> wrote in message
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Or try 'compatible' materials.
'Water spray, dry, & sand' process to raise & remove 'fuzz' - - 'Water Based' die defused in water - - 24-hour dry 'Water Based' poly - - one coat - - let dry at least 2-3 hours - - lightly sand to remove any remaining 'fuzz' and give 'tooth' for next coat 'Water Based' poly - - as many coats as you like{for me, this is typically 6}, 24-hours apart, lightly sanding with finer & finer grits between. This gives a very hard, abrasion resistant finish for anything that will be a 'working' surface. {as opposed to purely decorative}
Regards & Good Luck, Ron Magen Backyard Boatshop

in
SNIP
The discoloration wasactually a section of poly that had lifted from the surface of the table.

area.
What
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Well, I can think of several possible reasons for the failure, but, with your vast year and a half of experience I'm sure you know them all.
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Ah come on Mike. Are you still mad at me? Ok, everything you said was right and I apologize. Can we be friends?
I am still a little confused though about your 3D grain, but like you said, I only have 1.5 years experience. Maybe in a few years my grain will appear 3-D. Can you offer any advise on this matter? Do you give seminars on finishing?
:)

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let
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on
table.
can
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First thing to do is to take a look at the packages of your sandpaper.and check to see if it says stearted or some derivitated there of anywhere on it.
Steartes on the sandpaper or in sanding sealrs are metallic soaps added to make sanding easier by acting as a lubricant to keep the paper from clogging.
The down side is that it can give you adhesion problems. In general sanding sealer and stearated sandpaper are best avoided. If the sandpaper getting gummed up is a problem it's better to use and open coat paper or more sandpaper..
It isn't absoutly necessary to sand a varnish if you are recoating in less then 24 hours but it doesn't hurt. After 24 hours it is necessary to provide some tooth so the next coat of varnish can mechanically bond to the previous coat. Unlike shellac and lacquer varnish doesn't bun in to previous coats.
However long you waited between coats I'll assume you sanded then wiped down the surface. What did you use to wipe down after sanding? That would be another place to look for this type of problem. My preference is to vac the surface rather then taking a chance on leaving any residuales on it. I'd have to also ask to what grit you sanded between coats. Hopefull not a real high grit. 220 is usually sufficiant, get much higher then that and you aren't leaving a lot of tooth. Think sanding maple to, say, 600 grit and trying to stain it with a pigment stain. It's be like trying to stain steel. There are insufficient places for the pigment to gather and get bonded.l
Temperature and thickness of coats can have a lot to do on the curing of a finish. The principal ingrediant of an oil varnish is tung oil (hopefully). The thicker the coat/coats the longer it takes to cure properly. Bury a thick coat under three or four more thick coats and your grandkids may be waiting for the finish to completly cure.The same if the temperature is too low. My opinion, thin coats are better and I'll generally leave the shop thermostat turned up overnight if I am waiting on an oil to cure.
As a side note, I've heard it said that some of the "Old Masters" paintings still haven't dried completly
There is a start anyway. The solution may not be there but it is my list of "The usual suspects".
As to the 3D effect. Possibly I caused some confusion. The term most heard here on the rec is poping the grain. If you happen to have some nicely figured wood scrap around give it a coat of tung oil, let it dry, spring for a spray can of lacqer and apply four or five coats then rub it out, removing the surface gloss, (couldn't help myself there) and get a deep sheen. After it has been rubbed out hold it up and move it around under a glancing light. Do it right and the grain of the wood will actually look like it has a depth of it's own ie 3D.
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how come all those new cool yellow norton papers are stearated? they are expressly marked for sanding between coats for WW projects. Norton isn't exactly a minor player in the sandpaper business.
Here's what the "3X" package says:
The best choice for sanding between coasts of finish Superior performance for a premium surface finish Won't clog, tear or transfer color
Maybe you should call them up and ask them politely if they know what they are doing.
dave
Mike G wrote:

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Between "COASTS" !!! so whats that all about ??? mjh
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"Bay Area Dave" < snipped-for-privacy@nospam.com> wrote in message
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added that one to the keepers file,
thanks mike
KY
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"Mike G" < snipped-for-privacy@heirloom-woods.net> wrote in message
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Interesting... but Varnish is a generic term. Shellac and lacquer can be considered varnishes. That said, there are varnishes that are not shellac or lacquer that do indeed burn in and or meld into the previous coat of varnish. Take Bartley's Gel Varnish for instance. Several days after aplication you can spot apply more of that gel varnish to a rough spot and smooth it over with a rag or simply add another coat.
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>Interesting... but Varnish is a generic term. Shellac and lacquer can be

I'm not sure where you came up with that but the only part I can agree with is that varnish is a generic term in that any finish made up of a curing oil, resins and a carrier/thinner can be considered a varnish. And, of course, neither shellac or lacquer meets that criteria.
Further varnish is a reactive curing finish and both shellac and lacquer cure through evaporation of their thinner/solvent.
Finally, both shellac and lacquer, when cured, have solvents which also acts as their thinner, alcohol and lacquer thinner respectively. Cured varnish has no solvents. The thinner, usually mineral spirits, has no dissolving effect on cured varnish.nor does alcohol or lacquer thinner.
So, I'm sure you can see why I more then a little problem with your statement and can not see where the properties of shellac and alcohol fit in under the generic term of varnish.
As for the gel varnish example, well, it's meaningless and proves nothing. You can build up any spots in any surface finish by applying more. That does not mean it is melding with the previous coat, which it isn't in the example you give to justify the statement that shellac and lacquer falls under the term varnish.
Gel varnish fills the hole better and faster because it has less shrinkage then what you would get trying to do it with a liquid varnish but that doesn't mean it is burning into the previous coats. The same effect can be achieved with a liquid varnish by forming a dam of some sort, modeling clay works well, around the spot and pouring in liquid varnish then waiting, usually for several days, for it to cure. Neither of these procedures, gel or liquid, requires burn in and the physical properties of varnish, no solvent, prevents it.
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be
with
acts
in
Actualluy a varnish is, A paint containing a solvent and an oxidizing or evaporating binder, used to coat a surface with a hard, glossy, transparent film. The type of parts used in the mix need not be any specific one except to perform a specific function.
Additionally, Shellac is defined as 1. A purified lac in the form of thin yellow or orange flakes, often bleached white and widely used in varnishes, paints, inks, sealants, and formerly in phonograph records. 2. A thin varnish made by dissolving this substance in denatured alcohol, used to finish wood.a thin varnish made by dissolving this substance in denatured alcohol, used to finish wood.

The proof is how I repair or remove thick spots that I over looked. No actually the rough spot softens and can be rubbed off with a single rag stroke or scraped off with your finger nail if the fresh gel is left to set a bit on top of the problem area.

Again, if for example and specifically concerning Bartley's gel varnish if you leave a finger print on the first coat and let it dry for a day ot two you can reapply more gel varnish to that spot and that spot will soften and can esaily be rubbed away. Rub enough times with a fresh spot on the rag and you can almost get back down to bare wood. Additionally Bartley's Gel Varnish specifically indicates no need or not to sand between coats.
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Since there are definitive physical characteristics that have to be considered when choosing between shellac, lacquer, and varnish as an appropriate finish I continue to find your arguments somewhat less then compelling, but if you want to call every common film finish varnish it's fine by me. Due to arcane naming a case may even be made for doing so but that hasn't been the relevant since the turn of the last century..
Personally I would prefer that when I say I varnished, lacquered, or shellacked something, the person I am talking to too knows what finish I am referring to plus the make up, physical characteristics, and plusses and minuses of that finish.
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I will not disagree with you here. I was simply stating that lacquers and shellacs are varnishes. Further, the Bareleys Oil Varnish need not be sanded between coats and that it will indeed soften the previous layer with reaplication long after 24 hours.

am
Generally speaking most people probably do "not" think of a varnish as being a shellac or lacquer and probably follow your thinking. Up until about 6 years ago I went with that way of thinking. My brother in-law, an artist who does mix his own paints pointed out the error in my thinking. When I first called you on your comments you seemed to be quite specific about the properties and characteristics of varnishes. I was merely pointing out that there were exceptions to what you were indicating. Since I use the Bartley products that do indeed work in some ways contrary to what you were indicating, no need to sand between coats, I thought I would point this out. Bartley's is commonly found in most better ww stores. For grins, you should pick up a small can of the Bartley Gel Varnish and experiment with it. Just something to try out FYI. I think you will find that it works a bit differently that the finishes that you categorize as varnishes. I don't in any way suggest that you switch to this product unless you want, I am sure that you are getting the results that you are looking for now.
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Fair enough Leon, we don't agree.
As for the gel varnish, not having used it nor done any real research into the type of product, I'll be happy too take your word that it is a different animal from my definition of varnish..
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Mike G wrote:

Just out of boredom, I piddled around. A dictionary definition from the turn of the last century (1913) was pretty clear on the point that a varnish is "resinous matter in an oil or a volatile liquid" and that it "soon dries, either by evaporation or chemical action."
I consulted a dictionary from 2002 or thereabouts, and the largest difference between the two was in the etymology of the word. The 1913 definition showed the term "varnish" having come from Latin words related to glass:
[OE. vernish, F. vernis, LL. vernicium; akin to F. vernir to varnish, fr. (assumed) LL. vitrinire to glaze, from LL. vitrinus glassy, fr. L. vitrum glass. See Vitreous.]
The newer definition shows it coming from Midieval Latin /veronix/, "sandarac resin," from Midieval Greek /verenike/, from Greek /Berenike/, which was an "ancient city of Cyrenaica."
Interesting.
Either way, it's pretty clear that all shiny, glassy looking coatings could be called "varnish" by speakers of the American dialect of the English language all the way up until 2002. I don't think you have a leg to stand on with respect to the distinction you're trying to make. Perhaps it would be less ambiguous to use the term "spirit varnish" to refer to varnishes that are neither lacquer nor shellac.
Hey, not that I really care. I'm just a bored language weenie, so don't get bent out of shape over this.
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On Sun, 08 Feb 2004 02:09:24 -0500, Silvan

But "spirit" originally referred to alcohol and only later got applied to other brain-cell destroying volatile liquids. So shellac would be a spirit varnish. Despite the dictionary definitions, I go for Mike's definition where varnish is a combo of various oils, solvents and resins. IIRC, Flexner also uses the word varnish this way, and Flexner is inerrant holy scripture.
Just checked my "Woodworker's dictionary" by Vic Taylor:
Varnishes: There are two principal types of varnish, namely spirit varnish, and oil varnish. Spirit varnishes are usually made from shellac dissolved in spirit . . . Old-style oil varnishes were a solution of natural resins in a drying oil . . . Modern oil varnishes are usually compounded from tung and/or linseed oil, and alkyd or phenolic resins . . .
But that's a Brit definition.

Me too, except for the bored part.
Luigi Note the new email address. Please adjust your krillfiles (tmAD) accordingly Replace "nonet" with "yukonomics" for real email address
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Luigi Zanasi wrote:

Yeah, you're right about that for sure. Spirit = booze. Where on earth did that come from anyway, etymologically?
As for the rest, I'll just shut up about it and go blather somewhere else. :)
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