Waterlox OK on its own?

I bought a can of Waterlox original recently and have using it to add yet another exhibit to the Guarino Museum of Test Scraps.
I was pretty casual about it. 2 coats wiped on (on successive nights) with a paper towel, no abrading in-between. I scuffed that up a tad with some scotch brite and added one more wiped-on coat. After a day or so I rubbed that down with a piece of a Trader Joe's bag (thanks, rec.woodworking) and voila! A pretty nice result.
So, if this were a real project, would I be done? Oh, I'd probably find something better than a paper towel to use, and I might be pickier about what I used to dull it down before the final coat, but the results of even this half-assed attempt are pretty pleasing. My "real" project is a pair of panel doors to go on the cabinets under a desk. It won't be a greasy, high-maintenance area like a kitchen.
I like what I've got so far. It was simple, which really appeals to me, and it doesn't look like I'm seeing "finish" rather than wood, which is usually the result of my Poly attempts. But how's the durability? Do I need (or might I like) to do something further? Wax, maybe?
As always, when considering your reply, it's safe to assume ignorance on my part. :)
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wrote:

Nononononononononooooo! Use cut up pieces of old socks, shirt, or undies. Cotton, mon.

Why are you scuffing in between coats? Either lightly use a cabinet scraper to take off any nibs, or use a sheet of 320/400 grit for that. Scotchbrite will scratch it.

I usually do at least 5 coats when I wipe on Waterlox.

For a table top which gets daily heavy use, it might need a fresh coat yearly. For a lamp, it should be good for a couple decades. If the panel doors don't get a lot of kicks and nicks, they should last a decade before needing a touchup.
The tung oil portion of Waterlox is not as tough as poly, but the phenolic resin portion is, and Waterlox sure looks/feels better. Waterlox is extremely easy to refinish when you do need to touch up some areas. In fact, if you wipe on, you can also wipe on scratch repairs in a matter of minutes. EASY is only if you -don't- do something stupid, like stain the wood before finishing it. ;)
If you wax it, which is unnecessary, use 0000 steel wool and Johnson's paste wax. It's great.

Paper towel? Yeah, hard to miss. <tsk tsk tsk>
-- Happiness is not a station you arrive at, but a manner of traveling. -- Margaret Lee Runbeck
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On 11/25/2011 10:03 PM, Larry Jaques wrote:

That was my intention for the actual project. Paper towels were what was at arms reach. It didn't seem to hurt it too much though.

OK. After 2 coats I thought it was heading in the direction of glossier than I would like. If I do five coats, as you suggest, what method should I use (and when) to get a more "satin" look? The sheen I got with my improvised method is about what I would like.

Next test coat today, then.

The first few years (teenager in the house) will likely be the toughest. Maybe I'll keep a can right in the cabinet. :)

I have been musing on that very topic. I haven't done that many projects, and don't usually use stain. I do wonder if the birch ply I used for the panels is a little too light colored.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/gdguarino/6402573917/in/set-72157627751790027/lightbox /
The under-desk cabinets that the doors will go on were made with Birch (many years ago), but seem to be a tad darker. I think in the end I will live with the color the way it is, if only for simplicity. But what options are there, other than the dreaded "stain"?

I have some, and have used (my own bumbling variation on) that method once before.

That much I knew already. I made that test piece on successive evenings after work, shimmying past the car in my garage to get to it. No sense moving the car for five minutes.

Nice quote by the way. I've always felt that way about travel itself. "On the way" is usually as interesting as the destination, if you keep your eyes (and ears, and mind) open.
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wrote:

The project must have been sanded to within a micron of its life.

Did you buy -satin- Waterlox? If so, you're done. ;) If not, you will find nirvana after J-waxing it using a piece of 0000 steel wool. Go in small, concentric circles all over the piece so the deglossing is even. If you haven't entirely filled the pores in holey woods like oak, you should use one of the professional Briwaxes of the right color. Then clean 'em out with a toothbrush. I flame-bend my old toothbrushes with a Bic lighter so they don't look like usable models. These are used after waxing the truck or furniture. The bristles won't scratch the finishes, but they will get into small crevices and remove white paste residues.

Well, wipe-on finishes are very thin. They -will- properly seal the wood with two coats. Anything after that is either for longevity of finish or to build depth you can see. Different woods and different uses require different depths, so use your own judgement. Two or ten hand-rubbed coats of Waterlox will still have the same good "hand" when you touch it. That's one of my main loves. It will start to feel like regular varnish if you brush coats on, but I hardly ever do.

Remember to use Bloxygen or other inert gas on top of the Waterlox in the can or it will gel and harden in the first few months of storage. Propane, argon (from a welder), bloxygen, nitrogen, whatever.

One of the things I like about Waterlox is that it's an oil and resin, both of which will impart an amber tone to the wood beneath.

Most woods (and many finishes) darken with age.

What's this crap? A vehicle in a shop? Get the darned thing out of there immediately, Greg. The moisture will ruin your wood and rust all your tools. Put up a tarp to cover the silly car, eh? ;)

Oh, yeah! The first time I go somewhere by car, I take the camera and do frequent stops to record some of the beautiful stuff I see. Those pics remind me to stop there on other trips to spend a decompression day, if it has been a hectic few months.
-- Progress is the product of human agency. Things get better because we make them better. Things go wrong when we get too comfortable, when we fail to take risks or seize opportunities. -- Susan Rice
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