I just wiped a third coat on all the major subassemblies and parts of a
bed I have built and it will dry until tomorrow afternoon. Directions
on the can recommend 3 or 4 coats with sanding between coats optional.
I Used 0000 steel wool between wiped on coats. The steel wool seemed to
remove a good deal of the finish to me but it may just have been my
inexperience. After this third coat dried I was considering assembling
all the parts and gluing up and then waxing the whole shebang.
Patience is not one of my virtues. However, if additional application
will make a noticeable difference I will continue applying before
assembly (lots of slats involved so it's easier to do before final
assembly) It should not get a lot of wear. The bed is red oak with an
Olympic American Cherry stain used mainly to help even out the color
variations in the wood and did not darken it appreciably. I realize
how the bed looks is a personal preference and I woulde say it looks
okay if not spectacular, but was just wondering if additional coats
would make for a notably better finish. If additional coats are called
for should I continue to rub each coat out with steel wool? Also, is
the proper application method merely to wipe the Waterlox on or should
it be rubbed in hard by applying pressure during the process? Thanks
for all for the previous helpful info many of you have provided on
finishing. Mike in Arkansas
3 coats should be enough.
I never rub the finish in hard.
Steel wool between coats. Maybe some 600 grit after the first.
I'd say it's time to wax.
Just my opinion -- there's lots of folks that are lots better at
finishing than me, also an impatient type.
"Sanding between coats" means taking our hand, lightly laying it on
the 320 or 400 grit paper, and making a couple passes. We're supposed
to be denibbing here, Mikey, not removing wood and finish. Did the
steel wool remove any of the stain? If so, start over.
I hope you've taped and masked off any parts which will receive glue.
If not, you're SOL.
Is the finish smooth and even in gloss? If so, you have enough finish
now. If not, add another coat. Wiping coats are very thin, about half
or 1/3 that of a brushed coat. If you are deglossing, go ahead and try
the process below.
No, but if you want to degloss the final finish, use 0000 steel wool
with paste wax and lightly rub it out. Again, you're trying not to
remove finish here. Wait 15 minutes and buff the dried wax off with a
soft cloth. Do one more coat with a soft cloth instead of the wool,
wait 15, and buff. You're done! I wait a few days after the last coat
of Waterlox before waxing so I'm sure it has hardened and cured well.
Waterlox is an oil finish which soaks into bare wood. Once if fills
the pores and soaks into the outer surface, the varnish and tung oil
in it starts building up as a coating. Easy rubbing is all that's
necessary both for application and rubbing out.
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Never Enough and Larry, thanks for the feedback. It's very comforting
getting info from people with experience. Kind of isolated here and
this group is a great asset. I did mask the few remaining areas to
receive glue so though I am probably SOL it's not because of that :) I
think I'll assemble then apply one more coat of Waterlox. Wax after
that with maybe a little black artist color in the wax to enhance the
grain a bit. Thanks again Mike in Arkansas
Try shoe polish, rather than artist color, to darken the wax. Saw that in
a FWW article from about 5 years ago...
Or spend $15 for a pound of tinted Briwax that will take you three
generations to go through.
another Waterlox fan
When I recently used Waterlox original, it seemed to me that it was taking
quite a few coats of finish to get much of a build ... and up until about
the third coat it was looking visibly nonuniform. I was applying the coats
on a series of five game boxes I made out of combinations of curly maple,
cherry, walnut, and mahogany.
I brushed it on heavy for the first coat, let it soak a bit, and then wiped
off the excess. Subsequent coats were usually wiped on thinly, preceded
with a light buff (like 400 grit or fine synthetic pad, I don't use steel
I don't pretend to be a pro, but that's how it worked for me anyway.
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