I am looking for a clear finish that will give the surface a "wet
look". I am taking a project I am doing in MDF and using automotive
sealer/resurfacers and fillers to get a glass smooth surface that I
paint with a black lacquer. The surface is perfect, but does not have
the "wet look" I am looking for. I think I can get that with an
automotive DAU75 clear urethane, but that stuff is about $45/qt with
another $35 for catalyst. Is there a cheaper solution that anyone has
I have tried the epoxy that Home Depot sells for things like bar
tops. That does the trick, but it is hard to control and tends to run
down vertical sides without a lot of attention.
That would be my recommendation. You will get the ultra high gloss for
the clear look from buffing, not just from the way it lays on. Poly
won't buff out well but lacquer will. Go to a music store and look at
some high end guitars. They are usually nitro lacquer and some of them
look like they're still dripping.
"We need to make a sacrifice to the gods, find me a young virgin... oh, and
bring something to kill"
I still build the odd custom loudspeaker system. When I do, I go after
a 'piano' finish.
I sell two blacks: piano- and camera black. (Also 330.000 other
Both are the same product. Sikkens AutoClear. Piano is without a
squirt of MattingClear.. Stupid money for the material, I know, but
the only sure-fire way to get the 'wet' look with high build and
durability. It is a pain to work with and safety is an issue. However,
it sprays beautifully and lays down like glass.
When you get to the final stages, you have no way of telling whether
it is still wet or if it has dried. It is cheaper to buy the right
product than to rub your fingers to the bone.
I rent a spraybooth when I do this. And clean your equipment
afterwards...with THEIR cleaner as the last step.
I have been at this since 1976, always searching for a better way to
get that mirror/wet look. The only switch I made was from DuPont's
Imron to Sikkens products.
Oh...before I forget... as a finish for a cocktail table or bar top...
NO liquid will leave a mark.
Well, if it's better than Imron then it's darned near indestructible.
He said it was "Sikkens Autoclear" which is an automotive clearcoat.
That means that it should stand up to being run through a carwash a
few hundred times without any ill effects.
"NO liquid" is probably a bit strong, but nothing that I would want to
drink should leave a mark.
Liquids, hot or cold, which you can handle like a normal drink, stuff
you'd actually put to your lips. Nope, won't hurt it. Alcoholic
beverages won't touch it either. Not even the most vile liquid of all,
Old Milwaukee, will leave a mark. *ducking*
I'm glad you asked for clarification. There are a couple of members
who will cite some obscure paragraph PROVING that Sulphuric acid at
1100 dC WILL leave a mark.
In one test, we actually used an off-the-shelf paint remover. Circa
1792(IIRC?) was the brand. Just dulled the shine a bit, quickly
polished right back up with some compound. I am told that the
automotive boys now have paint removers which will touch it. Maybe
someone here can shed some light on that.
So, day-to-day normal use will keep that top looking new. Even a well
attended commercial bar (on solid oak, 5 coats) has no stains on it.
At the waiter's station, there is some wear from the aluminum trays,
but after 5 years, still looking pretty good. I would dare say, that
it wears about the same as solid surface. And, most importantly, it
doesn't look like that cheap super-thick epoxy.
If there is a more wear and stain resistant, great looking finish
available, I'd love to hear about it. I know there are finishes which
get you there most of the way for less money, but I doubt there is a
I'm always open for suggestions, because my method is expensive, but
my customers are happy. It also puts the quotes into a range where
solid surface pricing starts looking attractive.
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