I am making some book shelves out of red oak and I have some minwax
fast-drying polyurethane. It dries in about 3 hrs. it has the consistence of
water. My question is will I get a better finish if I use the old fashion
stuff. When I used this earlier it took several coats to get a deep finish.
For what it's worth I just used Minwax water based Polycrylic on a computer
work station . Really easy, can recoat every 2 hours. Came out pretty nice.
Then I poured it straight in a spray gun ( cup gun) to see how that would
do. Didn't even thin it down sprayed like a dream. The water based finishes
have come a long way. I did get better results spraying, brushing or
spraying it seems a lot easier to use than oil base. The stuff is
relatively cheap so you do some test on your own.
If you think that worked well, try some ML Campbell Ultrastar water
It dries dust-free in 10-15 minutes, is sandable in ~ 40, and you'd be
done with three coats in 2 hours. <G> Ultrastar also gives a far nicer
final look than Polycrylic, as it's got a slight amber dry color, and
can be rubbed out with no witness lines.
When I want more of an amber color, I rub the wood down with Robert's
sealer (1/3 each, Sealcoat, Real turpentine, and Boiled Linseed Oil),
which can be overcoated with US the next day. Scuff with 400 after the
sealer, and between clear coats.
I pay ~ $28/gal. for Ultrastar, via my Pratt and Lambert paint dealer.
You'll have to ask for it, it won't be on the shelf. Data sheets are @
With Ultrastar, a little grain raising is possible. The sanding sealer
slightly raises grain, additional coats do not. There is far less
raised grain than with plain water or any of the home center WB products
I've use, like Minwax or Moore water based polyurethanes.
I usually use either Seal Coat, as a barrier over dyes and stains
(skipping the US sanding sealer), or "Robert's Sealer" for oil color.
Over either of those, raised grain is not an issue.
FWIW, typically the more thin coats the better. They tend to flow out more
smoothly and show less brush strokes if you are using a brush.
That said, most all gel varnishes will dry to the touch in 15 to 20 minutes
and can often be recoated in as little as 2 hours depending on the weather.
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