I have two quite possibly contradictory requirements.
1. The finish should not look "built up". A more natural, low-luster
sort of look is preferred.
2. The pieces in question (end tables) will almost certainly have drink
glasses on them from time to time. Maybe even with ice.
Can I meet both of these requirements, or should I simply cover the tops
with placemats when necessary?
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On Wednesday, February 12, 2014 2:16:46 PM UTC-8, Greg Guarino wrote:
ection is active.
I know people will shit all over my response but I use wipe on poly finish
all the time on fine furniture pieces.
Dye, stain and or oil the piece as desired. Then use flat or low sheen wipe
on poly. I mix my own using standard ploy with 3 parts mineral spirits to
one part poly. Or use Minwax wipe on poly (lets hear the flames) Be sure to
stir the poly well (it has flattners that need to be suspended). Also if y
ou mix your own you have to mix it really well to get the poly well distrib
uted in the mineral spirits and re-mix often.
Wash on the first coat with a brush and really soak the piece. Then wipe it
down immediately with a damp smooth cloth (damp with same finish). Wipe it
all off and do NOT re-wipe already wiped areas.. Watch for seep at joints
and moldings and re-wipe those areas for several minutes. When it dries it
might/should look like almost nothing was done.
Wait 8 hours or more. Wet a smooth cloth and wipe it all down wet again, th
en re-wipe clean with a damp cloth leaving the slightest coverage. Again, w
atch for seep at joints and moldings and remove.
Let dry 8 hours or more. super lightly rub down with worn out 400 or 600 pa
per or even steel wool (if you don't have nooks that will fill with shaving
s). You can add one or two more coats but honestly this is all you need unl
ess it is a bar top.
Wax lightly using a scrub pad or steel wool and buff it out.
FYI, if you leave build up at joints, corners or molding seams, even flat p
oly will look shiney in those locations so be careful to wipe it out.
Use a satin wipe on varnish or a gel varnish. Keep building coats until
you just start to notice the built up look. Basically, don't over do it.
Not a good combination regardless of the finish. Wipe up ASAP or use
Apply plenty of the varnish finish, practice on scraps. If you put on
too much you can always sand it back to bare wood and put on fewer coats.
Still you don't want liquids to be on the surface for much more that a
There is always glass. Finish like you want, protect the top with glass:
Has survived countless cold and hot drinks, and a few spills and the top
looks brand new.
I'm a pessimist and a klutz. I envision a spill running over the edge
and wicking up under the glass. That means moving all the lamps and
junk and cleaning it up before it damages the finish. Then I would
drop the glass on the dog, etc, etc.
Poly. Yes, poly. You need at least four coats, sanding between. After
the last coat, let it cure for at least 3 weeks. Wet sand, rub with
pumice, rottenstone, then wax. It will be smooth, have a nice luster
and be durable.
On Wednesday, February 12, 2014 6:47:47 PM UTC-8, Ed Pawlowski wrote:
If you are using any production poly after 12 hours that sucker is 100% cured. If you have some sort of oil hybrid without drying solvents maybe, but true poly dries slow (over many hours) but not days unless it is so thick it will crack anyway.
That hasn't been my experience. For example, a while back I put on four
coats of semi-gloss poly, four hours between coats, no sanding. In a day it
was plenty hard, little smell but it was almost as shiny as glossy, took
about two weeks before it settled down to semi-gloss.
Correct, there is a difference between drying and curing. Most poly is
dry to handle in 12 hours or so, but for any oil finish, curing takes
much longer. It is usually advised not to put things in contact with
paint or poly finishes for at least a week, sometimes two months.
Just as concrete can be walked on in hours, but it is not fully cured
On Friday, February 14, 2014 10:32:00 AM UTC-6, Ed Pawlowski wrote:
The industry standard for poly to cure out is 21 days.
You can see many manufacturers use that as their cure date and professional
finishers rely on that. Humidity, temps, aggregate thickness of multiple
coats, etc., all determine the final amount of days needed. But... 21 is th
e industry standard for low abrasion polyurethanes.
To determine the correct amount of time needed between coats as well as how
thick to apply each coat of finish, one should look at the individual MSDS
and application information from each individual manufacturer.
Although folks feel like they are more involved in applying a professional
type finish, today's polys don't need thinning. Nor do they need sanding b
etween coats. The ONLY time I sand, scuff, disturb a poly finish is to rem
ove a nib or critter. Never, ever, have I had witness lines, peeling, or l
ack of adhesion. After all... even Minwax says sanding between coats is un
necessary in their literature.
Greg, you should look around for anything that Bob Flexner writes about fin
ishing. His books are great, his articles are great, and he learned finish
ing by actually working in a finishing shop doing both application and repa
ir so he had plenty of opportunities to see what worked and what didn't.
I stand corrected. Hmmm... interesting results. I've never recoated so fast so haven't seen such a scenario. I also always thin the heck and don't ever let build to much of a plastic coat.
I assume each coat skins over but never fully gasses off, then having several coats in that state causes the whole process to slow down. Does the can say it can be recoated so soon?
I recoat as soon as I can walk on it which is about 4 hours, sometimes a bit
more, sometimes a bit less depending on temperature, humidity and - of
course - how thick. Can says no sanding needed between coats if reapplied
within 8 hours.
As Ed mentioned, it really does take a while to cure. I did something a
couple of days ago, only two coats...I'm betting it will still take a couple
of weeks until the shine dies down to semi-gloss.
OK we are talking floors now and this is a whole different level of thickne
ss than I am thinking about for furniture. I remember the first time I spra
yed poly on a piece of furniture. After the second coat it was like it was
covered in plastic . I steel wooled that coffee table and side tables for w
eek and waxed them a few times with scrub pads and still to this day wish I
would have re-built them for the customer who signed off on one of my lacq
uer finish samples but requested poly for more durability.
I used water based poly on floor recently and loved it, applied with a pad.
I have used General Finishes wipe on Poly on Maple, Oak, Walnut, cherry
and have found that after staining of your choice, 2-4 coats of 'gloss'
(depending on usage) and a finish coat of 'satin' works very well. No
water rings, no hot/cold problem, nice finish. Multi coats of satin will
make it look cloudy, thus the gloss base coats.
On Wed, 12 Feb 2014 17:16:46 -0500, Greg Guarino wrote:
I've never been able to damage a cured de-waxed shellac finish by setting
drink glasses on it - with or without ice.
Spilling alcohol on the finish might damage it if you mix really strong
drinks, but cleaning off any wax and rubbing on another coat will fix it
Don't take my word for it. Wipe 3 or 4 coats of Zinnser SealCoat on a
test piece. Let it dry for a week and then set those icy glasses on it.
Bet you won't see any damage.
Make sure the SealCoat is fresh. The first digit (after the initial
character) is the year, the next is the month.
All that said, my wife would never let anyone set a drink on a piece of
good furniture without a coaster :-).
Where have all the flowers gone? Pete Seeger 1919-2014
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