Has McCloskey stopped making Gymseal? =8^(
This is my all-time favorite floor and trim finish! Simple to apply,
way more durable than home-center polyurethane on floors, easy to
touch-up and looked GREAT on raw red oak..
Waterlox is similar, but does anyone have any other suggestions?
I've got a bunch of doors and trim, along with a staircase to finish.
Gymseal was hands-down my favorite clear over red oak in this
B A R R Y wrote:
> Waterlox is similar, but does anyone have any other suggestions?
Check out the people in the floor maintenance business.
Years ago, got some stuff thru Tennant, the floor machine people.
Most have simply taken the path of least resistance to cheap poly or
worse, cheap water base poly. The better guys are using products that
are above my pay grade to apply and handle.
Get this... The least resistance guys are simply telling their
customer they can't get better materials, so they have to use the
$15/gal stuff, and most of the meat-with-eyes buy into it. The crap
looks like the crap it is in just a few months, so they get repeat
business by blaming the materials.
I'm probably going to use Waterlox Original @ $89/gal. I was hoping
someone would prove me wrong about Gymseal! <G> Anyone who's ever
seen a really nice oil varnish floor knows what I mean about the
appearance difference vs. typical polyurethane floor finishes. The
floors I've used Gymseal on still look fantastic years later.
I'm not anti-water base, the WB lacquers I like very much for
furniture are not suitable for floors. I may end up doing the trim
and doors with Ultrastar over BLO and Seal Coat.
Yup.! Try to buy it. <G>
Follow the link from Kelly-Moore to Valspar, who bought McCloskey, and
you'll see the product is no longer listed. Homestead Finishing still
lists it on the price sheet, but not on the "Oil Varnish" page, as an
available product, where it always was.
My local guy can't get any more. Last fall, I could have it in
three days if he was out of stock.
According to http://www.o-geepaint.com/ArchiCoats/cabot.shtml
(under the Cabothane section) it appears that this is the case:
"GymSeal has been repalced by a polyurethane. According to Tech
service at McCloskey, the raw materials are no longer available...."
They do appear to have a few quarts of the old Gymseal still available,
although not gallons. I guess if you have a very small gym it might do.
Other places claim to have supplies of it, too, some in gallons.
"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot
I used to use waterlox but then switched to mixing my own. 1/3 spar
varnish, 1/3 turpentine, 1/3 boiled linseed oil. I read about this
finish many years ago on this news group and I have been using it ever
since. It is identicle to the waterlox I used to use in application
The one thing I don't like about this finish is that is imparts the
same yellow hue as waterlox. This is fine (even desireable in my
opinion) on walnut, cherry, mahogany, Ipe or other dark wood. Maple
is one of my favorite woods and waterlox or this finish is just too
yellow. I don't use red oak but I bet it would look good, especially
if you like waterlox.
YMMV. Mine did. I couldn't get that type of mixture to dry/cure, on a
couple of projects I used it on. One headboard took almost 6 weeks to get
to the point I could wax it.
Might have been the varnish I used. Probably was. But I don't really have
clean space to let my projects cure for that long. So I got some more
Waterlox, and have been more than pleased with the results.
Except for the master bathroom, where I used spar varnish, thinned with VMP
naptha, and wiped it on the cherry and the maple. Well vented, I could do
a coat in the morning, and another in the evening, and sleep in the bedroom
with the windows open.
It's been 37 years ago I considered chemistry as a career. Gave that up,
and never regretted it.
> YMMV. Mine did. I couldn't get that type of mixture to dry/cure,
> couple of projects I used it on.
By design, true spar varnish never truly cures hard, which is why it
is used on spars.
Change to another varnish.
If you want some good stuff, take a look at Johnstown Distributors.
I agree, Lew. My 1/3 each mix wasn't used with spar, though. Some
McCloskey's gloss that I got at the really good local hardware store, IIRC.
Worked fine when I didn't load it up with extra oils.
Spar was used in the bathroom, where the flexibility would be a virtue in a
potentially higher humidity environment.
I've decided that there just might be better finish chemists in the world
than I am. ;-)
On a floor? This is the main staircase in my home, the only way up or
down. I'm a little leery about experimenting here. After all, there's
also a woman involved. <G>
I wonder that the resins in Waterlox Original are probably different
than spar varnish, as Waterlox offers a separate Marine spar varnish
I've used the recipe you posted (a long oil varnish mix) and agree that
it can look great. It looks great to me on furniture when I want a
little less film build. It takes too long to dry for a lot of trim.
Dry time is also a real worry on the staircase. I'd be concerned,
performance-wise on a floor, as long oil varnish formulae seem to stay
softer, similar to a polyurethane in my experience. WO and Gymseal
harden closer to Behlen's Rockhard and dry reasonably quickly.
My current plan is to go with the WO on the staircase and railings.
The doors and trim will get a natural stain or BLO rub / sprayed Seal
Coat / sprayed Ultrastar. What's nice is that I can rub the oil or
stain one weekend, let it sit for the week, and spray a coat of Seal
Coat and two coats of Ultrastar in the same day the following weekend.
I also have to do the main stairs in my home. Not only is a woman
involved but 2 dogs and a cat :) Trying to figure out how they will only
use half a tread!
Anyway I have refinished some of my oak floors with Waterlox Original
(1coat)and Waterlox Gloss (2coats). It's been on for several years in
the oldest spot with heavy (also large) dog traffic. Holds up well and
really looks good. Floors are stained (Minwax Provencial)by the builder
initially and redone to match.
You are in a unique location. I snapped up the last few gallons of
Waterlox before everything north of VA went low VOC. From what I know CT
is a little island of freedom from the "low VOC police." I have not used
the new low Voc Waterlox formulation but can testify to the ease and
durability of the standard stuff (gloss) for high traffic floors.
I'd be curious if you indeed can get the traditional Waterlox in CT or
whether they just have low VOC for the regioanal wholesalers convenience.
If so I may have to take another trip up to CT ... or you can drop some
off at Solberg while your flying over :)
Also I'll send you a private email about the saga of setting up the DJ20
from Carl at the Woodrack.
Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com
That would hurt! The Waterlox can, of course. <G>
I can see it now... Getting busted for bootlegging non-VOC compliant
finishing products with a small aircraft. Not drugs, not booze, but
We have the regular formula at our local Woodcraft. The owner of this
particular store (and attached school) is a big fan of WO, so I'm sure
that may help.
B A R R Y wrote:
> On a floor? This is the main staircase in my home, the only way up or
> down. I'm a little leery about experimenting here. After all,
> also a woman involved. <G>
If this is strictly for a staircase, then consider a 2 part LP used
for marine applications.
Check out Epifanes on the Jamestown Distributors web site.
Bring a sack of money.
Expensive, but good.
I've never used it on doors and trim, but Bonkemi Traffic is tops for
floors. It's a two-part catalyzed finish.
Takes a beating and keeps looking good.
Brushable lacquer is great for doors and trim, but I've never used it
on floors or a staircase (I think you meant the treads). The noxious
stuff works great and gives a superlative finish, but it's a bit of
work as you have to watch for runs and you need several coats to build
it up. Plus you have to wear a serious respirator or they'll find you
stuck to the floor in the morning. I haven't tried the newer
waterbased brushable lacquer yet.
Not all that difficult. It dries fast so someone used to taking their
time might start pulling the finish as it sets up.
Gee, if you'd read some of the magazines they would have advised you
to finish the staircase before assembly. ;)
Any floor finish is going to be more prone to running if applied on
vertical surfaces. I understand your motives, and I'd be tempted to
do the same thing. You'll just have to be extremely careful about
cleaning up the drips and runs before you move down to the next
Thanks! If I use it on the treads only, it'll be a cakewalk.
I'll tell the very busy, very well regarded, stair builder that they
need to read more hobby magazines. <G>
That makes sense. I've got a lot of finishing experience, but not with
the specialized needs of a staircase.
What might work out really well is Traffic on the steps and Waterlox on
the rest. I can tape and paper the steps to finish the remaining parts.
Thanks for the tips.
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