i like to apply a finish that will not require much care and the poly
stuff does that well and it is easy to apply
so why does anyone use finishes that require regular maintenance and
mostly talking about tables and chairs that get regular wear and tear
but anything that might get hot or cold or wet stuff on the surface
the poly stuff looks good to me and unless it was a ornamental lacquer
piece i do not see a big difference in the looks
Why I use shellac:
- Don't have to clean the brush after use. (Do have to clean the brush
before use, though.)
- Polyurethane reeks.
- The wood is ready for the second coat just about the time I get done
applying the second one.
- The wood will feel so naturally warm and soft when coated with shellac
and rubbed with wax and steel wool.
- No "someone's been finishing" smell after just a few minutes.
- The finish really serves to enhance the wood--not create an
- The smell is quite a bit better, not that it smells good by any means.
- Easy to thin with denatured alcohol. Apparently 99% Isopropyl will
work too, but I usually only have 70% in easy reach.
A mini archive of some of rec.woodworking's best and worst!
To me it matters what I'm making and what it will be used for. Low-wear
pieces in an early style will not be 'right' in poly so they usually get
oil and shellac and wax. It would be like somebody saying that they are
building an exact copy of a 1921 auto and then installing a new
turbocharged 4-cylinder because it is both easier and more efficient. Yes,
it would be, but it would not be true to the original intent.
Poly alone has a place but not for fine furniture. Kids bookcase, toys,
A few years back someone posted a method to use poly and make it look
like a quality finish. I've done it and it works well.
Apply a thinned coat
Apply two mre full strength sanding between
Wait four weeks for it to cure
Wet sand with 320 grit
Rub with pumice
Rub with rottenstone
Some info here:
This method sound interesting. Would you happen to have any photos of
a piece finished in this method?
I'm not partial to poly. I've used it a fair amount, especially on
desks that get a lot of use. I currently have a few polyed pieces and,
over time, they don't look as good anymore. Poly is also rather
annoying to get right. I've fought many times with dust and bubbles.
The 'thinned' coat in your method has me thinking. I may have to try
this, at least on a test piece, to see how it comes out in comparison
to the other things I have polyed. Thanks for the tip.
This email has been checked for viruses by AVG.
like that idea
not sure about the four week wait and that sounds like it is based on
local climate or something but not always required but seems too long
for poly or at least the poly i use
i guess wax gives a three dimensional look and feel and is probably the
key giving poly a different look
Drying occurs when solvents evaporate from the surface of the film,
leaving it tack free. There are four important elements of proper
drying: temperature, humidity, film thickness and airflow. Temperature
affects viscosity, which contributes to film thickness. Humidity affects
the evaporation rate of the solvents. The amount of airflow determines
how much oxygen will crosslink with the finish to initiate curing. High
temperatures, low humidity, thin film thickness and adequate airflow
will all expedite dry time and cure time. If these elements are not
maintained properly, the finish could dry too quickly.
Curing occurs when residual solvents leave the film and it begins
crosslinking with oxygen in the air to develop strength, toughness,
abrasion resistance and chemical resistance. Although most finishes
reach 90% cure in seven days, full cure takes up to thirty days.
guess it depends on who you are trying to please
guy had a stutz bearcat replica
he loved that car and it is a distinctive look and guess what percentage
of drivers could tell that it was original or replica or even cared
he enjoyed driving and that mattered
simply put it boils down to who will actually be able to tell the
difference on the coating
not many people care and the number is going more toward zero than
but if you like the traditional coating and know the difference that
is what you go with
On Tuesday, July 11, 2017 at 5:47:42 PM UTC-4, Electric Comet wrote:
To me, a lot of the quality of "do I want to have to do this again" depends upon the amount of prep to get to that point and the look that I'm trying to achieve on that particular piece.
Poly, to have it stick well and look good (Adhesion, dust free, etc.) can generally require quite a bit of work, and then, if you REALLY like a Poly, then you may REALLY like a poly high gloss, too... in which case it requires a frequent touch up.
My answer to your question is durability. But, I choose my coats for RELATIVE durability:
If it's a bar top, epoxy;
Floor, I go with poly or lacquer if it's a 'dressed down' or a traditional home.
Most of my typical, 'not much water contact' furniture, I do in Watco or Formsby Tung Oil Finish-- yes, I said the finish. It's a little harder, and buffs beautifully. Low sheen for me on these pieces.
Wall paneling (or trim, or natural wainscot) can't look any better, in my opinion, than sealed with with a shellac coat-- amber if a traditional look is desired or it's an old home. Conversely, a clear with light aniline dye tint if not.
I don't have to say this, but obviously Mineral Oil on high-traffic, food contact pieces... again simply for the ease and frequency of recoats as much as for the edible/potable nature of the coat.
All of the finishes I mentioned, with the exception of the epoxy bar top, are MUCH easier to prep and to reapply, with varying levels of necessity depending on the workpiece, than a Poly.
RELATIVE durability is my reply.
On Tuesday, July 11, 2017 at 4:47:42 PM UTC-5, Electric Comet wrote:
I've used 1/3 semi-gloss poly, 1/3 tung oil, and 1/3 BLO with good results. It offers good protection without the plastic look. But these days I most definitely prefer shellac and wax, even if it means upkeep. It's a beautiful, deep finish.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.