I am finishing an Orchid Table, and am at a fork in the road as to the
final finish. It has been stained with an oil-based stain, and I have
the following available on hand:
Oilbased Poly, and
I have not used the Lacquer before (except on automobiles), so I don't
have much to go on as to water resistance, adhesion over oil-based
stain, etc. - it DOES looks good on a test scrap. The table top could
be subjected to water on an occasional basis, of course, due to the
plant sitting on top. I have a round cut glass cover that I may
install on the top for some protection.
I know the poly is fairly waterproof, but it has that 'look', and any
repairs in the future would be a real PITA.
Any input as to the preferred finish and why?
On Sun, 4 Jan 2004 1:25:01 -0700, Greg G. wrote
Water based poly is _not_ very water resistant (according to "Understanding
Wood Finishing" by Fleckner).
Basically it acts a lot like latex paint, it "breathes".
Oil based poly will give you the best water and scuff resistance and you can
spray it like the lacquer. I believe both should be fine over a cured oil
based stain (about a week at longest). The glass idea may cause problems if
any water wicks underneath. I'd find a vay to space it slightly above the
table surface if you decide to use it.
Didn't know that - I assumed that when cured, it was like oil poly.
Guess I'm going to have to break down and buy a few finishing books...
I've been winging it for years... <g>
Actually, I have a box of adhesive 'poly felt' disks that I was
planning to place under the glass - should give a space of about 1/8"
I like the look of Lacquer, and the speed of application. (And the
volatiles, woo, woo <g>) My concern was the white moisture ringing
that can occur, or is that even a consideration with modern lacquers?
Good point. Since the disks would be covered by an orchid, I wasn't
too worried about them showing. A friend who owns a picture framing
shop could give me a few clear dots, however. I have bought too many
of such things and had the adhesive go bad before I used them all.
There is no problem with nitro lacq. on the oil based stain, but water goes
thru nitro lacq
and thus the cause of ring marks from hot & cold cups etc.
It can make it more water resistance by using a vinyl sealer rather that the
typ sanding sealer.
Or go to an acrylic lacquer, with or without the vinyl sealer. most acrylic
lacquers are self sealing,
I do find that when i do use the sealer you get a better job a lot quicker
<Greg G.> wrote in message
Nitro lacquer has the advantage of being quick to apply and dry and give a
high shine, but it will show water rings.
An oil finish (tung, teak, danish etc) is fairly durable, easy to apply, but
tales a while to cure properly. You'd want several coats.
I don't like poly much, but if you're limited to what you have, then cut the
oil-based 50-50 with white spirit (turps substitute), wipe on thinly and
leave to dry overnight, repeat several times denibbibg between coats with
0000 steel wool.
<Greg G.> wrote in message
I love the look of lacquer, but water rings were one of my main
concerns in using it. SWMBO is sometimes sloppy when watering...
Now if I could only get her to empty and store the outdoor watering
cans before they become mosquito hatcheries... <g>
I considered this, as my BLO & tung oil treated workbench has held up
very well over time even though I set cold and hot drinks directly on
it. When it was new, I always set things on a scrap of wood, but now
that it has become a WORKbench, I have ceased to bother with such
niceties... <g> I am still amazed at how nice it looks every time I
oil it up.
I'm not fond of poly either, but I am considering this. I have used
oil-based poly mixed 50/50 with mineral spirits as a wiping finish,
and have had good results. It's not quite as plastic looking when
diluted and wiped. And it DOES seem to be the most impenetrable
finish for this application. I even briefly considered combining the
finishes - top with poly and remainder with lacquer, but it's not
really worth the effort and future refinishing confusion. It's a
plant stand, not a museum piece. <g>
C'mon now, be nice. It's really hard to avoid being sloppy with watering.
I have some plants that shouldn't be watered very often, and those are the
worst to gauge. Not enough, not enough, not enough, too much too much too
That's why my plant stand is covered in oil-based poly, and why I have
towels handy on watering day besides. It has held up for about? I guess
maybe seven or eight years.
You can berate her for that one. No excuses there.
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < firstname.lastname@example.org>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
I understand - I'm more of an inside gardener than she is. I have a
small homemade window greenhouse full of orchids, violets, cactii, and
venus flytraps, etc. myself. I also have a 125 gallon dutch planted
aquarium/algae farm. <g>
She has a couple orchids given to her by her parents who own an orchid
greenhouse in Santa Barbara, CA. One of these is what the table is
I'm mixing up a 50/50 thinned oil-poly right now for the table.
Decided against the lacquer after testing it on scrap - and watching
the water droplet white out the finish.
Actually, there is an excuse - Work overload. She works at home
programming databases for office supply dealers. Doesn't know when to
stop working and when to start billing. <g> I never know where she
has 'hidden' them until I find them 2 months later... <g>
On Sun, 04 Jan 2004 03:25:01 -0500, Greg G. wrote:
Varnish, laquer or polyurethane for a plant stand. These have
excellent moisture resistance and durability. A plant (with maybe
cactus being the exception) gives off a lot of moisture vapor, plus
there are occasional water spills when watering. From the three
mentioned, I would probably use the oil-based poly. The water-based
finishes do not have as good water protection as the oil-based. After
a month of curing/hardening time, I'd apply a coat of Johnson's wax
with some #0000 steel wool.
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