I've got one or two thousand square feet of hardwood walls. Not panel
sheets, but T&G hardwood, mostly ash. It is ~50 years old & the
original finish was slopped on with a mop. The finishers did the
upper half of the walls, then came back & did the lower half --- with
a nasty overlap, drips, etc. Wear & tear over the decades has left it
worse for wear.
The old finish sands off easily, but since it is in an occupied house,
the use of solvent based finishes for refinishing is out. Because
it's all vertical work, I'd much prefer a wipe-on finish.
Any experiences, recommendations or pointers towards manufacturers of
water based, wipe-on finishes, available by the gallon? Any thoughts
on using water based, gallon packaged finishes meant for floors or for
spraying, but wiping it on vertical surfaces?
Any input would be greatly appreciated.
There is with some products.
Lots of WB stuff doesn't flow out the same as oil based as it dries very
quickly. Thinning can can be the kiss of death for some WB products.
Without a specific product mentioned, general comments are tough.
I've had experience applying "spray only" WB finishes with foam brushes,
and you have to work FAST, be very mindful of the wet edge, and not
overwork the finish. Hand application is limited to small objects.
The OP should be aware that water based products can actually be as or
more toxic than solvent based products, so good personal protective
devices and forced ventilation are plenty important. Do not be fooled
into thinking WB is safe to breathe. The real gain is the lack of an
For one or two thousand sq/ft, I'd probably spend $100 for a cheaper
HVLP unit and a window fan, and spray it with ML Campbell Ultrastar.
Ultrastar holds vertical surfaces very nicely. I'd also seal it first
with wiped-on Zinsser Seal Coat to prevent contaminants from messing
with the WB product.
Excellent feedback from one and all. As with most such projects, the
decision process involves compromises.
First, the safety caution about breathing WB vapors was unknown to
me. While I'd likely have discovered by reading the label, it's nice
to know in advance.
I hadn't thought of HVLP, and though I'm desirous of using a wipe on
finish (rag as opposed to foam/brush/mohair), I'm glad for the caution
about the fast drying factor if I go that route. My understanding
from the discussion is that a floor product may buy me a little longer
drying time - please correct me if I'm wrong.
Regarding sealer, I had it in my head that whatever sealer was
originally used would still be down "in" the wood when I sanded off
the finish that is "on" the wood. From the comments offered, it
appears I'm incorrect to expect any benefit along those lines -
especially with respect to contaminants. I had also been thinking
that ash was not likely to give me much grief with raised grain or
fuzz, but then the lighbulb went off - the operative term in water
based finish is water! Darn right I'm going to need to seal it!
This is one of those occasions when I'm very pleased to discover my
thinking was wrong and I was ignorant of several things that I need to
consider. Thanks guys! Any other comments or suggestions are most
The sealer will provide two benefits in this case.
#1 - Less water soaks in to raise the grain.
#2 - A "barrier coat", which will prevent any oils, or other artifacts
of the unknown old finish, as well as waxes and components of years of
cleaning agents, from interfering with the complex chemistry of your
typical WB finish.
A sideline hint from Heloise regarding wax and other like contaminates...
You can go to NAPA or any automotive paint supplier and purchase Grease and
Wax remover. It's expensive stuff - in the neighborhood of $50 per gallon,
but it works. It really works. It will do a superb job of removing wax
from any surface without leaving contaminates behind or damaging the
original surface. You don't need to purchase a gallon of it - a little bit
goes a very long way. I wipe down an entire car with a shop rag dampened
with it. It takes a couple of minutes to dry so it does not leave a residue
behind like solvents do.
On Dec 18, 8:57 pm, email@example.com wrote:
I recently finished several thousand feet of T & G pine with water
base poly. I highly recommend that you first seal the wood with a
shellac based sealer or some other low odor, fast drying, non-water
based sealer. Otherwise you are going to end up with a raised grain
and a rough finish. I did not wipe on the poly I used, I used a
roller and sanded lightly between coats, and I used a poly sold for
use on floors. Good results all around.
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