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  #1  
Old 11-09-2009, 07:22 PM
lowriderdog37's Avatar
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Anybody know anything about finishing wood?

I am rebuilding the collar for my freezer kegerator. I used douglas fir for the wood and it's already stained. I am trying to figure out what to use to finish it. Last time I used 13 coats of Minwax fast drying polyurethane or the polycrylic (I can't remember). After a year, the shine had worn off, and it just looked blah. Either way, I want something with higher gloss and maybe a little more base.

I asked the guy at Home Depot and he said to use fiberglass epoxy. After talking with him for a few minutes, I am surprised that he figured out how to put pants on. I then decided not to take his advice with out getting a second opinion.

Any suggestions?

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Last edited by lowriderdog37; 11-09-2009 at 07:28 PM.
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  #2  
Old 11-09-2009, 08:07 PM
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Making cabinets, we used a pre-catalyzed lacquer sprayed on with an HVLP gravity fed gun.


It was wise of you to stay away from fiberglass epoxy. There is however an epoxy HD sells that is for high traffic wood. I used it once on a metal coffee table I made. I don't know how you'd get it on a round piece without it looking like crap though.
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  #3  
Old 11-09-2009, 08:57 PM
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13 coats of polyurethane? That should be bulletproof I would think. Maybe it got too thick?? That is what I would use, but the catalyzed stuff will be harder I imagine.
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  #4  
Old 11-09-2009, 09:38 PM
1990 500SL
 
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I don't understand, 13 coats and it failed ??

OK, I have redone virtually all of the woodwork in this house.
Along with tons of other woodworking projects and repairs.

I have used this technique for coffee tables, railings, windows etc.
Other than those that get tons of sunlight most look like new, after many years. I redid the coffee table 10 plus years ago, still looks like brand new.


First make sure the wood is prepped and ready, stain first and seperate (I know yours is but I do NOT like the stain/varnish combos).

Put 2 coats of laquer(not water based) polyurethane, I like the Varathane line. Put the first coat on, then within 6 hours the first coat should still be tacky but not soft, put a second coat on. don't be shy with these coats, as much as u can w/o drips, runs etc.
Use the sponge brushes, put them in a baggie in the fridge between coats.

Allow the two coats to dry completely, 24 to 48 hrs.

Wet sand using 400 wet/dry (black) sandpaper.
Clean and dry.

Add the 3rd coat, this coat goes on thinner and carefully.
Let it dry.

If necessary the next day wet sand again with 600 or + sandpaper,
Then coat with a good quality wood paste wax.

IF you want to add multiple coats, do a second coat within the 4 to 6 hours of the previous coat. IF you let it dry more than 12 hours you must resand.

I have high traffic hand rails done exactly like that that show little or no wear after 10 years, patio doors 5 years and still like new. How about the deck around a whirlpool tub.
And I rarely do more than the 3 coats.

Oh, if there is a lot moisture look for either the Spar varnish or exterior types.
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  #5  
Old 11-10-2009, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kknudson View Post
I don't understand, 13 coats and it failed ??

OK, I have redone virtually all of the woodwork in this house.
Along with tons of other woodworking projects and repairs.

I have used this technique for coffee tables, railings, windows etc.
Other than those that get tons of sunlight most look like new, after many years. I redid the coffee table 10 plus years ago, still looks like brand new.


First make sure the wood is prepped and ready, stain first and seperate (I know yours is but I do NOT like the stain/varnish combos).

Put 2 coats of laquer(not water based) polyurethane, I like the Varathane line. Put the first coat on, then within 6 hours the first coat should still be tacky but not soft, put a second coat on. don't be shy with these coats, as much as u can w/o drips, runs etc.
Use the sponge brushes, put them in a baggie in the fridge between coats.

Allow the two coats to dry completely, 24 to 48 hrs.

Wet sand using 400 wet/dry (black) sandpaper.
Clean and dry.

Add the 3rd coat, this coat goes on thinner and carefully.
Let it dry.

If necessary the next day wet sand again with 600 or + sandpaper,
Then coat with a good quality wood paste wax.

IF you want to add multiple coats, do a second coat within the 4 to 6 hours of the previous coat. IF you let it dry more than 12 hours you must resand.

I have high traffic hand rails done exactly like that that show little or no wear after 10 years, patio doors 5 years and still like new. How about the deck around a whirlpool tub.
And I rarely do more than the 3 coats.

Oh, if there is a lot moisture look for either the Spar varnish or exterior types.
That's the detail I was looking for...thanks!

Yes, 13 coats. I had to use pine before, and it just soaked that $h!t up.
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  #6  
Old 11-10-2009, 04:57 PM
1990 500SL
 
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Yes most of my refinishing has been on Oak, you can also use a sealer although I never have.
re Stain, as I mentioned I do NOT like the stain / varnish combo products. The real purpose of the stain is to seal and protect the material, used in combo I don't see how it works.
I stain usually with those sponge brushes, then wipe with old rags, how long you let it sit controls the tone. You can even do a second coat for more protection and to get the color you want

Depending on time etc, I may not let the stain dry throughly. I will coat over it in an hour or two.

Most people say sand between coats with Steel wool. I found Wet sanding is much better.

When done between coats you don't even have to do a great job of removing the dust, but do wipe it with a rag. The moisture from sanding should provide all the dampness needed. Anything left just gets absorbed into the next coat.
I use my compressor sometimes to clean out the grain.

Thickness and number of coats is determined by the amount of protection needed and how well you want the grain texture visible.

Something else you can experiment with is use flat, or semi for the first two coats then gloss for the final. Even reverse if the final is going to be a flat finish. I do this sometimes just to use up older supplies.

Like Wax, I like Varathane products, but use whatever you find that works for you. I've used MinWax too, and have no complaints.
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  #7  
Old 11-10-2009, 05:16 PM
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I wouldn't have believed it myself, but the new water based polyurethanes are really good. A guy at about the only hardwood lumber specialty store in the Bay Area, McBeath's of Berkeley, told me that it stands up to UV and other abuse longer than oil based. I used some in a mahogany slatted drain cover in one of those shower/bathroom combos (no curtain, the entire floor is waterproof and slants to a 60 inch long drain. Looks good after 2 years.

I discovered one can that I'd left maybe a 1/4 inch worth in the bottom for a year or so, it had dried, and the whole thing popped out. It's still flexible, very tough, about 1/8 thick. OTOH, oil based finishes, spar varnish or polyurethane, get brittle after a while. Ever noticed the myriad of small cracks on an oil based surface?

Some places charge an arm and a leg for it, like $40 a quart but McBeath's has ZAR brand for $15 a quart. I use the exterior grade, but all my usage of it has been for outdoor or bath. Might be an advantage to interior grade for some applications, not sure.

If you have misgivings, try some out on a scrap of the same material. The can says DO NO SHAKE, but one could easily miss that. It's not needed and only adds many tiny bubbles that take a good while to completely float out. Will impair the surface, as the stuff dries pretty fast, another benefit.
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  #8  
Old 11-10-2009, 05:38 PM
1990 500SL
 
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Yes, I have heard good things about the water based varathanes, but never used them. No reason, just haven't.

re Shaking, I do Shake it well, repeatedly a few days before I am going to use it. And again as I close it for the night.

Generally by using the sponge brushes, I've never had issue's with bubbles.
With the sponge brushes you can go over an area repeatedly without issues, no brush strokes !!!
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  #9  
Old 11-10-2009, 06:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kknudson View Post
Yes, I have heard good things about the water based varathanes, but never used them. No reason, just haven't.

re Shaking, I do Shake it well, repeatedly a few days before I am going to use it. And again as I close it for the night.

Generally by using the sponge brushes, I've never had issue's with bubbles.
With the sponge brushes you can go over an area repeatedly without issues, no brush strokes !!!
I think the no shaking thing only applies to the water based variety. I also like the sponge brushes. I was sorta surprised as they look almost like toys. But the water based stuff dries quickly, and I think the bubbles are a problem no matter what kind of brush you use.
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  #10  
Old 11-10-2009, 06:11 PM
1990 500SL
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmac2012 View Post
I think the no shaking thing only applies to the water based variety. I also like the sponge brushes. I was sorta surprised as they look almost like toys. But the water based stuff dries quickly, and I think the bubbles are a problem no matter what kind of brush you use.
No the Laquer based cans have the same warning.
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  #11  
Old 11-22-2009, 07:57 AM
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OK, it took a while, but I finally got it done and fully operational last night.
Attached Thumbnails
Anybody know anything about finishing wood?-img_1329.jpg   Anybody know anything about finishing wood?-img_1333.jpg  
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  #12  
Old 11-22-2009, 12:01 PM
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Looks good. Are those all beer taps?
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  #13  
Old 11-22-2009, 02:11 PM
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They are, but 1 is devoted to soda for the pregnant wife and soon to be kid.

I am also going to eventually modify it and install a nitrogen tap.

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