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  • TheFinn
    started a topic Table top finishing not working out

    Table top finishing not working out

    I recently finished a table top (Beech) with 5 coats of Arm R seal wipe on urethane. In my workshop it was great, glass smooth finish. However, once I brought it in, it looks like the table has just sucked in all of the finish and the surface is no longer glass like and almost looks dry in some parts. My workshop is not that much more humid than our dining area, it is a bit cooler, but nevertheless I am surprised to see this happen. This hasn't happened to other tables I've made, albeit this was the first time I use Arm R Seal. I've also noticed that as a result of a lack of build up the table top is susceptible to scratches/dents from my 3 year old.

    I am thinking of resanding lightly and putting more finish on it. I am not sure about the Arm R Seal, the recommendation on the can was to do 3 coats, but if even 5 didn't cut it, I might look at a different product. Any recommendations of what could work to give a stronger surface and why the table top might have sucked in the finish?

    Thanks!

  • DocStone88
    replied
    Not a great picture, but that's 6-8 coats of wipe on poly.

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  • DocStone88
    replied
    Originally posted by MartyFromKingston View Post
    Hey, Doc,

    I was interested in your post where you described laying down 10 coats on a table top. Really? Man, that sure sounds like a lot to me. How thick are your coats (do you know how to use a wet mil gauge?), and what does the manufacturer say about this?

    I'd also be interested in hearing about any tests you've done to determine the number of coats required to deliver the desired sheen and protection?

    I'm always looking at what others do besides spray finishes... which to me are the most reliable finishes around. But there's always a different way to "skin a cat" as the saying goes.


    I did say that I only use it on smaller items. The manufacturer says to use 2-3 coats, sanding between each coat. The product is so thin that you can't apply it "thick" or you'd have runs everywhere. At 2-3 coats, I don't have a constant sheen. I've read that wipe on poly is approximately 1/3 of brush on poly. So if it takes 2-3 coats of brush on poly, that's the same as 6-9 coats of wipe on poly. A quick google search is telling me that I'm not out to lunch with the number of coats. I typically wipe on gloss (quick sand with 320 between each coat) until i get an even sheen, which could be 5-6 coats. Then follow that with two coats of satin (sanding with 420 in between). I've never done any testing to know the thickness of the coats, but I can tell you they are extremely thin. I like the wipe on because I can get a nice clear finish that doesn't end up looking like plastic. On smaller projects, I can apply a coat in minutes, with no cleanup, and low odor. I'm sure it wouldn't be effective way of finishing for a professional, but for me, its a great finish for smaller projects.

    Leave a comment:


  • MartyFromKingston
    replied
    Hey, Doc,

    I was interested in your post where you described laying down 10 coats on a table top. Really? Man, that sure sounds like a lot to me. How thick are your coats (do you know how to use a wet mil gauge?), and what does the manufacturer say about this?

    I'd also be interested in hearing about any tests you've done to determine the number of coats required to deliver the desired sheen and protection?

    I'm always looking at what others do besides spray finishes... which to me are the most reliable finishes around. But there's always a different way to "skin a cat" as the saying goes.

    Originally posted by DocStone88 View Post
    I haven't used the this product, but the wipe on poly I use takes a lot of coats to build. For a table top, I would be up around 10 coats. I only use it on smaller items, and have no issue recoating in 3-4 hours, with temp at 20C humidity 50% or less.

    Leave a comment:


  • TheFinn
    replied
    Thanks guys. I will give it a shot.

    Leave a comment:


  • Rusty
    replied

    Doc there's the difference. You do it like Me. light coats that will dry quick, sand, do it again. Build it slowly. Thick coats only screw you up.

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  • DocStone88
    replied
    I haven't used the this product, but the wipe on poly I use takes a lot of coats to build. For a table top, I would be up around 10 coats. I only use it on smaller items, and have no issue recoating in 3-4 hours, with temp at 20C humidity 50% or less.

    Leave a comment:


  • Thorel Woodworking
    replied
    There's your problem! I never recoat any sooner than 18-24 hours. If you recoat after it stops being tacky, you basically just re-activate the previous coat, and add nothing. If it never got rough, and felt a little gritty in between your first 5 coats, then you never let it set up. The first two coats for me, once dry, seal any of the more porous fibres, then I can sand it out, and start to build the finish on top of that.

    I would try knocking the whole thing down with 320, and adding a coat, waiting 24 hours, knock it down, add one more, wait 3 days, then bring it in.

    Simon

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  • TheFinn
    replied
    I dont think it has fully cured either. Its been about 20 days now. But as you can see in the close up picture there are lighter spots which have become rough and feel like the wood has soaked all of the finish. I put on three thick coats followed by two thin ones. Between each coat i waited anywhere between 3-12 hours at least until the surface didnt feel tacky. Sanded with 400 grit between coats. And buffed it with 1200 grit after last coat. What would be a stronger urethane i could put on top?

    thanks for the responses!
    Attached Files

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  • nnieman
    replied
    Pics would help.

    How warm was your shop?
    How long did you leave between coats?

    Im thinking the finish hasn’t cured yet....

    Nathan

    Leave a comment:


  • Thorel Woodworking
    replied
    Arm R Seal is low build, but once it fully cures is pretty strong. I like to apply two heavy coats, then sand it with 320, and buff in any further coats until it looks how I like. It protects well from scratches, but the finish should never be primary preventative measure for dents.

    Plus side, is that it is a urethane, which means that if you hate it, just let it cure, scuff it, and fire a higher build urethane over it.

    Leave a comment:

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