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Forum topic by depictureboy posted 11-18-2009 08:14 PM 1279 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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420 posts in 3668 days

11-18-2009 08:14 PM

Topic tags/keywords: finishing

ok…i feel a bit better now…

I am making a case for my mom for xmas…its not rocket science, but its more about my dad than about my mom. I just really need this to be right you know? My normal, go to finish seems to want to get up and go…and I feel I keep doing everything wrong…Spent the last 4 days finishing each side of the box so I wouldnt get any runs…brush it on in the am, let it dry overnight in the house…well it had a really plasticy look to it, so this morning I started to sand it down using a sanding block and 400 grit…bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz….now it looks like crap and Ill probably have to sand it down AGAIN…restain it and start from scratch…

3 parts poly
1 part BLO
1 part Naptha….

usually it works like a champ…it came out great on my display case…maybe im just overthinking it…<whine>

-- If you can't build it, code it. If you can't code it, build it. But always ALWAYS take a picture.

8 replies so far

View BlankMan's profile


1490 posts in 3379 days

#1 posted 11-18-2009 08:31 PM

Finishing can sometimes be the hardest and trickiest part. A lot of times I find myself spending more time finishing the project then it took me to build it and that still amazes me to no end.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View KB1's profile


28 posts in 3179 days

#2 posted 11-19-2009 07:45 AM

In a word—Shellac. It is the most ancient and versitile finish ever created by nature. If it is a small project just wipe it on many , several times, until your desired finish is achieved. Zinnser Bullseye Sealcoat is a 2 lb cut shellac and commomly avaliable at hardware and paint stores. Dilute it with denatured alcohol, 2 to 3 parts alc to shellac, it dosen’t have to be exact. Wipe quickly and do not go back over. let cure sand if you want and repeat. Shellac is a wonderful tool to master, it takes time. Good luck young Padawan. KB1KNOB

-- KB1KnoB

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5911 posts in 3220 days

#3 posted 11-19-2009 08:39 AM

I’m with you. I hate finishing, too.

You didn’t say what kind of wood you used, but your mix I’ve used before. You might try sanding back to bare wood, put on a sanding sealer, and try again. Use 0000 steel wool in between coats, and finish off with some Johnsons Paste Wax. Works for me.

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....

View LesB's profile


1748 posts in 3469 days

#4 posted 11-19-2009 08:46 AM

You say your finish mix usually “works like a champ”. There could be several things wrong. How old is the poly? It doesn’t last forever. Next the temperature and humidity can affect the drying/cure rate of the finish. I find the best temps between 65 and 75 degrees. Colder the finish dries to slow and runs or picks up dust. Hotter it dries to fast and leaves brush marks or streaks.
For a “plasticy” look you might try rubbing it down with a 0000 steel wool followed by a carnauba paste wax. Or as I often do, use the steel wool to rub the wax on then buff to a shine with a soft cloth. The “extra fine” steel wool removes the high shine and any dust nibs and when the wax is buffed you get a nice shine with a smooth slick feel.

-- Les B, Oregon

View a1Jim's profile


117119 posts in 3603 days

#5 posted 11-19-2009 08:54 AM

I’ve never herd of adding naphtha to a finish. If you want simple go shellac or lacquer.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View depictureboy's profile


420 posts in 3668 days

#6 posted 11-19-2009 03:56 PM

well i sanded it down a bit, not quite to bare wood cause I have it stained, and didnt want to have to go through that again…now I started with fresh poly and just naptha…50/50 mix…it seems to be doing ok, and in the house it dries to the touch in about 2 hours…put a coat on last night, got up at 4am this morning and put on a nother coat after steel wooling it, then put on another coat about 7ish….that will dry all day…it seemed to look better…i just made too much finish…but gotta learn somehow…

Jim, the theory is that the naptha evaporates faster than mineral spirits, so it ‘dries’ quicker, and with the really thin coat of poly that is left, it sets faster…<shrug>

my next project is working with poplar so I will probably at least use some shellac as a sealer coat…

-- If you can't build it, code it. If you can't code it, build it. But always ALWAYS take a picture.

View AaronK's profile


1506 posts in 3490 days

#7 posted 11-19-2009 04:46 PM

a couple notes coming from my limited experience:

1. you said you used this finish before with success, but that might be too much poly in the mix, which’ll give it the plastic look.

2. the weather: this time of year the days can get warm and the nights can get cold. it might be better to start applying the finish (at least the 1st coat on the bare wood) in the afternoon/evening when the wood has been heated, then allowing it to dry overnight – the change in temperature should draw the finish into the pores.

i also second the rubbing in of paste wax with 0000 steel wool then buffing. it works absolute wonders on my stuff – often my first coat of finish will look awesome, then the following coats will look successively worse, until i bring out the wool+wax. then the look and feel are improved many times over.

View a1Jim's profile


117119 posts in 3603 days

#8 posted 11-19-2009 06:18 PM

Hey DP Boy
I usually try to finish the inside of boxes and cases before I Assemble them. If you want a quick dry finish why not just use lacquer if you don;t have spray equipment you can buy it in a spray can. You can also by shellac in spray cans.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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