Waterlox Finishing

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Forum topic by Rightousdan posted 09-10-2016 03:25 PM 223 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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13 posts in 549 days

09-10-2016 03:25 PM

Topic tags/keywords: waterlox help finishing countertop butcherblock foam brush steel wool

I am finishing my Hickory counter top with waterlox original and have run into an issue.

The first and second coat I applied went on just fine. I followed all of the recommendations from Waterlox and made sure to sand down my countertop and clean up with Mineral spirits. I allowed the surface to dry for 24 hours before applying the first coat. I applied the first coat with a foam brush and it went on just fine. I waited 24 hours and applied the 2nd coat. It went on just fine as well. The 3rd coat is a little different story. I used 0000 steel wool to soften up the surface a bit and then wiped down the surface with a tack cloth. Then I began applying the 3rd coat and noticed it was covering mush better. Im guessing the first 2 coats were still building up the surface. This coat appears much glossier than the other coats which makes sense. I let the surface dry for 24 hours again, and when I went to feel it this morning, it appears that the surface is hard but there is a really thin oily finish on top. Its almost not noticeable unless you rub your finger across the grain. When I rub my finger on the surface it looks like my fingers were just oil and left a bit of a film. It is like this on the whole surface.

The temp. in the house is 70 degrees and the outside temp is 70 degrees. The inside humidity is at about 50% and I have multiple windows open with a fan circulating air from outside and another fan sucking air out. It seems like I have plenty of cross ventilation.

Does anyone have any ideas what might be causing this oil film or how I should get rid of it?

Maybe I’m being impatient an I need to let it dry a little longer? Maybe the 3rd coat was applied to thick?

Any help would be appreciated.

3 replies so far

View CharlesNeil's profile


1602 posts in 3288 days

#1 posted 09-10-2016 04:33 PM

Im thinking, its a little too much finish a little too fast, I think If it were me I would just let it cure down for a few more days, if it still feels oily, do a quick wipe down with some naphtha, but let it dry well first.

View Cooler's profile


216 posts in 260 days

#2 posted 09-12-2016 07:51 PM

Waterlox takes a long time to cure. I would let it stand in a low humidity room for 7 days before deciding what to do next.

I did apply 4 heavy coats of Waterlox on my guest room floor. I did the first two coats on one weekend and the second two coats the following weekend. And that worked fine. I did not move furniture back in for 7 days and everything cured up nicely. But I doubt that the Waterlox was fully cured after the 7 days, though I’ve read that most finished cure to near full hardness in 200 hours.

I have a cup holder I made some 20 years ago and finished with oil based Minwax glossy. And that finish is harder than any week old finish I’ve ever applied. I think that the curing goes on forever but probably in a non-linear fashion. So most of the curing is done in the first 48 or 72 hours and then a smaller and smaller amount of curing goes on as time passes.

-- This post is a hand-crafted natural product. Slight variations in spelling and grammar should not be viewed as flaws or defects, but rather as an integral characteristic of the creative process.

View AandCstyle's profile


2533 posts in 1674 days

#3 posted 09-12-2016 09:10 PM

Dan, I used Waterlox on a recent project and asked Waterlox customer service a couple questions. I received a response from Conor Hawkins early the next business day. He is the company president, IIRC, and the fourth generation family member to run the business. Ask him and share the response here. HTH

-- Art

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