Arm R Seal over Waterlox?

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Forum topic by Rustyempire posted 09-24-2016 04:51 PM 1394 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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24 posts in 763 days

09-24-2016 04:51 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question finishing

I’m having problems with getting a smooth, non-blotchy finish with Waterlox on my kitchen cabinets doors. I would like to try to salvage the hot mess I have by letting it cure, abrading with 0000 steel wool or similar, and finishing with Arm R Seal. “Bad idea” or “it just might work”? I don’t have the time to baby the Waterlox anymore and would rather get a finish I can count on straight out of the can. I did everything by the book with the Waterlox satin finish – stirred frequently etc. and still have glossy and dull splotches ((Aaarrghh!). Please tell me Arm R Seal can save the day? Thanks!!

7 replies so far

View jdmaher's profile


435 posts in 2728 days

#1 posted 09-24-2016 06:31 PM

I use Arm R Seal over Waterlox quite often, and sometimes use shellac in between if I’m adjusting color (e.g., on cherry using a garnet shellac).

However, I HATE steel wool, so I just use a very fine sandpaper, go very lightly, and wipe off the dust after.

The conditions you describe sound like you still have some spots that haven’t sealed yet (i.e., the Waterlox is still absorbing in the dull splotches). I do generally try to get a consistent absorption before I move on to the next layer.

-- Jim Maher, Illinois

View Rustyempire's profile


24 posts in 763 days

#2 posted 09-24-2016 11:06 PM

Thanks JD. I had already done 3 coats of WLX sealer. The blotching is def. not related to absorption in this case but purely to do with the satin finish not going on as it should (as I said even with thorough mixing as I went along) So frustrating to get to this stage and have the doors look like this after meticulous prep, babying etc. I’ll try to upload a shot but it doesn’t show up well in photos. I will go ahead with the Arm R Seal as per your advise. Glad to know I can still salvage this job. Thanks so much!

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24 posts in 763 days

#3 posted 09-25-2016 12:30 AM

Here’s how the coat of Waterlox looks now (fully dry). Brush marks fully visible in the finish as well as mottled dull/shiny patches.
Well drats… That didn’t work.

View Kirk650's profile


567 posts in 897 days

#4 posted 09-25-2016 12:45 AM

I apply thin coats of Waterlox satin, using a foam brush. Four coats usually gives me a great finish. Never had a problem with it. Love the stuff.

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24 posts in 763 days

#5 posted 09-25-2016 02:28 AM

This is what the doors look like right now. Like I said… A hot mess 
I’ll wait for it to cure a few days, sand back with 300+ grit or a fine grey mirca pad, then test with ArmRSeal. Will post follow up later this week.

View bonesbr549's profile


1576 posts in 3216 days

#6 posted 09-25-2016 12:00 PM

I use waterlox a lot, and like Arm-r-seal, but I don’t know why you think that will solve the issue? Did you use their sealer first? I use it all the time on cherry(the king of blotch), and following the recommended directions have a good result. Only had a couple issues and resolved by taking it off and redoing.

I know the frustration, but I’ve learned when that crap happens step back take a deep breath and do over. Sorry I know thats not a likable answer. Take the time take off the Waterlox down to bare wood and the labor will suck been there!

Hit that door with waterlox sealer first 2 coats.

Then reapply your finish, spraying if you can (not required). I’ve just found over the years spraying waterlox gives me my best results

You will find it will work.

Or you could get some toner dyes, but I’d hit it with shellac first to ensure it would stick. I’ve found in my times like this the fix generally turns out to take longer and is never turns out like you want.

I had an issue on a wine cabinet and remember cussing the whole time i was removing that finish off and the cost as waterlox is freak’n expensive, but after the 2nd try, the finish was perfect. Looking back I don’t regret it now and love waterlox (sorry said that already)

I love waterlox great finish. If you want a do over with a different finish, I’d go with general finishes light toner dye and their high performance over it.

Good luck my friend from some one who’s been there done that and got the T-shirt.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View Kirk650's profile


567 posts in 897 days

#7 posted 09-25-2016 01:39 PM

Prior to applying the Waterlox, I use a coat of Watco Danish Oil as a primer/sealer. I’ve also used Minwax Antique Oil as the primer. Give the Danish Oil a full two days to dry completely.

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