General Gel Topcoat-Not Getting the Results I Expected-Why?

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Forum topic by gerrym526 posted 07-10-2010 02:47 PM 1518 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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274 posts in 3775 days

07-10-2010 02:47 PM

Just finished a low console TV cabinet of cherry hardwood and plywood, and am now using General Gel Topcoat as the finish. Sanded everything to at least 150 grit as recommended, and some parts to 220 grit. I’m on my 3rd wipe on coat of Gel Topcoat, and not sure I’m getting the build of the finish I expected. Current 3rd coat still leaves a rough feeling to the finish, can’t figure out why.
Am I wiping off too much of it when applying? Although the instructions say sanding isn’t necessary should I still hit the dried finish with 320 grit between coats?
I’ve used Bartley’s Gel Varnish in the past, but switched to General for this project when Bartley’s manufacturer went out of business. Seem to remember a faster build to the finish coats with Bartleys.
Any help on this problem is much appreciated.
One last question-when I get beyond the finishing issue should I apply 2 coats of paste wax as a final finish?

-- Gerry

2 replies so far

View CharlesNeil's profile


2388 posts in 3837 days

#1 posted 07-10-2010 03:20 PM

Gerry , a mid coat sanding is in order , but 320 is too course look to a 800 or 1200, it shouldnt take much, the 320 scratches are too heavy for the thin coats of a gel finish to fill , as to the wax , only if you want its ,ot needed , a quick buffing with a brown paper bag or piece of craft paper will give it a nice feel, if you elect to wax it I suggest giving it several weeks before doing so, often the solvents in a finish will cause the wax to streak, also use a little cool water on the surface when you buff it out, as often the heat build up of a hard buff out will melt the wax a little and it also causes streaking ..

View wisno's profile


88 posts in 2977 days

#2 posted 07-10-2010 03:21 PM

Did you already sand your unfinished well?
Did you do sanding for every layer top coat you application?.
To get the smooth surface you need to do sanding on your raw wood and also on your clear coat application.
It also quite difficult to get smooth surface with the wipe application.
What you need to do know is re sand your finish layer and re apply your coat.
You need to repeat your process until you meet your finish build.
And if you want to gt more smooth and even finish you have to rub your finish.
- Rubbing and polishing
- How to sanding sealer and top coat
- How to sand the wood

Good luck



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