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Arm R Seal or Waterlox . Dining table top.

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Forum topic by Fax posted 05-16-2017 05:47 PM 2098 views 2 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Fax

62 posts in 604 days


05-16-2017 05:47 PM

Hello friends,

What would you suggest for a more durable finish for dinind table top.
I am not sure what is stronger, Arm R Seal or Waterlox Varnish ?
Thank you very much for your help!
Julian

-- Julian Paul Jones


15 replies so far

View TungOil's profile

TungOil

1034 posts in 642 days


#1 posted 05-16-2017 06:03 PM

That’s a great question, and one that I’m just setting out to answer over the next couple of weeks myself, since I’m building a dining table right now.

I’m just preparing some test panels to try out these three finishes:

1) Waterlox Original Sealer/Finish
2) General Finishes Arm-R-Seal Oil & Urethane
3) Minwax Wipe On Poly

My sense is that the poly finishes will be more durable than the Waterlox, which I have used quite often and really like. From experience I know the Minwax is easier to apply and builds faster. I’ve not yet used the GF products, so I’m curious to see how the test panels look.

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

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Fax

62 posts in 604 days


#2 posted 05-16-2017 06:16 PM

“TungOil” Thank you very much for your time and advice!
I really appreciate it!
Julian

-- Julian Paul Jones

View Rich's profile

Rich

3665 posts in 737 days


#3 posted 05-16-2017 06:25 PM

I can say from using it on a recent countertop that Waterlox Original, followed by Waterlox urethane is very durable. I mentioned it in another thread, but I panicked when I saw the tiler had stacked tiles on it, but it was unscathed. I’m very happy with the surface.

Arm-R-Seal gets rave reviews on here and people swear by it, so I’m sure it’s a great choice too.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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Fax

62 posts in 604 days


#4 posted 05-16-2017 06:50 PM

Thank you Rich Taylor!
This is also good news for me because last year I refinished a customer’s dining table with Waterlox Original. I applied 3 coats of Original Waterlox. I didn’t use the Waterlox Urethane over it. I wonder if it is a big difference…I hope it is a strong finish.

-- Julian Paul Jones

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chrisstef

17682 posts in 3154 days


#5 posted 05-16-2017 07:14 PM

I used arm-r-seal on some countertops I did a while back. I only lived with them for a year or so but they held up amazingly well. Make sure you get a couple coats on the bottom of the table as well so the table doesn’t take on moisture differently.

Id brush on 2-3 heavy coats and then wipe on another 3-4 or until I was happy.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

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JADobson

1207 posts in 2258 days


#6 posted 05-16-2017 08:34 PM

If I remember right FWW did a test between a bunch of finishes and rated Arm-R-Seal as the easiest to apply and the most durable. Can’t remember if Waterlox was included in the test.

-- No craft is very far from the line beyond which is magic. -- Lord Dunsany — Instagram @grailwoodworks

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

1866 posts in 2137 days


#7 posted 05-16-2017 08:41 PM

If I remember right the FWW test rated MW poly pretty high. Dont buy the wipe on just thin the regular 1:1 with ms.

View Carloz's profile

Carloz

1147 posts in 739 days


#8 posted 05-16-2017 09:13 PM

Waterlox claims their product is the best thing after peanut butter with jelly. Strangely according to their comparison waterlox has no cons, just total pros over anything.
https://www.waterlox.com/Competitor-Comparisons

View Rich's profile

Rich

3665 posts in 737 days


#9 posted 05-16-2017 09:25 PM


Waterlox claims their product is the best thing after peanut butter with jelly. Strangely according to their comparison waterlox has no cons, just total pros over anything.

And your point is?

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View TungOil's profile

TungOil

1034 posts in 642 days


#10 posted 05-16-2017 09:36 PM

July/Aug 2005 issue of FWW is the one you are thinking of, I just had it out. They rated the Minwax Wipe-on Poly as the top finish. Waterlox was tested also, as was Arm-R-Seal.

Water resistance rating, which is likely the most important thing they compared to the OP:

Minwax- excellent
Waterlox Original- good (High Gloss- excellent)
Arm-R-Seal- fair

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

View LittleShaver's profile

LittleShaver

398 posts in 767 days


#11 posted 05-17-2017 02:21 PM

When I built our dining room table a few year ago, I used MW gloss poly cut 50% with MS for the top coats. Seem to recall putting on 5-6 coats. Did all surfaces the same to minimize differential water absorption. Still looks like the day I finished it. The top was a single slab of white oak 36” wide, 96” long and about 2 1/2” thick.

-- Sawdust Maker

View pontic's profile

pontic

634 posts in 756 days


#12 posted 05-17-2017 07:47 PM

Kleer Kote #30 resin 39.86 per gallon covers 48sqft.
Crosslinked resin could tapdance on it.

-- Illigitimii non carburundum sum

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5095 posts in 2641 days


#13 posted 05-17-2017 08:01 PM

Waterlox Original is a phenolic resin varnish, and extremely durable. That said, durable may not be the same a scratch resistant. That is the specialty of urethane formula varnishes, and is the only time I will use one (for scratch resistance). That’s why most of the floor formulas are urethane. I’d say either Arm-R-Seal or Waterlox would do exactly what you want. I left MW out because I personally consider them the Harbor Freight of the finish world.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Carol's profile

Carol

62 posts in 660 days


#14 posted 05-17-2017 08:29 PM

used 3 coats of waterlox on my heart pine countertops. i’m very impressed with the amount of protection waterlox gives. the finish isn’t very scratch resistant tho, but i didn’t care much about scratches. what i like second best about waterlox is that to reapply, i don’t need to sand.

not a fan of general finishes; i find it yellows the wood. i’ve only used it on pine and red oak.

i’ll need to give the arm-r-seal a try.

-- Carol

View Rich's profile

Rich

3665 posts in 737 days


#15 posted 05-17-2017 10:04 PM


That said, durable may not be the same a scratch resistant.

I use a product from Mohawk on my Waterlox sealer/finish topped with Waterlox urethane called “Scratch & Mar Resister Polish.”

When I first sprayed it on, it appeared to bead up on the Waterlox and I figured I’d wasted my money. I used it on one side, rubbed it on with a microfiber cloth and then noticed a major difference in feel between the two sides. The polished side was much slicker, but without any sort of film or residue. It polished beautifully as well. I now use it regularly.

Its claim to fame is that it lubricates the surface, making it less likely that something will grab and dig in, leaving a scratch.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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