How many coats of Arm-R-Seal?

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Forum topic by rodneyh posted 03-30-2011 05:41 PM 7593 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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145 posts in 2080 days

03-30-2011 05:41 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question oak finishing

I’m finishing a QS white oak mission style bathroom shelf using Jeff Jewitt’s Stickley finish recipe, which uses satin Arm-R-Seal for the top coat. I’ve used the recipe on several wall hangings, using only 2 coats of the Arm-R-Seal. That looks great, but I’m certain it’s not enough to protect this shelf. I’m sure it will have water glasses and other wet things put on it, as it’s going next to the sink. I’ve got 2 coats on it thus far, and will put on the 3rd tonight. So how many coats do I need? Or maybe there’s something add’l I need to add??


7 replies so far

View pete79's profile


154 posts in 2557 days

#1 posted 03-30-2011 07:52 PM

I did 4 coats of it on a kids toybox that gets abused like no other. Seems to have held up real well for a little over a year so far. It’s had water, juice, milk, peanut butter, and who knows what else on it. Everything just wipes right off!

-- Life is a one lap race.

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Steven H

1117 posts in 2476 days

#2 posted 03-31-2011 02:04 AM

3 coats is fine.

But be careful with oil based polyurethane, they tend to crack if you apply too many layers coats or too thick.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 3238 days

#3 posted 03-31-2011 02:42 AM

Rodney, the other thing to consider when applying this type of product is that, as a wipe on finish, it has been cut with mineral spirits. Two applications would be equivalent to applying only 1 coat of full strength poly. As a minimum I usually apply 2 full strength coats of polyurethane and will often continue applying the product until I get the build that I want.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Jim Crockett (USN Retired)'s profile

Jim Crockett (USN Retired)

852 posts in 3149 days

#4 posted 03-31-2011 03:48 AM

Rodney, with the wipe on finishes, I usually apply from 4 to 6 coats depending on how thickly I wipe on each coat, how it looks after #4, and the abuse the piece will likely experience.


-- A veteran is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including his/her life".

View rodneyh's profile


145 posts in 2080 days

#5 posted 03-31-2011 02:59 PM

Thanks everyone for the input. Because it does go on so thin, I’ll do the 4th coat (today) at a minimum.

View CharlesNeil's profile


1602 posts in 3287 days

#6 posted 03-31-2011 03:16 PM

Arm R Seal, while it can be wiped, try using a foam brush especially on the flast surfaces, it will lay out a super nice coat, looks like it was sprayed, Ed the guy who helps me part time with finishing, ( he LIKES to sand ,I let him :) ) did a set of brazzilian cherry stairs, and we did 3 brushed coats of Arm R Seal, with a light 320 mid coat scuff sand, between 1st and 2nd coat, then a 600 betweent the 2nd and third, they look like glass, on an oak, a light wiped coat for what we will call a sealer coat, to seal the pores workes well, this is done to prevent it from getting air bubbles in the heavier coats, if you do verticle areas , it will do well, but keep an eye on it for a little bit until it tacks up some because it can run pretty easily, if so simply tip off the run with a wet foam brush, you can also store the foam brush in the freezer in a plastic bag , it will save it , ( usually), so you dont waster finish from the brush soaking up so much finish… maybe more than you wanted to know,,, but just my .02

View DLCW's profile


530 posts in 2071 days

#7 posted 04-01-2011 03:36 AM

If brushing or spraying I do 3. If hand rubbing between coats I will apply 9 to 10.

-- Don, Diamond Lake Custom Woodworks - - "If you make something idiot proof, all they do is make a better idiot"

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