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Noticing imperfections on Arm R Seal final coat before dry. Suggestions?

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Forum topic by TeakTweaker posted 04-16-2018 12:54 PM 4616 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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TeakTweaker

5 posts in 246 days


04-16-2018 12:54 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Hi All, Newbie here.

I decided to finish a teak countertop with satin Arm-R-Seal. After two coats, which both looked pretty good, I began sanding with 400 grit sandpaper, per the instructions. Noticed halfway through that although 12 hours had gone by, it didn’t seem totally dry (its cold out). Decided not to mess with it, came back 6 hours later, it looked better, and sanded again and wiped it up with mineral spirits. Put the 3rd coat on and tried to wipe up excess. I noticed the more I tried to wipe up, the worse it looked, so I again did the best I could without messing with it too much.

A few hours later, it looks a little better, but also seems a little “splotchy” for lack of a better word. I haven’t messed with it, but really want to know the best course of action if it still looks like crap tomorrow? I am thinking that after it dries, scrape the high spots with a razor, maybe give a light sanding (400 grit?), and then wipe with mineral spirits and call it done? What do you think?

I’d like to retain a “natural” wood look without too much of a finish buildup and as little gloss as possible, so I’m trying to avoid another coat if I can, but will do that if it’ll produce the best result. I kinda wish I just left it at one or two coats…. but figured there was some wisdom behind the printed instructions on the side of the can.

Your advice is much appreciated.


17 replies so far

View wncguy's profile

wncguy

413 posts in 2517 days


#1 posted 04-16-2018 05:10 PM

I have never worked with teak, but I use Arm-R-Seal on maple, walnut, cherry & some other woods.

I am guessing that there are some reasons for your result.
May have put on too thick.
Temperature too cold.
Put on 2nd coat before 1st thoroughly died/cured. 12 hours for 2 coats seems way too soon.
Sanded too soon. Saw a video Charles Neil did that,as I recall, said your should get a fine white dust after sanding. I use that as my guide.

I am not an expert or experienced as many on the site, but would think you might want to sand & start over.
I now put on 2 coats of Zinsser’s Bulls Eye Sanding Sealer (2 lb cut non wax shellac) before applying the ARS. Dries fast & after sanding allows good base for the ARS.

Suggest you send a PM to Lumber Jock Charles Neil & ask for his suggestions. He has a wealth of knowledge & experience.

-- Any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a Dad

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EarlS

1954 posts in 2553 days


#2 posted 04-16-2018 05:20 PM

Good avice from wncguy. Your problem could be any or all of the things he mentioned. I’m curious why you wiped it down with mineral spirits after sanding? Generally, I use a lint free rag to remove any dust just prior to applying the next coat.

You might have overwiped your 3rd coat and removed too much. You should be able to see a consistent shiny, reflective layer on the wood if you look at it at the right angle to cause the shop light to bounce off the surface.

If you can get your project inside, I’d suggest sitting it by the furnace for a couple of days to let it thoroughly dry before trying anything else.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

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avsmusic1

274 posts in 890 days


#3 posted 04-16-2018 05:31 PM

agree with WNC also

Sand it down and start over

Another possible issue is that the oil in the teak is F’in with the curing time. I’d hit it with a coat or 2 of Zinssers seal coat (dewaxed shellac) as WNC noted. You should be ok thereafter to apply thin ARS coats. Take your time though and make sure they are fully cured before re-applying

I just had to do this on a piece of Padauk

View TeakTweaker's profile

TeakTweaker

5 posts in 246 days


#4 posted 04-16-2018 06:51 PM

Bummer, this was what I was hoping to avoid.

The project is inside, but was in the basement where it was in the 50s. Now its in a spare upstairs room.

I saw in a video somewhere people using MS to remove debris after sanding. Seemed weird to me as I figured it would dissolve some of the finish, but went with it anyway as I didn’t want to leave any sanding particles on top. Guess this is a no no?

So sand all the way back down to raw wood and put another 3 coats on with seal coat? I guess I couldn’t sand 150 to 220 as is to remove part of the finish and then just get away with one more coat? It doesn’t look completely horrible. Almost tempted to leave it as is.

Thanks so much.

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EarlS

1954 posts in 2553 days


#5 posted 04-16-2018 07:52 PM

I would take it back to raw wood. I had to redo a table top finish 7 times because I kept trying to short cut the process. It’s easier to start over with a clean piece of wood.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View avsmusic1's profile

avsmusic1

274 posts in 890 days


#6 posted 04-17-2018 10:48 AM

I would definitely sand it back down.

2 light coats of dewaxed shellac (Zinsser seal coat is available everywhere) – there are instructions on the can of ratios to cut down w/ denatured alc. you can lightly sand after the first coat but I wouldn’t after the 2nd b/c the ARS may not merge and you may see swirl under direct light (google methods to apply b/c it’s a little different than how you want to approach the ARS application – shellac dries WAY faster)

3-5 ARS coats to preference

View TeakTweaker's profile

TeakTweaker

5 posts in 246 days


#7 posted 04-17-2018 01:00 PM

OK, I’m going to let it fully cure for a little while longer, then start over on the top surface or the wood.

I’m curious about the shellac base. Does the sanded wood not have a good enough base for the ARS? I get that it is labeled “topcoat”, but none of the butcher block tutorials I saw up to this point mention the shellac seal coat first. Granted, they use salad bowl finish or waterlox, but I’m not cutting directly on this surface anyway, and it seemed like ARS was pretty much the same thing as salad bowl finish, but available in satin.

View wncguy's profile

wncguy

413 posts in 2517 days


#8 posted 04-17-2018 02:16 PM

I cannot speak for others…
I started out just using Arm-R-Seal & over the last year began using the shellac sealer I mentioned.
Resistant to most things except alcohol. ARS as top coats gives the alcohol protection.
Shellac seems to provide some blotching resistance.
Less expensive than ARS.
Works with most other finishes.
But the big thing for me is how fast it drys. I can apply the finish & sand on my boxes much faster without the longer wait times between coats.

-- Any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a Dad

View avsmusic1's profile

avsmusic1

274 posts in 890 days


#9 posted 04-17-2018 02:20 PM

Hopefully some of the old timers will chime in as well for you.

Assuming the ARS isn’t old, I believe it’s not an issue of the finish or the wood per se – more the combo of the two. ARS is my personal go to as it’s user friendly and I love the results. Every now and again though it’s not the ideal fit for a particular wood or application. As a hobbyist I haven’t always had the opportunity to work on as many species as I would like so, like you, I hit an issue like this from time to time.

Also, ARS is a a urethane product that creates a protective “film” on the top of the product. A product like butcher block oil is a different animal – think of it as a balance/trade-off between protection and maintenance.

View TungOil's profile

TungOil

1061 posts in 700 days


#10 posted 04-19-2018 01:28 AM

I’ve never had much luck getting any film finish to stick to true teak. It’s too oily. I always use a teak oil.

-- 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 TeakTweaker's profile

TeakTweaker

5 posts in 246 days


#11 posted 05-04-2018 07:35 PM

TungOil,
Thanks for the reply. Have you used teak oil on butcher block? I assumed there could be issues with using it near food in the kitchen. Also, does teak oil darken the wood more than Arm-R-Seal or other finishes, that you know of?

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

1954 posts in 2553 days


#12 posted 05-04-2018 07:48 PM

The times I’ve used teak oil I notice a little more color but not a significant darkening, certainly not any worse than Arm-R-Seal. I think the teak oil makes the wood look richer with more depth. I don’t use teak oil much because it goes on thin, like BLO or Danish oil so it takes a lot of coats. Generally, I use it under ARS but let is cure for at least 72 hours in a warm place. When I can, I give it a week, whether it is BLO, Watco, Danish oil, teak oil or anything like that just so I know it is not going to weep out after the ARS is applied.

I can’t speak to food issues.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

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Aj2

1885 posts in 2003 days


#13 posted 05-04-2018 07:56 PM

Did you knownTeak oil is just a name of a very common blend of oils like linseed or Tung. Is just called that because people like to use it on teak furniture.
I don’t think anyone should waste money on it .
For a butcher block that’s going yo have food cut or prepared just use mineral oil.
If it’s more of a show counter for elbows and drinks then look at the good stuff.

I don’t reall care for Arm r seal too much work.

-- Aj

View TungOil's profile

TungOil

1061 posts in 700 days


#14 posted 05-04-2018 08:03 PM



TungOil,
Thanks for the reply. Have you used teak oil on butcher block? I assumed there could be issues with using it near food in the kitchen. Also, does teak oil darken the wood more than Arm-R-Seal or other finishes, that you know of?

- TeakTweaker


No, I’ve never used it on butcher block, nor would I. I don’t believe the stuff I used was food safe. But I don’t think I would use teak for food contact anyway due to the oily nature of the material, I would be afraid it might add unwanted flavor to the food.

As rich said, I think it darkens less that arm-r-seal. I would say that it is more of a grain enhancement with a slight amount of darkening.

-- 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 bbasiaga's profile

bbasiaga

1240 posts in 2200 days


#15 posted 05-04-2018 08:06 PM

Removing sanding dust with a mineral spirits damp rag is fine. Like a damp rag for dusting your house, it picks up the dust better without kicking it up in to the air, just to resettle on your project.

Once fully cured ARS or any type of poly is basically impervious to the mineral spirits. And you can top coat right away after wiping since the uncured finish is soluble in mineral spirits.

You should wait as close to a full day between ARS costs as you can. Poly too. At least overnight. In my experience two coats in a day is not really possible unless you have really good conditions, get up early, and work late.

Brian.

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

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