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Oil and Water Based Topcoats - different sides of same project?

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Forum topic by AlmostRetired posted 09-15-2018 01:46 PM 941 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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AlmostRetired

217 posts in 863 days


09-15-2018 01:46 PM

I am building an amazing table and bench set out of red oak for the tops and fir for the bases. I have been using Waterlox (Original with Satin as a final coat) for the top of the tabletop. With 24 hours of dry time required it is taking forever and I still have to do the other side. What do you LJ’ers think about using GF High Performance Water Based Topcoat on the underside of the table. It’s 2 hour dry time would allow me to put 3-5 coats on in one day and then get back to my final coat of Waterlox on the top again.

Understanding that one is oil based and one is waterbased would the two finishes seal the wood differently or would I still be getting the seal I want?

Right now my plan is to just do the underside with Waterlox too….and just deal with the time.

One other question…..GF’s Arm-A-Seal has a 12 hour dry time. How does it compare to Waterlox as a final topcoat on a table?

Thanks everyone,
Roger


6 replies so far

View Rich's profile

Rich

3668 posts in 738 days


#1 posted 09-15-2018 02:17 PM

Put one or two coats of Waterlox on the bottom and call it a day (or two). There’s no need to match the number of coats that you put on the top. No need to do the satin either, just the original. Nobody is going to see it.

Arm-R-Seal is a great finish. I generally use it over Waterlox because it comes in different sheens. Waterlox Original is too glossy for me. They say it softens after a few months, but I have a test board from last September that’s still pretty glossy. Arm-R-Seal is also a bit lighter in color.

Nice looking table BTW.

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

View Druid's profile

Druid

1868 posts in 2944 days


#2 posted 09-18-2018 07:34 AM

I have to agree with Rich’s advice of ”call it a day (or two)”. The directions on virtually all finishes usually tell you what to expect if you happen to be working under the same conditions as the manufacturer’s facility. But, time frame alone is not the only factor when it comes to completely curing any of the finishes that you are working with. Temperature and humidity must be considered. I was in a bit of a rush with a project that I did a few years ago, so I only gave each coat of finish exactly the time that the instructions stated. But the work area was cool, and humidity was high at that time of the year, so the intermediate coats never really cured completely. The final coat feels correct, but it seems that the previous coats are still somewhat soft, and if an object is left on the surface for a few days, it seems to “stick” when I pick it up.
Since then, I always try to make sure to allow at least double the recommended cure time for each coat, and I have not had the same problem again.
Looking forward to seeing your final results. ;)

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

1869 posts in 2138 days


#3 posted 09-18-2018 12:00 PM

Waterlox or ars, or mw poly even could be used with pretty much equal results. The mw poly has to be thinned 1:1 to have the same solids content as ars. For the bottom and in the future apply the 1st coat like a danish oil, flood it on keep it wet for 10 min or longer then wipe most of it off. For the bottom add another wipe on coat and you are done, it will be sealed.

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Rich

3668 posts in 738 days


#4 posted 09-18-2018 02:26 PM

A couple of things need to be cleared up. First, in my post when I said I used Arm-R-Seal over Waterlox, I meant that I prefer Arm-R-Seal to Waterlox, not that I use it on top of Waterlox. Poor choice of words on my part.

Second, the comment in post #3 that you should treat Waterlox like Danish oil and flood it and wipe after 10 minutes is wrong. The Waterlox web site specifically states:

“Waterlox Original Tung oil finishes are penetrating oil finishes that are formulated to self-level. Do not wipe on and off the finish.”

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

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OSU55

1869 posts in 2138 days


#5 posted 09-18-2018 09:32 PM

As stated previously Flood on for 10 min and wipe off for the 1st coat. Im sure you have read many of the same newbie complaints that “the wood just soaks up the finish. Ive done 3 coats and it still looks bad”. This simple change alleviates the issue by ensuring the wood is fully saturated. Doesnt hurt to do it a 2nd time. It is not wrong. These are all oil based varnishes that work by the same basic mechanisms. Waterlox is a low solids mix, per the mfr, and this method with actually speed up the overall finishing process. Have completed multiple finishes with all 3 products using this method.

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Rich

3668 posts in 738 days


#6 posted 09-18-2018 09:41 PM

Yep, ignore the instructions on the Waterlox web site and do what you say…LOL. That’s what I call chutzpah. I’ve always done it their way and it came out perfect each time.

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

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