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Forum topic by 12strings posted 05-24-2012 04:30 PM 2716 views 1 time favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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12strings

434 posts in 1850 days


05-24-2012 04:30 PM

Hi all,

What good finishes can I find at a home center (lowes, HD) OTHER THAN POLYURETHANE?

I like the look and hardness, and ease of application…but I really need something that is not going to smell for 2 months after I put it on.

Any suggestions. I live in a small town, nowhere near a woodcraft or really any store that would have wood finishing products other than LOWES, So that’s where I have to go.

Thanks,

-- I'm strictly hand-tool only...unless the power tool is faster and easier!


15 replies so far

View Doss's profile

Doss

779 posts in 1730 days


#1 posted 05-24-2012 04:38 PM

Watco Danish oil, Howards (beeswax and orange oil butcher block stuff), countertop epoxy, and paint.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View RussellAP's profile

RussellAP

3059 posts in 1753 days


#2 posted 05-24-2012 04:47 PM

It would be a good idea to know what kind of wood and whether it’s for indoor or outdoor use. I’m assuming indoor and that you want to seal the wood. There are lots of products, but one I’ve been wanting to try is found at a paint store, it’s just the base for paint with no color added. They say it looks great.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View Dchip's profile

Dchip

270 posts in 2718 days


#3 posted 05-24-2012 04:51 PM

I’ve had real good luck with Deft lacquer in the spray bottles. May not be practical for bigger projects. I think it’s only at Lowes.

-- Dan Chiappetta, NYC, http://www.9x7woodworks.com

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4456 posts in 3426 days


#4 posted 05-24-2012 05:03 PM

Whatcha gonna refinish/finish? It could be anything from a floor to a box from what you’ve given us to work with.
Little more help from ya will be good. Then, we can make decent suggestions.
Not tryin’ to be a smarta$$.
Water based finishes don’t have the odor problems you mentioned.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View hObOmOnk's profile

hObOmOnk

1381 posts in 3594 days


#5 posted 05-24-2012 05:13 PM

Find a local Ace Hardware store. Their house brands of Ace Spar Varnish is one of the best real Tung Oil/Phenolic Resin products for exterior projects. They also have a nice traditional alkyd varnish (Ace brand) for interior projects.

They also carry the excellent line of Zar finishing products from United Gilsonite Laboratories (UGL). Zar features high-solids varnishes and they were the first to introduce polyurethane-enriched varnishes to the consumer market. Zar is now offering a waterborne wipe-on polyurethane that is very low odor, dries fast and is a clear finish. Zar products are also carried by True Value Hardware stores and Sherwin-Williams paint stores.

Give traditional shellac a try. Ace, True Value and Sherwin-Williams carry the Zinsser line of shellac products. The Zinsser SealCoat product is a dewaxed shellac with a stabilized formula that offers a long shelf life.

Hope this helps.

Bro. Tenzin – Priest, chemist and professional woodcrafter.

-- 温故知新

View 12strings's profile

12strings

434 posts in 1850 days


#6 posted 05-24-2012 05:52 PM

thanks so far…here’s some Additional info & questions:

1. I build medium-sized furniture mostly…Nightstands, desk, corner cabinet, headboard, bookshelfs… I’m looking for indoor furniture finish…and I’m looking for clear-coats for wood…not paint.

2. For the danish oil, is that something that would have to be re-applied after it dried out? if so, that’s a no-go.

3. For those of you that use water-based stain and poly…does it raise the grain a lot? I’m worried about staining, and then applying the first coat of water-poly, then sanding and taking the stain off all those raised nubs…is that even an issue or not?

4. Our ace hardware went out of business 3 years ago.

5. Is counter-top epoxy difficult to apply?

-- I'm strictly hand-tool only...unless the power tool is faster and easier!

View 12strings's profile

12strings

434 posts in 1850 days


#7 posted 05-24-2012 05:57 PM

one more thing…

Does water-based poly have the water-resistance that regular poly has. ( have set condensing cups on my poly pieces with no damage, just a little water to wipe up. How does water-based poly hold up?

-- I'm strictly hand-tool only...unless the power tool is faster and easier!

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

4036 posts in 1817 days


#8 posted 05-24-2012 06:00 PM

I like to mix 1/3 spar varnish, 1/3 BLO, and 1/3 low odor mineral spirits.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View AJLastra's profile

AJLastra

87 posts in 1695 days


#9 posted 05-24-2012 06:03 PM

One of the best wiping finishes is Waterlox or a wiping varnish like Watco Danish oil which has been mentioned. you wont find Waterlox at Home Depot or Lowes but you WILL find Watco. I wouldnt diss polyurethane because it does have its place. Many a pro I know spray Minwax Polycrylic straight from the can, including me. It can be brushed well too if you use the right technique and the right brush. Keep in mind, no matter what finish you use, unless you have a perfectly controlled finishing environment that controls temp, humidity and dust, then you’ll get a less than perfect finish when the finish dries. thats why most professional looking finishes are rubbed out. rubbing out removes the surface defects and gives you a smooth surface finish. Obviously, you are able to use a computer because you are on this site. Sooooooo, dont hesitate ordering online and getting some quality stuff that way. If you’re going to take and make the time to build a project and you want it to come out right, dont skimp on the finish unless its a utility piece or a project for the shop and in that case, I never apply finish to those projects. Polycrylic is waterbased by the way.

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AJLastra

87 posts in 1695 days


#10 posted 05-24-2012 06:08 PM

Waterbased poly, as I mentioned by referencing Polycrylic, is a surprisingly nice finish. I’ve used it on furniture and on kitchen and bathroon cabinets. It sprays well if you have spray equipment and it can be wiped on nicely too. I’m not a big fan of Minwax products but they got it right with this stuff. It will resist water well. Shellac is a nice finish, as was mentioned earlier, but shellac will not tolerate alcohol and it scratches easily. Fixing it in repair is easy though. THAT is the downside to severe damage with polyurethane. If you have to go back one day and repair the finish, thats tricky to do with poly.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4456 posts in 3426 days


#11 posted 05-24-2012 06:17 PM

12strings, thanks for the additional update. Now you’re getting some good info.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View AJLastra's profile

AJLastra

87 posts in 1695 days


#12 posted 05-24-2012 06:28 PM

12 strings

Grain raise with water based is an issue. you can avoid it by going to that same HD and buying Zinsser Sealcoat. this is a 2lb cut of blonde shellac that you use as a sealer. shellac as a sealer coat binds with EVERYTHING even though it is solvent based; i.e denatured alcohol is the solvent. Polycrylic will NOT impart any color like oil based will. It is water clear when it dries. If you want the look of an oil finish or the look of solvent lacquer without the fumes, and fire issues with lacquer but you want the fast dry times as with lacquer, Polycrylic will dry to the touch in 20 minutes provided you keep an eye on your temp and humidity levels. High humidity and thats a no go for this stuff. Wait and finish early in the morning or later in the day or wait for another day. Another down side to Polycrylic is the price. It isnt cheap. And if you are going to brush it, DO NOT use a cheap brush. HD sells excellent Perdy brushes. Buy those to be used for waterbased finishes, not oil based paint. Nylon filament. Precondition the brush by dipping it half way up to the ferrule in DISTILLED water. Tap water has too many chemicals that can effect a finish top coat. DO NOT rub out with steel wool because it will react to the waterbased finish. Wipe off the excess water from the brush and then if you need other info about how to brush it, I’ll be here when you’re ready. You will need a natural bristle brush for the shellac sealer though, not a waterbased nylon brush.

View AJLastra's profile

AJLastra

87 posts in 1695 days


#13 posted 05-24-2012 06:38 PM

I guess I’m saturating you with info….............sorry. you asked about stains and potential bleed through, I think. thats another reason you use shellac as a seal coat. i’m presuming you’re familiar with pigment stains, and aniline dyes. Waterbased top coats over waterbased stains can be a problem. shellac used as a seal coat will keep the stain from bleeding through the finish. I use water based dye stains because those stains dont simply lodge in wood pores. Anilline dye penetrates the wood fiber and evenly stains the piece. If you’re worried about blotching, use gel stains especially on blotch prone woods like cherry and pine. Once your stain has dried and you’ve seal coated it with shellac, you can apply your waterbased top coat without any worries. you could even glaze coat over the shellac if you wanted to adjust the color of the stain but thats a whole other topic altogether.

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hObOmOnk

1381 posts in 3594 days


#14 posted 05-24-2012 08:40 PM

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NiteWalker

2735 posts in 2043 days


#15 posted 05-25-2012 02:40 AM

Rustoleum ultimate poly is pretty good. No smell, dries fast and very cheap @$11/quart at Lowe’s.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

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