Help with Waterlox

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Forum topic by fboucher posted 07-31-2012 09:39 PM 2053 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4 posts in 2121 days

07-31-2012 09:39 PM

Good day all. I have made a trestle table for a client and they suggested waterlox as a finish, and this is my first time using this product, I normally use General Finishes Seal-a-cell followed by numerous coats of arm-r-seal. I seem to be having trouble with the waterlox “running”. I am trying to finish just the base at this point and i place the “legs” and the stretcher down on my finish table and attempted to finish one side at a time. Apply a coat, wait 24 hrs, flip the piece to the other side and apply another coat and continued this process. But the problem I am having is if you can imagine lying a 2×8 face down and the finish runs down the edge of the board. I have taken great precaution in trying to avoid the runs down the side. as well when I try to finish the edge it runs down the face and again take great precaution in attempting to either wipe the runs off or brush them off with the brush. I have tried china bristle brushes and tried foam brushes, tried sanding between coats with 320 and steel wool, tried wiping with various methods and materials. Everyone calls this finish fool proof, but I am having my doubts about it. Can anyone offer any suggestions on what I can do, or how others apply this finish and methods available. I did email Waterlox and they simply told me to read the woodworking guide available on their website, which I have read multiple times. Please help.

6 replies so far

View Charlie's profile


1100 posts in 2281 days

#1 posted 07-31-2012 10:42 PM

Stop brushing it and rub it on instead. You can use a lamb’s wool applicator like you’d use on a hardwood floor or you can use a t-shirt stuffed into some nylon stockings. If it’s running, you’re simply putting it on too heavy. Lighten up.

View fboucher's profile


4 posts in 2121 days

#2 posted 07-31-2012 11:12 PM

Yea it seems that when I wipe it on, it seems like it doesnt build or “lay down” like it should and seems to dry kind of fast, and if I brush it on it goes on too heavy, just tough to get a happy medium

View Gerald Thompson's profile

Gerald Thompson

935 posts in 2230 days

#3 posted 08-01-2012 12:34 AM

I used a black china bristle brush. I first wet it with mineral spirits and shook it off. i put the brush in the varnish about half way and let it drip back intp the container. i then brushed with the grain not pressing too hard. The flow out was good. The first coat soaks up fast. The next coat, after 24 hrs, required just a little less varnish.
There is no need to sand between coats for adhesion just a little to get the nibs.
I used two coats of high gloss to finalize things. After about 30 days I rubbed it out to satin.
It can be used, as it was intended from what I have read, as a wiping varnish. It takes a lot more coats to achieve the desired thickness.
The Waterlox Web Site has a lot of info. If you call them they should have some tech. help.

-- Jerry

View fussy's profile


980 posts in 3046 days

#4 posted 08-01-2012 02:42 AM

This is one reason when the client says “How about this finish?” you say “It’s ok, but I am familiar with THIS finish and as I have to guaranrtee performance, I prefer this. The result will be the same.” And stick to it unless they want to pay extra for you to develop a new finishing technique. All they care about is the final result. You are the expert. They are paying for your expertise, so BE the expert. You have to sell yourself before you can successfully sell any thing.


-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.

View newwoodbutcher's profile


740 posts in 2845 days

#5 posted 08-01-2012 04:25 AM

I’ve had success spraying Waterlox

-- Ken

View horsch's profile


42 posts in 2660 days

#6 posted 08-01-2012 04:59 AM

Allen gives a lot of really great advice about using Waterlox in his series where he makes a solid wood door, check it out here. He swears by this stuff and his results are amazing. I think it might be the only finish he uses. Hopefully he will have some tips that can help you out. He is also very open to answering questions via email.

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