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How do I get the perfect high gloss finish?

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Forum topic by pariswoodworking posted 532 days ago 1419 views 0 times favorited 37 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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pariswoodworking

379 posts in 985 days


532 days ago

I have been trying to get the perfect finish for a long time, and have yet to succeed. I’ve tried lacquer, poly, shellac, and a combination of a few other things, but I still get get it right.
I was talking to a guy the other day and he had figured out how to get the perfect finish without buffing/polishing. He just put the finish on, and it cam out looking like a piece of polished glass. He won’t tell me what it is (he created it, and wants it to be a secret), and I can respect that, but it’s killing me that I can’t figure it out. He said it is not poly or lacquer, so I have no idea what it is.
Any suggestions? I’m willing to try anything. Also, I’ve tried polishing lacquer and poly, but I can’t get it looking like a mirror. Is there a really good technique that I could try?

Thanks

-- Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein


37 replies so far

View NiteWalker's profile

NiteWalker

2309 posts in 1077 days


#1 posted 532 days ago

Wetsanding is what works for me.

I use siaair pads up to 4000 grit.

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

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1616 days


#2 posted 532 days ago

have you try´d to use a spraygun

usualy it takes several (7-10 ) layers of lacks before its get to look like glass
with lightsanding between each layer
it doesn´t matter what you use pensel or spraygun

Dennis

View CharlesNeil's profile

CharlesNeil

1098 posts in 2371 days


#3 posted 532 days ago

not sure what you call high gloss, I can use a good automotive clear and assuming I have filled the grain and have a really nice surface, I can spray it to look like a super slick automotive finish, but I have a spray booth and controled environment I have also used the epoxies. Appied a good coat then sanded it super smooth then in a controlled enviorment ,so not to get any dust, I have thinned the final coat with some acetone about 20 % and got a super slick finish, it will flow out like glass. The issue at home is creating an environment that is totally dust free for the time it takes it to dry, much easier said than done. I am just thinking out loud here, one of the things you will want is for it to set up dust free quickly, the automotive stuff does that , as it is catalyzed , also the automotive clears are a bit higher sheen than wood finishes, on a scale of 1 to 100 , wood finishes hit about 94 or so , auto clears are in the 96 to 98 range, my guess now thinking on it, is it is probably an auto clear. The main reason for rubbung a finish is to do a final level and remove any debris , in a home enviorment a wiped, or sprayed finish that is perfect, might be a bit of a stretch, just my.02

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pariswoodworking

379 posts in 985 days


#4 posted 532 days ago

@nite-are you talking about those pads used to polish bowling balls? I might have to pick some up to try.

@Dennis-I do not have access to a spray gun right now. (lack of funds, and a cramped shop), will aerosol work just as well (minwax)? Thanks for the advice on the coats.

@Charles-Does automotive clear coat come in aerosol cans? If so, I’ll definetly try some. I think I can manage the dust well enough. My shop is closed off from the rest of the garage, so I’ll clean the area I want to spray in very throughly, and try it that way.

Thanks for the advice guys.

-- Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein

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CharlesNeil

1098 posts in 2371 days


#5 posted 532 days ago

no the auto clear is not in a spray can, and besides it being a catalyzed finish, yuo really don’t want to spray it in your house, its pretty tough stuff, we have what would look like Haz_Mat suits and full face respirators, was just saying its possible thats what your friend is using. In as much as using spray cans to get a high gloss finish, not saying you couldnt do it, but spray cans have very low solids, and are expensive, but we could possibly find a “creative” way for the home guys to get a good finish, let me ponder on this , could be fun for all,

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pariswoodworking

379 posts in 985 days


#6 posted 532 days ago

Ponder on, I’m anxious to hear what you come up with. :D I’ll do a little digging to and see if I can come up with somthing too.

-- Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein

View CharlesNeil's profile

CharlesNeil

1098 posts in 2371 days


#7 posted 532 days ago

yea man, Ponder, I am southern and a might redneck, :)
there are numerous ways, but we want to Kiss this thing, ( keep it stupidly simple ) :)

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pariswoodworking

379 posts in 985 days


#8 posted 532 days ago

I’m also a Southerner (Texas), and a bit redneck too. :D I’ve heard of the KISS method before, and I try to keep stuff as simple as possible. I think I may have found something that would work for me.

I have not tried rubbing a finish out with automotive polish yet. I found a few potential types, and would appreciate feedback (I don’t know much about automotive polishes, so I just want to know which one would be the best to use for a mirror shine)

Do any of these look like they would work?

http://www.oreillyauto.com/site/c/detail/TUR0/T417/N0468.oap?ck=Search_N0468_-1_-1&pt=N0468&ppt=C0209

http://www.oreillyauto.com/site/c/detail/MTH2/08100/N0468.oap?ck=Search_N0468_-1_-1&pt=N0468&ppt=C0209

http://www.oreillyauto.com/site/c/detail/TUR0/T241A/N0468.oap?ck=Search_N0468_-1_-1&pt=N0468&ppt=C0209

-- Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein

View Dchip's profile

Dchip

267 posts in 1753 days


#9 posted 532 days ago

Progressively thinner shellac? The higher the alcohol ratio, the less you’re adding to the finish and just smoothing over the previous coat. Maybe even the last coat just being an alcohol-soaked rag.

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

View CharlesNeil's profile

CharlesNeil

1098 posts in 2371 days


#10 posted 532 days ago

Ok, lets back up, one step at a time, are you game to get a qt of whatever it is Min- wax sell, polycrylic I think, in a gloss, if so also get a foam brush, and one of those painter pads that look like nylon velcro , and a can of Deft or other spray can gloss lacquer, all of this should be available at a box store, Lowes I think, has it all, not positive

then we will go from there, :)

View Jorge G.'s profile

Jorge G.

1478 posts in 976 days


#11 posted 532 days ago

Well Mr. Neil, Now that we have you here, I have a question about your new book. Should I post it here or do you want me to e mail you?

-- "It is what you do with what you know that matters" - James Krenov

View CharlesNeil's profile

CharlesNeil

1098 posts in 2371 days


#12 posted 532 days ago

Dchip, I agree shellac will do it, but going to go for something a little easier and more durable, :)

View CharlesNeil's profile

CharlesNeil

1098 posts in 2371 days


#13 posted 532 days ago

Jorge, let’er rip

View NiteWalker's profile

NiteWalker

2309 posts in 1077 days


#14 posted 532 days ago

Yep, the pads they use on bowling balls.
It was actually from charles neil I learned it from (well, a video he did. ;-)).

Good results.
I use crystalac super premium; it’s a high quality water borne finish.
I use distilled water with a bit of dawn in it as my lube.

I keep it extremely simple; 2 coats of the clear, lightly sand with 320, 2 more coats, another if necessary, wait a few days, start wet sanding. I don’t do it with a machine; I use one of these and do it all by hand. I start at 1000 and go to 2000, 3000 and then 4000 grit. The lower grits are mainly to smooth the surface; if the cosmos are aligned that day and I get a smooth off the gun finish I skip right to the 4000.

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

View Jorge G.'s profile

Jorge G.

1478 posts in 976 days


#15 posted 532 days ago

Paris I don’t know if this is what you want, if you look at my projects you will see a demilune, I used lacquer and polished it with 3M polishing compound, took the polishing off with a clean cloth and then buffed the surface. It was pretty simple and quick. But you have to let the lacquer cure for a week or so, so that it is as hard as it can get.

-- "It is what you do with what you know that matters" - James Krenov

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