LumberJocks

Waterlox Application

  • Advertise with us

« back to Finishing forum

Forum topic by TheWoodenOyster posted 05-29-2013 03:49 AM 1133 views 1 time favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View TheWoodenOyster's profile

TheWoodenOyster

898 posts in 602 days


05-29-2013 03:49 AM

Topic tags/keywords: finishing

Hey guys,

I know there are some serious Waterlox devotees out there who swear by the stuff and think it is the best finish ever. I have only used it on one project and I thought it was fine, but I wasn’t blown away. My question is this: How do you guys apply it? The directions from the manufacturer pretty clearly tell you to brush it on like poly, but then there is a sort of cryptic section of the instructions that vaguely describes rubbing it on as well. When I brushed it on, I always got dust nibs in it, but when I rubbed it on, it didn’t really waterproof anything very well. (It was Maple, so that probably didn’t help). Let me know what you guys have experienced with this product and what you think the best method of application is.

Cheers

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster


13 replies so far

View newwoodbutcher's profile

newwoodbutcher

375 posts in 1517 days


#1 posted 05-29-2013 06:32 PM

I have found a foam brush works well

-- Ken

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11663 posts in 2355 days


#2 posted 05-29-2013 06:56 PM

http://www.waterlox.com/assets/pdfs/woodworking-guide-FINAL.pdf
Some good reading if you have the time.

When you rubbed it on , did you apply a heavy enough coat to soak into the Maple first ?
By not being “waterproof” , how did you test it ?
I’ve used it mainly on Walnut and Cherry so far , with excellent results : )
Brushed it on , allowed to soak into the wood , wiped off excess or applied more to “dry” areas , allowed to dry properly between coats and then buffed to what ever sheen I liked .
ps: you are only supposed to hand rub their Original finish , not the Satin or Gloss types , you didn’t specify which you were using.

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Charlie's profile

Charlie

1017 posts in 953 days


#3 posted 05-29-2013 07:43 PM

If you wipe it on, be prepared to wipe on about 10 coats. DON’T wipe it off. If you put it on heavy, leave it heavy. It will dry just fine. I did my island counter top with Waterlox and did some smaller pieces first to get a feel for it.

Wiping: You can wipe it on. I would suggest thinning the first coat with mineral spirits about 15 to 25%. Then… keep wiping. You need LOTS of wipe-on coats to equal 1 brush-on coat. Wipe it on and leave it. Don’t go back to touch up a miss. Don’t wipe any off. Just keep moving. It flashes off solvent pretty fast so on larger pieces you really have to move. You’ll need about 10 coats

Brushing: Goes on heavier than wiping, but again… don’t go back. Don’t over brush it. And keep a wet edge. 5 or 6 coats should get you where you want to be.

My island counter top is walnut. 8 feet long and about 40 inches wide. I applied the waterlox with a lamb’s wool pad like you’d use for applying a floor finish…. and …. waterlox IS a floor finish! :)
I started on the underside, applied the waterlox with lamb’s wool, then my wife would come out and we’d flip the countertop and I’d apply it to the top. I only used a brush to run around the edges if I saw any drips forming. It’s pretty stout stuff. Applied this way I only needed 3 coats.

Don’t sand between every coat. The waterlox certainly doesn’t need it and the new coat will burn into the previous one. You can sand lightly right before the final coat for aesthetics,

These were my lessons learned from using waterlox and doing pieces as small as 24×30 inches and as large as that island top. YMMV. :)

View Fuzzy's profile

Fuzzy

292 posts in 2655 days


#4 posted 05-30-2013 01:10 PM

Waterlox does not burn into previous coats.

-- - dabbling in sarcasm is foolish … if you’re not proficient at it, you end up looking stupid … ... ...

View Charlie's profile

Charlie

1017 posts in 953 days


#5 posted 05-30-2013 04:15 PM

Sure as hell does. :)
Ok maybe a qualifier here…. it will burn in to a previous coat if you apply according to their finishing schedule. It may not burn in after the surface is fully cured (can take 3 months), but I can tell you that even 9 months later, on a surface I did and then tested doing a repair, the new coat got into the previous one.

Go ahead and dump some mineral spirits on it when it’s less than 24 hours old. I’m not claiming to be an expert on the stuff, just reporting my experience.

View TheWoodenOyster's profile

TheWoodenOyster

898 posts in 602 days


#6 posted 05-30-2013 06:01 PM

I wiped on a couple coats and my waterproofing test was to set a cup full of ice cold water on it. I tried to let the waterlox soak in before I wiped it off, but there is a fine line between soaked in and dried up and sticky. Once it gets sticky, you just have to let it dry, because you aren’t going to wipe it off. I was using the original type.

Thanks

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

View Charlie's profile

Charlie

1017 posts in 953 days


#7 posted 05-30-2013 06:27 PM

OK, you have to understand how waterlox works to understand why your test might be flawed…

The oil and spirits carry a resin. The oil penetrates the surface, but the resin gets left behind at the surface… something about the resin molecules being too large to penetrate with the oil…. the mineral spirits flashes off. So if you don’t wait for it to dry, you have essentially let the oil penetrate, some of the spirits to flash off, and you’re wiping off most of the varnish component which is where your protection really is.

When I did my island top, we did the waterlox out in the (attached) garage. We had box fans in the windows blowing out, and the man door on the back of the garage was open (screen door closed) so fresh air could come in. Waterlox needs fresh air to cure. Not fans blowing on it as that will actually retard the cure as you skin the top too quickly. Fresh air. Not air blowing on it.

We left it out there for over a week after we were done putting finish on it. When we brought it in, you could still smell finish… it was still drying. It was absolutely ok to handle, but the smell of finish says it’s still active to some degree. In about a month we could no longer smell anything, even when you put your nose right down on it.

I got my methods and techniques through experience AND by learning from someone who has used the product WAY longer than me.

View TheWoodenOyster's profile

TheWoodenOyster

898 posts in 602 days


#8 posted 05-30-2013 11:47 PM

Charlie,

Awesome description. I wish all instructions told you how the product worked instead of just telling you what to do. That clears things up a lot for me. So basically, when I wipe it off when it is still wet, I am doing the equivalent of oiling it, and leaving maybe 5 to 10 percent of the resin. Seems to me like a couple coats of oil first, then a couple coats of resin later might be a better option than doing 20 coats of rubbing on waterlox? Am I right?

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1465 posts in 1028 days


#9 posted 05-31-2013 12:28 AM

Waterlox is an archaic concoction. Waterborne or oil poly alone will do better.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

View Charlie's profile

Charlie

1017 posts in 953 days


#10 posted 05-31-2013 01:41 AM

TheWoodenOyster, I think as a general rule of thumb, any time you are rubbing on a finish, it’s going to go on thinner and require more coats. Nice thing about waterlox is that you can put it on heavy and let it do its thing.

View CessnaPilotBarry's profile

CessnaPilotBarry

892 posts in 777 days


#11 posted 05-31-2013 02:02 AM

If you can spare the application effort and drying time, Waterlox is fantastic stuff… Super clear, super durable, and it adds a great tone to most woods.

The hardwood floors in my home are finished with McCloskey GymSeal, a no longer available, phenolic varnish competitor to Waterlox. Even in heavy traffic areas, they look great 15 years later. McCloskey stopped making GymSeal because “The ingredients became too expensive to make a competitively priced product.” The last few gallons I bought were $65 ea., in 1997… Waterlox chose to keep the product quality up, but raise the price.

I spray high-end water bases, pre-cats, etc… and NOTHING looks like properly hand-applied applied and rubbed-out varnish… Pratt and Lambert also makes a really nice product, but it is also expensive and comes with a learning curve.

-- It's all good, if it's wood...

View Fuzzy's profile

Fuzzy

292 posts in 2655 days


#12 posted 06-05-2013 05:42 AM

Uhhhh … sorry … but … NOPE … needs to be scuff-sanded after about 24 hours for physical adhesion …

If it’s not based in a hot solvent … Denatured Alcohol … Lacquer Thinner … Tolulene … it’s NOT going to burn into the coat beneath it.

Sure as hell does. :)
Ok maybe a qualifier here…. it will burn in to a previous coat if you apply according to their finishing schedule. It may not burn in after the surface is fully cured (can take 3 months), but I can tell you that even 9 months later, on a surface I did and then tested doing a repair, the new coat got into the previous one.

Go ahead and dump some mineral spirits on it when it’s less than 24 hours old. I’m not claiming to be an expert on the stuff, just reporting my experience.

-- - dabbling in sarcasm is foolish … if you’re not proficient at it, you end up looking stupid … ... ...

View CessnaPilotBarry's profile

CessnaPilotBarry

892 posts in 777 days


#13 posted 06-06-2013 05:22 PM

Ok maybe a qualifier here…. it will burn in to a previous coat if you apply according to their finishing schedule. It may not burn in after the surface is fully cured (can take 3 months), but I can tell you that even 9 months later, on a surface I did and then tested doing a repair, the new coat got into the previous one.

Time can be an important factor with cross-linking finishes.

I use a product call “Qwick-Kleen Fast Drying Polyurethane” that for burn-in requires recoating within a few hours, but it reopens again after a week of curing.

As you suggest, reading the manufacturer’s documentation is way more important than generalizations.

-- It's all good, if it's wood...

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase