Sanding Sealer and Paint Questions (Table Finishing)

  • Advertise with us

« back to Finishing forum

Forum topic by tony48 posted 07-29-2013 07:25 AM 16524 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View tony48's profile


5 posts in 1758 days

07-29-2013 07:25 AM

Hello all,

This is my first post here and I need some expertise since I’m out of my range of knowledge. I’m in the process of finishing a table that I made out of 3/4” maple veneer plywood. I’ve already applied 2 coats of Bullseye SealCoat sanding sealer. Next I want to paint the table. I have a fairly complicated design so I need a few colors. After the paint I plan on sealing with either polycrylic or a pour on epoxy.

So, I have a few questions:

1. Do I need to be cautious on what type of paint I use over the sanding sealer (i.e. latex, acrylic, oil based, etc.)
2. If I paint my design with flat paint and then finish with semi-gloss polycrylic will it turn out alright? What about if I use flat paint and finish with pour on epoxy?

Thank you very much for your help! I’ve attached a few pics of the table top because, well, pictures are always good. It’s going to be a University of Maryland themed table with EL wire (glowing wire) inlayed in the shallow groove that was cut with a router. Inside of the outline of the state I will paint the state flag. The rest of the table will be painted black.

Here’s a mockup of what I want it to look like:
 photo Tableoption1_zps962942b8.jpg

Here it is so far:
 photo 5D12D936-7FB4-4C80-B779-0C11AFA30271-4166-000009E532E785E0_zps6648c7c1.jpg

Before routing (with pattern on top):
 photo 5DE159B7-CDB5-4F79-B412-F5AECDDC8BAE-4166-000009E529EA4A6E_zpsfe52dd3b.jpg

Close up of Router work:
 photo 78B0EE74-F2A1-4458-87F8-5CFD5C616BDF-4166-000009E53ABC032C_zps6c5acf20.jpg

11 replies so far

View NiteWalker's profile


2737 posts in 2572 days

#1 posted 07-29-2013 10:58 AM

1. Pretty much anything can go over sealcoat; I use it all the time. Now about what paint can safely be under epoxy; I’m not sure about that. Under polycrylic or other waterbornes, acrylic paints work fine.

2. Flat paint under the poly will look great. It will take the sheen of the poly; I usually use gloss or semi gloss.

That looks like a nice table so far. Nice work. :-)

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

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 2356 days

#2 posted 07-29-2013 01:25 PM

I use flat latex/acrylic wall paint on my painted projects, topped with either sprayed-on lacquer or waterborne poly. Take a look at my projects for examples.

BTW, for future projects, the shellac “sealer” is unnecessary.

-- 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 tony48's profile


5 posts in 1758 days

#3 posted 07-29-2013 01:38 PM

I had a feeling the sealer was unnecessary but I wanted to use it to smooth out small imperfections in the table. Next time I’ll just go for some kilz primer though. Now I need to figure out what kind of paints can be under epoxy. And can I use oil based paint under water based polycrylic?

Oh, and thanks for the compliment! I’m happy with how it’s turning out so far for my first table.

View Earlextech's profile


1161 posts in 2685 days

#4 posted 07-29-2013 01:58 PM

While the sealcoat may be “unnecessary” I find it much easier and faster than sealing with Kilz. It dries almost instantly and is easier to sand smooth.

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "Finished"!

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 2356 days

#5 posted 07-29-2013 06:24 PM

“Sealer” ( including Kilz) is absolutely unnecessary. The first coat of latex/acrylic wall paint smoothed back with 220 drywall sanding screen will prep the surface for successive coats. Two additional coats will give the coverage and build for top coating. I prefer Behr Ultra. It’s compatible with any clear resin finish, including solvent lacquer and epoxy.

-- 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 OggieOglethorpe's profile


1276 posts in 2105 days

#6 posted 07-29-2013 10:28 PM

Over the years, I’ve done stuff like this on solid body guitars. I’m a big fan of auto body primers and paints for stuff like this. All the colors you want are available in spray cans. Some suppliers, like NAPA, can custom mix and load spray cans while you wait.

Use a white or light gray primer, sand it perfectly smooth, clean it well, then spray gloss white over the entire surface. If it’s not a perfect surface before you spray the gloss white, reprime and sand until it is… Don’t allow a heavy primer layer to build, you want to sand all of it off until it’s perfect, leaving primer only in the low spots, then apply one even coat. Don’t move on until you’re good, as you can’t sand once you start to add more colors.

I would then mask off each color, and spray the yellow, then the red, and finally black. I like to use a clear, self adhesive masking film, or a brush-on latex mask for stuff like this, and cut the shapes out with a sharp XActo.

You’d remask the entire surface with each added color, removing masking where you want the next coat to adhere.

Once the whole shebang is done, I’d spray it with a clear that is designed to work with the colored paints I used. On projects like this, I absolutely stay with the same brand of product throughout, a process known as “systemizing”, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions on recoat times. You want NO surprises with chemistry conflicts.

When it’s done, you’ll have a surface as tough as the hood of your car or a well-made guitar. If it’s not tough enough for your use, I’d cover it with glass or plexyglass before I’d try to add a heavy coat of something. Most of the high-gloss finishes you see on cars, instruments, and furniture, are far thinner than you know. Once you apply a thick layer of polyester or epoxy, you also add an easily scratched surface that may peel or yellow over time.

The masking products are available at art suppliers like Dick Blick or Jerry’s Artorama, and auto body suppliers that sell to customizers.. You can do it with tape, too, but requires more planning as you can’t see through to the other layers. Play around on MDF to get the hang of all the products and techniques, if necessary.

If you have a local sign shop, some can use computerized vinyl cutting machines you cut your masks, making a different mask for each color. These are nice, as you can see through the paper as you stick it down, then pull off the over paper, leaving the masking. This is done with a product that doesn’t stick like vinyl signage, so it won’t pull dry paint. It’s not free, but it can be less than you’d guess, and it makes it really easy to do a super job.

View tony48's profile


5 posts in 1758 days

#7 posted 07-30-2013 12:17 AM

CessnaPilotBarry, Thanks so much for all the great information! I am now going to use some clear, adhesive masking film and will paint in the order you recommended. I think I’m going to stick with brush-on latex/acrylic paint though, for the sake of simplicity. I might change my mind as I research spray paint alternatives.

Also, I forgot to mention that the reason I wanted a heavy duty finish in the first place is because this table will be put to heavy use. It won’t be just a piece of art and will probably be borderline abused. For this reason I’m still leaning towards a poly finish.

One more thing, could you post a link to some auto body spray paint? I’m not sure exactly what you’re talking about.

Once again, thanks for all of the information. I’ve read your post about a dozen times by now and will continue reading it because it just has so much good info!

View OggieOglethorpe's profile


1276 posts in 2105 days

#8 posted 07-30-2013 03:46 PM

I don’t know where to get auto body spray paint online.

It is sold in most auto parts stores, and if you Google “auto body supplies” in your area, you’ll find it.

View Jeff's profile


433 posts in 3189 days

#9 posted 07-30-2013 03:59 PM

If it’s important and hard to redo I’d suggest you try some things first on a scrap piece.

View tony48's profile


5 posts in 1758 days

#10 posted 07-30-2013 06:11 PM

Is auto body spray paint usually around $25 per can?

View OggieOglethorpe's profile


1276 posts in 2105 days

#11 posted 08-02-2013 12:05 PM

It can be… prices can vary by color, because quality pigments come in all kinds of price ranges. This is similar to high quality artist’s oil paints. Prices can vary from color to color.

The primers and clears are usually less.

I usually use Martin Senor, mainly because I have a NAPA warehouse 5 minutes from my house. The important thing is to have your local supplier set you up with a primer, color coats, and clear, that are all perfectly compatible.

And as Jeff reinforced… Practice is your friend. Treat the practice board exactly like the work, including all surface prep, primers, etc… Pretend it IS the project.

For a project like this, you would probably be fine with spray enamel bombs from Lowes or Home Depot, just make sure you use the same brand of primer, colors, and clear. I’ve been very happy with the Valspar spray bombs sold at Lowes for some general projects. Practice, and build light coats to avoid a large ridge at the masked edges.

Try it on scrap… The scrap test will be especially important if you decide to overcoat it with some sort of polyurethane.

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