Cold Garage: What can I use?

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Forum topic by toddbg posted 12-31-2013 02:49 AM 937 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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23 posts in 1037 days

12-31-2013 02:49 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Hi –
I just built a set of shop cabinets and will be building out a workbench and shelves next.
I used maple ply and pine.

Lately it has been in the 40s and I have been able to get the garage up to about 52.

What finish can I use on these projects? (not really interested in paint though)


-- -- Todd, Washington

7 replies so far

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


17575 posts in 3096 days

#1 posted 12-31-2013 02:55 AM

Welcome to LJ! Wait until spring for finish or drag them into the house ;-)

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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2022 posts in 3191 days

#2 posted 12-31-2013 02:55 AM

Water based poly. Dries fast, no fumes and quite hard and clear. Not effected by temp unless under freezing. That’s my 2 cents.

-- Tom D

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Monte Pittman

21547 posts in 1758 days

#3 posted 12-31-2013 03:17 AM

Most finishes want it above 50-55 degrees. Patience is the thing.

By the way it’s only 20 degrees in my shop right now.

Welcome to Lumberjocks

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

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236 posts in 1690 days

#4 posted 12-31-2013 03:33 AM


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Shawn Masterson

1294 posts in 1369 days

#5 posted 12-31-2013 01:19 PM

rent/buy a salamander and make it 90* in there finish them and wait a few hours they will be dry

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Fred Hargis

3844 posts in 1914 days

#6 posted 12-31-2013 01:36 PM

My experience has been a little different than some of the above. Waterbornes want it to be a little warmer, at least the ones I’ve use (Target Coatings). I’d want it to be near 60° to use them. Shellac and lacquer doesn’t seem to care. Since they are evaporative finishes, the solvents seem to evaporate at very low temps. I’ve sprayed lacquer (outside) as low as 40°, and have read others have used it in even colder temps. Oil based finishes will cure in low temps, but the reaction is much slower so allow lots of time if you choose those….but they will still work.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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14929 posts in 2110 days

#7 posted 01-01-2014 02:26 AM

Shellac (rubbed or brushed on) doesn’t really seem to mind the cold.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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