Festool Surfix Finishing System

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Forum topic by tturner posted 02-04-2014 03:29 PM 3498 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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62 posts in 1448 days

02-04-2014 03:29 PM

Topic tags/keywords: festool finish tung cherry

This is kind of a review and a quest for a little feedback too…

I have debated for several months, or since it came out, to get the Festool Surfix Finishing system. Like a lot of us, I am a bit fearful of taking on a new finishing method because we know many a nice project has been ruined (at least for me) by finishing. Its painful to get through quality woodworking just to get to the point of finishing and the bad finish degrades the whole project. I think Ive made my point on how delicate but important finishing can be, unless you are Mr. Neil, whom I respect and read everything I can on what he has to say-he’s always right.
Anyway, If you appreciate Festool’s approach to their ‘systems’, you will like the Surfix. If you like an oil finish, you will like it also. It is an oil finish and doesn’t really shine. I have come to appreciate a less-shiny finish as I like to see the grain, color, and texture of the wood and not the shine.
In the Systainer you will get 3 bottles of finish-light, heavy, and outdoor. I believe they are tung oil based with a few other things thrown in. You get a green and white set of scotch-brite pads for buffing and a few 6in sanding disks for an RO150 sander. You get 5 applicator sponges and a tin to store it in whilst the finishing is being completed. Again this is a system and should take you through the whole project.
I had a few questions-
Can you fill the bottles with say, General Finishes wipe on poly (My personal fav) and essentially, yes.
Can you put the wipe-on poly over it? Yes. I did a small sample and it turned out nice. I don’t like a high shine, but I use the furniture I make and i think it needs the protection of the poly finish.
Can you use the pads on an RO125 sander? Yes, or when you purchase the replacements, order them for the 125.
Which is the best, practical finish for everyday furniture use? MY opinion is the heavy duty. It doesn’t look much different, but its a little thicker, which may lend itself to being more sturdy.
Can this system be improved? Of course. The applicators could be half the size they are for smaller projects. It would also be nice to see a poly-based finish like this.

PLEASE give me your feedback and questions the Surfix. I believe its great but I may not be taking full advantage of the system. Or, if you have the Surfix, what is your experience and results? Thanks!

-- I'm him

4 replies so far

View waho6o9's profile


7119 posts in 1997 days

#1 posted 02-04-2014 03:45 PM

Type Surfix in the search menu and there’s a lot of info and experiences there.
Maybe it’ll help you get more out of your purchase. HTH

I’ve researched it and will probably stick with Watco oil, wipe on poly, and


View CharlesNeil's profile


1602 posts in 3290 days

#2 posted 02-04-2014 08:35 PM

From what I see it’s basically a hybrid BLO . I note it says for light duty . This tells me , its not for me . I like a finish that’s tough. I agree the General Finishes Arm R Seal or the gel finish is a good choice, I like the AS , and its tough as nails. In as much as putting it over the Festool oil, you can, I would just let the Festool stuff dry pretty well . I would imagine that the pads and all would work just fine on the AS as well. AS to the use of the pads on a RO sander, I can’t see any reason it wouldn’t work just fine .

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 1781 days

#3 posted 02-05-2014 04:05 PM

This has got to be one of the biggest rip-offs out there in a woodworking land that overflows with snake oil finishing rip-offs. If you fall for this, I can get you a discount on an old bridge across the East River.

-- 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 tturner's profile


62 posts in 1448 days

#4 posted 02-10-2014 07:20 PM

THanks, Charles for chiming in. Your feedback is SO important in our field.

Clint- I believe that in the world of woodworking there are things that work for you and things that don’t. You don’t know which is which until you try it. And, if you’re always trying to better, you will try new things. I can assure you of 2 things-(1)-If Festool makes it, its probably high quality (and high price) (2) You probably can’t afford Festool.

Actually if you like an oil finish, this is probably the stuff for you. The heavy-duty oil is the best, to me anyway.

-- I'm him

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