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More coats poly = more scratch resistance?

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Forum topic by LiveEdge posted 166 days ago 1690 views 1 time favorited 29 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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LiveEdge

199 posts in 219 days


166 days ago

I’m nearing the finished stage for an alder table I’m building. I’ve finished the base and non-essential parts with water-based poly, but I’m planning on switching to an oil-based poly for the table top to add heat resistance. I wondered if more coats will also provide more scratch resistance? Seven coats better than three? Or does it not work that way. Alder is fairly soft, so if I could add a little protection, that would be great. However, my wife does not want a “shiny” look so I think other finishes are less of an option.


29 replies so far

View bbc557ci's profile

bbc557ci

541 posts in 673 days


#1 posted 166 days ago

I would think the more layers of finish applied, the deeper the scratch can be before ya hit wood.

-- Bill, central NY...no where near the "big apple"

View LiveEdge's profile

LiveEdge

199 posts in 219 days


#2 posted 166 days ago

Maybe I should use a different word. How about “ding” resistance? In other words, does poly actually add to the “hardness” of the surface?

View Dallas's profile

Dallas

2855 posts in 1086 days


#3 posted 166 days ago

In my opinion probably not, but you are not limited to Poly.

Poly will mark pretty easily. Have you thought about using a lacquer finish and when it needs a repair here and there you can dab on a bit and it will melt the old finish and then blend in?

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View LiveEdge's profile

LiveEdge

199 posts in 219 days


#4 posted 166 days ago

I have not thought of lacquer due to the “shiny factor”. As mentioned, my wife wants to keep the shiny to a minimum.

View tefinn's profile

tefinn

1199 posts in 1036 days


#5 posted 166 days ago

The “shiney” factor only depends on what sheen of finish you use. If you use a satin poly or lacquer you won’t have much of anything in the way of “shine”.

-- Tom Finnigan - Measures? We don't need no stinking measures! - Hmm, maybe thats why my project pieces don't fit.

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

1236 posts in 1008 days


#6 posted 166 days ago

+1 tefinn, a lot to be said about satin or semigloss even.

If you want hard poly is on the softer side, try lacquer. Just a thought.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1388 posts in 960 days


#7 posted 166 days ago

Waterborne poly floor finish will offer as much protection as anything else. I like Bona Mega or Varathane.

-- Clint Searl.............We deserve what we tolerate

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LiveEdge

199 posts in 219 days


#8 posted 166 days ago

Hmm. I didn’t know lacquer comes in a satin. Can I apply it without specialized tools like a sprayer?

As far as the floor poly, I’ve heard water based poly isn’t very

View tefinn's profile

tefinn

1199 posts in 1036 days


#9 posted 166 days ago

+1 on what Clint said. Floor finishes are harder wearing. They have to be.

-- Tom Finnigan - Measures? We don't need no stinking measures! - Hmm, maybe thats why my project pieces don't fit.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

13270 posts in 937 days


#10 posted 166 days ago

I don’t think any normal finish makes it scratch resistant.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

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LiveEdge

199 posts in 219 days


#11 posted 166 days ago

I’m not expecting it to turn to steel, but I wondered if I should figure this into the equation. If it doesn’t matter, then I’ll probably go with the poly since I at least have experience with that on other projects I have done.

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LiveEdge

199 posts in 219 days


#12 posted 164 days ago

So I put on the first coat of oil-based poly last night. 12 hours later it is still mildly tacky. The can says I could reapply in 3-4 hours (which surprised me, I thought oil based takes a long time to dry). Should I just continue to let it dry until it isn’t tacky before sanding and a new coat? The can said to apply a THIN coat (they actually used all caps), but it’s hard to know what’s thin and what isn’t.

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1388 posts in 960 days


#13 posted 163 days ago

Why did you ask for advice if you weren’t gonna take it, anyway?

-- Clint Searl.............We deserve what we tolerate

View mrjinx007's profile

mrjinx007

1319 posts in 367 days


#14 posted 163 days ago

LiveEdge,
You ploy will dry when it wants too. With the cold weather it takes a lot longer, humidity does the same thing. Home you used Cabot, not minwax. You can change the gloss of both poly and lacquer by sanding. You have to allow the poly to fully dry before putting additional coats or you will have a big mess on your hand. And yes, the more coats the better because you can eliminate future scratches by sanding and buffing. Most everything I have posted here as a project is poly finished and brought to a gloss and mirror shine using poly. If your wife doesn’t like gloss, don’t go past 1500 with your sand paper.

-- earthartandfoods.com

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LiveEdge

199 posts in 219 days


#15 posted 163 days ago

Clint, I definitely took this thread into account. It seemed like there was a varying opinion and I weighed the possible pros of the lacquer against the cons of never having tried to apply it before.

I will wait until it’s fully dry before adding another coat. Thanks for the help.

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