Lacquer over Arm-R Seal Oil & Urethane?

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Forum topic by Michigander posted 07-13-2014 05:57 PM 3357 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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220 posts in 2445 days

07-13-2014 05:57 PM

Topic tags/keywords: arm r seal urethane oil lacquer compatibility

I am building a solid cherry side table that will see a lot of abuse; food, beverage spills etc. I planned to use General Finishes Arm-R Seal Oil & Urethane Top Coat to protect the finish. I am concerned the Arm-R Seal will not be up to the task and am thinking of having a few coats of lacquer sprayed over the Arm-R Seal. The table top is still separate from the rest of the table so it’s easy to just spray the top.
1.Do you think Arm-R Seal oil and urethane needs a supplemental top coat to protect from water rings from glasses etc.
2. Is Lacquer ok to put over Arm-R Seal
3. I have already put 3 coats of Arm-R Seal on the rest of the table, do you think the table top will look different than the rest of the table?
Thanks for your input!

10 replies so far

View Michigander's profile


220 posts in 2445 days

#1 posted 07-14-2014 06:16 PM

Hey Guys, I really need some input on this. Is anyone reading these posts?

View greatview's profile


131 posts in 3184 days

#2 posted 07-14-2014 06:30 PM

I’ve not used Arm R Seal but the literature makes it sound like a polyurethane varnish. I’m not sure why you would want to top coat a urethane finish with lacquer. Lacquer produces a fine finish rapidly due to its quick drying. It sets up by the evaporation of the solvent whereas urethane “cures” by, I believe, a cross linking process. Lacquer which I use extensively, is a fairly delicate finish whereas urethane is a much stronger finish. In no way would I use lacquer over a urethane.

Also, you will probably not be able to match the sheen of the finish between the two.

There is also a potential problem of the lacquer distorting the urethane. Lacquer thinner is a strong solvent and can mess up many cured finishes.

-- Tom, New London, NH

View jswoodworker's profile


23 posts in 1560 days

#3 posted 07-14-2014 06:44 PM

The Arm-R-Seal alone should be enough protection as long as you use enough to build up a protective film.

View Earlextech's profile


1162 posts in 2717 days

#4 posted 07-14-2014 06:51 PM

It’s the lacquer that won’t be up to the task. Finishing only becomes difficult when you – A. over think it and B. start mixing finishes on the same project. Leave it alone, the Arm R Seal IS up to the task.

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

View chrisstef's profile


17426 posts in 3032 days

#5 posted 07-14-2014 06:51 PM

I used Arm-R-Seal for my kitchen countertops as well as a coffee table. The countertops have held up perfectly for almost 9 months and the coffee table has held up to the beating of a 2 year old. I haven’t had any issues with water rings, hot coffee cups, or anything else once it fully cured. I used 3 brushed on coats and 2 wiped on coats.

EDIT – the only issue that I might have heard about is dish soap on arm-r-seal. There’s one particular brand and I cant remember which one it is .. maybe its formula 409, and not dish soap. Its out there on the web somewhere, ill see if I can dig it up.

Double Edit – its ammonia in the 409 that chews up water born finishes. No harm done to the oil / urethane finish of arm-r-seal. Carry on.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View SamuraiSaw's profile


515 posts in 1990 days

#6 posted 07-14-2014 06:55 PM

It s the lacquer that won t be up to the task. Finishing only becomes difficult when you – A. over think it and B. start mixing finishes on the same project. Leave it alone, the Arm R Seal IS up to the task.

- Earlextech

I would NOT put lacquer on it. You will regret it. As stated, Arm R Seal will be your best bet at this point.

-- Artisan Woodworks of Texas....

View CharlesNeil's profile


2410 posts in 3897 days

#7 posted 07-14-2014 07:23 PM

Sam (Earlex tech” got it dead on,, Arm r seal is your best bet , stay with it

View pintodeluxe's profile


5706 posts in 2839 days

#8 posted 07-14-2014 08:00 PM

I have found both pre-cat lacquer and urethane/poly topcoat finishes to be incredibly durable. However, I do not mix the two. Some will say you can spray shellac between dissimilar topcoats, but in this case why?

Good question, thanks for posting.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View endgrainy's profile


251 posts in 1914 days

#9 posted 07-15-2014 12:34 AM

I have found Arm-R-Seal to be pretty durable. I used it on the coffee table in my avatar pic and it’s had no issues. As mentioned above, some cleansers can cause problems. The bar stools at my kitchen island were hit by some overspray from granite cleaner and have developed a few spots.

I’m planning to refinish the tops at some point – and move the stools when cleaning. I still use drink coasters on wooden table top, just to be safe.

-- Follow me on Instagram @endgrainy

View Michigander's profile


220 posts in 2445 days

#10 posted 07-15-2014 07:36 PM

Wow guys I sure am glad I asked the question on this forum. You are the best. I will definitely stay away from the lacquer, but I think I’ll do 5 coats of Arm R Seal. Sounds like I wasn’t giving it enough credit.
Thanks for all your input!

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