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Recommendations: finish for maple table top - kids scrap table

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Forum topic by Lloyd Davies posted 02-04-2015 07:31 PM 858 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Lloyd Davies

116 posts in 2790 days


02-04-2015 07:31 PM

Topic tags/keywords: finish non-yellowing amber water based poly polyurethane finishing

OK so obviously this thing is going to take a lot of beating from two four year old twins so I was thinking of finishing it with some kind of floor varnish. I want one that will not “yellow” the maple though. Will any water based floor varnish be OK?

So basically I am looking for 2 attributes:
- super hard finish
- will not “yellow” with time

Thanks, Lloyd

-- Northern California http://www.lloydus.com


11 replies so far

View DrDirt's profile

DrDirt

4169 posts in 3206 days


#1 posted 02-04-2015 07:50 PM

Water based or not is really just about your shop and application….
Once the finish is dry, there is no toxic difference between solvent base of waterbase finishes.

Oil-based polyurethane is the most durable finish that you can apply by hand, while catalyzed lacquers and varnishes are the best for spray application.

I lkie the advice of Jeff Jewitt on his site
http://homesteadfinishingproducts.com/choosing-a-finish/

Tables I have made before were coated in Waterlox Original- Brushed on. But waterlox has a lot of color to it.

For not coloring the maple and non-yellowing –
I personally would spray a CAB lacquer from Sherwin Williams – - even though I just use a Harbor Freight HVLP gun with my compressor.

But there are TONS of great finishes. General Finishes Arm-R-Seal is very popular.

Being in California, you will have more limited choices based on VOC.

Water base Poly will likely be the best choice.

-- 'Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners' ~George Carlin

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

1058 posts in 1454 days


#2 posted 02-04-2015 09:32 PM

Conversion varnish would be best, but is pretty toxic to apply (fine when cured), and usually used only by pros (my not be available in CA). Non of the lacquers will have the hardness you want, some yellow some don’t. Solvent poly has the hardness/abrasion you want, but all have a yellow tint. None of the wipe on oil stuff like watco or waterlox has any hardness or film build to it – kids would destroy it day one.

A WB poly is your best bet for hardness/abrasion and non yellowing. My preference is Target Coatings EM9000 with CL100 cross linker. There are many other brands, and the WB floor varnish like Varathane at the box stores might be worth a try. Since you are not coloring the wood, if a finish doesn’t hold up well, it would be pretty easy to scrape it off and apply something else.

View Lloyd Davies's profile

Lloyd Davies

116 posts in 2790 days


#3 posted 02-04-2015 10:21 PM

Thanks very much for the advice above. I am a hobbyist doing this in my garage so to get the EM900 plus CL100 shipped to me it would cost about $70 – probably a bit too much. It’s hardness I want and yellowing that I don’t want and I can brush or wipe it on but can’t spray it on.

I see some products on Amazon like this:
Minwax water based wipe on polyurethane (http://smile.amazon.com/dp/B001XQ20WG)
or
Minwax water based polycrylic (http://smile.amazon.com/dp/B000C02AO2)

-- Northern California http://www.lloydus.com

View ric53's profile

ric53

147 posts in 984 days


#4 posted 02-04-2015 10:30 PM

I just finished a built in desk unit and am now making the top for the desk. It is going to be made out of hard maple and will have the same type of use/abuse as your top as there are 2 kids that will be using it. The customer has requested that I match their naturally finished maple floor. I will be using the varathane satin WB floor finish which is what the floor finisher used. I am going to apply 3-4 coats by brushing it on. I have used this product in the past with no major issues.

-- Ric, Mazomanie

View CharlesNeil's profile

CharlesNeil

1610 posts in 3335 days


#5 posted 02-04-2015 10:30 PM

in test we did, while not the top of the line the Minwax Polyacrylic fared pretty well, its not overly expensive and available at most box stores, its water base, and in the test panels from 3 years ago it hasn’t yellowed.

View firefighterontheside's profile

firefighterontheside

13485 posts in 1321 days


#6 posted 02-04-2015 10:33 PM

Wipe on is very thin. Really it is thinned finish, so less protection.
Polycrylic is pretty good stuff in my opinion. Lowes has an epoxy pour on finish that you could do. Makes a nice thick finish. Not sure if it yellows though. For tables that get abuse I use Minwax oil based poly. Odor is not terrible, but will be there for a while. It will yellow the maple a bit.
I think I would go for the polycrylic to fit your parameters the best.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

1058 posts in 1454 days


#7 posted 02-04-2015 10:46 PM

A couple of brands I can think of that should be available locally at box stores would be Varathane and Restoleum Ultimate. I haven’t tried it, but for the Minwax brand I would try the WB polyurethane. The polycrylic will be too soft. I would try Varathane or Rustoleum over Minwax based on previous WB experience with Minwax products and various threads I’ve read.

View Lloyd Davies's profile

Lloyd Davies

116 posts in 2790 days


#8 posted 02-05-2015 02:20 AM

thanks all. I think I will go for this product:

Rust-Oleum Varathane 200061H Interior Crystal Clear Water-Based Polyurethane, Satin Finish
http://smile.amazon.com/dp/B000FPCKBW

-- Northern California http://www.lloydus.com

View Lloyd Davies's profile

Lloyd Davies

116 posts in 2790 days


#9 posted 02-05-2015 08:06 PM

Nope changing my mind. I am going to go for a Minwax water based polycrylic semi-gloss and then polish it out with automative rubbing finish and polishing wax.

Lloyd

-- Northern California http://www.lloydus.com

View CharlesNeil's profile

CharlesNeil

1610 posts in 3335 days


#10 posted 02-05-2015 09:12 PM

Pm me before using the rubbing compound, there are easier and better alternatives,

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

1058 posts in 1454 days


#11 posted 02-05-2015 09:55 PM

Good luck. If you are going to rub it out, use gloss, not semi gloss. Flatten the final topcoat with sandpaper 1st, start with 320-400 lightly to see how level it is. Use a backer block. Sand up through at least 800, no need to go beyond 1200. I use Meguair’s professional automotive products, usually starting with #2 Fine Cut Cleaner, #9 Swirl Remover, and finish with #21 Synthetic Sealant. You need a polisher. This will create a “piano finish” if that’s what you are after.

Rubbing out by hand is kinda like a hand plane vs a planer – kinda neat when you start, looking for “for sale” adds for a planer when you’re finished.

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