Unused Finish, The Arm-R-Seal Story

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Forum topic by azor posted 06-21-2009 06:02 PM 1324 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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62 posts in 3440 days

06-21-2009 06:02 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question finishing

Sorry if this topic has been covered before. Almost a year ago I purchased some Arm-R-Seal top coating and used it on a few jewelery boxes. I only used up about half the can. When I got back to it a few months later a thick “plastic” like layer formed over the top. I broke through it and got to the usable part of it underneath. I didn’t use it up then. More of the same the next time I opened the can. Finally the remainder turned into a highly viscous gel and I had to throw it away. Since I make no money of my woodworking yet, if ever, I’d like to be able to use all/most of what I buy. Any suggestions on how to get around this problem? Is “Bloxygen”, another purchase, the only answer? Has anyone had any experience pouring the leftover finish into smaller containers?


-- It isn't as easy as the demos make it seem.

4 replies so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3818 days

#1 posted 06-21-2009 07:08 PM

Dick, there are a couple of other things that you can do. One is to transfer the finish to smaller containers after you open it. I generally use mason jars and try to minimize the air space above the finish. I also turn it upside down so that any finish that starts to cure will form on the bottom of the jar. Another thing that you can do, if you don’t want to transfer the finish, is to add marbles, rocks, etc. to the finish remaining in the original can to minimize the air space.

The finish is skimming over because of contact with oxygen. This causes the finish to begin to polymerize and will continue until the curing process is complete (you will end up with a gel). Once started this process is irreversible and even though the finish under the skimmed coat may be usable it too has already started to cure so I generally just toss it when the finish gets to this stage.

As far as the bloxygen goes it is supposed to work. I have not used it but it is supposed to replace with air in the container and inhibit the polymerization process so it should work for a while.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Karson's profile


35120 posts in 4397 days

#2 posted 06-21-2009 07:25 PM

I heard using marbles and keeping the container full

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View a1Jim's profile


117091 posts in 3574 days

#3 posted 06-21-2009 07:38 PM

scott has it covered very well but I would say when using mason jars make sure you put a very liberal coat of auto or bees wax on both sides of the threads other wise you try to open it and it seals the lid to the glass making it impossible to get the lid off with out breaking the glass.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View azor's profile


62 posts in 3440 days

#4 posted 06-22-2009 09:02 AM

Thanks for the tips. I do have a number of the smallest mason jars on hand I bought years ago thinking I would use them with a critter spray gun, but never really got rolling on that idea [need to set up a small spray booth]. I have tried turning the can upside down, but that may have been after the initial polymerization started and it didn’t work as well as I expected. The rocks and marble sound interesting.


-- It isn't as easy as the demos make it seem.

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