Behlen's Rockhard Table Top Help!

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Forum topic by Oosik posted 05-26-2015 12:22 PM 1210 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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126 posts in 1712 days

05-26-2015 12:22 PM

So after applying my first coat I notice it did not get applied very evenly. What is the best practice for correcting this? I’m assuming just sand it down the best I can by hand or is it worth adding a second coat and going from there?

I read that I should have cut it by 10-20% with Mineral Spirits to help with application. It was very thick and did not want to spread well. This could be due to the cheap brush I was using and my inability to see the flow well due to inadequate lighting.

So my questions are:

What is the best process for applying Behlen’s Rockhard Table Top Varnish?
How long do I wait to Sand? (4 or 14 hours?)
What is the best thinning ratio? (10, 20, 50%?)
Can it be thinned enough to be a wipe on varnish?
Any suggestions for getting better lighting either portable or fixed shop lights?
Brush Recommendations? (I’m using cheap natural fiber brushes you get in a 50 pack)

Any and all help is appreciated, this is my first time trying something outside of Poly/Stain.

2 replies so far

View barada83's profile


86 posts in 1215 days

#1 posted 05-26-2015 01:27 PM

I have always used rockhard out of the can. I tried thinning it once but the result wasn’t all that great but with the caveat that I didn’t use the proprietary thinner. Being said, I have still gotten excellent finishes. My solution is to sand everything flat between coats. The final coat goes on pretty thick which helps with the leveling and is then sanded flat again and rubbed out to a high gloss. If by hand, use a block for your sandpaper. Drying time varies, for me it was usually at least 24 hours before I could sand and up to 5 days before I could rub out the finish.

Use a very high quality brush for this one, like a purdy or Wooster. Cheap brushes, unless you cannot clean them and must throw away after use, aren’t the right tool for any fine finishing job.

-- Mike

View Oosik's profile


126 posts in 1712 days

#2 posted 05-26-2015 02:36 PM

The thinner that Behlen sells is 50/50 Mineral Spirits and Naphtha I believe, so using one or the other does not work the best. I haven’t tested this, just what I found while searching.

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